Threat goes unchallenged: ‘I say march in peacefully with open carry and remove these people’

In a Facebook posting last night, Gary Vago threatened members of the state House Rules Committee over a proposal to reinstate a ban on guns in the State House. “I say march in peacefully with open carry and remove these people,” he wrote.

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Vago, a Republican activist from Nashua, posted his threat on a Facebook event created by GOP state Rep. George Lambert to organize a protest during today’s committee hearing.

Republican Reps. Al Baldasaro, JR Hoell, Pamela Tucker and Jordan Ulery visited the page and signaled their intention to attend the protest. No one challenged Vago’s threat. The only acknowledgement came from three visitors who actually “liked” it, including unsuccessful state Senate candidate Josh Youssef!

Granite State Progress first publicized the threat in a written statement. “This isn’t about gun rights, it’s about political intimidation,” director Zandra Rice Hawkins explained. “That type of language is unacceptable, particularly in light of the events of the past week.”

“Allowing this kind of rhetoric to go unchallenged,” she warned, “could lead to severe and horrible consequences in New Hampshire.”

Cross-posted on Miscellany Blue


  • NHFlatlander

    It looks like they were only able to intimidate the Republican members of the Rules Committee.  

  • Rep. Jim Splaine

    The new year is starting off well.  But seeing some of the comments in the Union Leader story, I fear that some of these crazies are unpredictable.  It’s all kind of sad, really.

    Some of the gun zealots make up their own interpretation of the United States and New Hampshire Constitutions.  Some want to return to the Old West, and others just want to make profit over the sale of guns.  

    Congratulations to Democrats in the House for their courage to stand up as real Americans.  

    • Lucy Edwards

      that the whole thing about the OK Corral gunfight, Wyatt Earp,etc., was because the cowboys who came to town refused to turn in their guns per town ordinance.  If they had an ordinance to turn in guns back then in the Old West, why can’t we have some places where guns are not allowed now?

  • BradleyJardis

    Mr. Tucker,

    When tragedies like Connecticut happen in federal law designated “Gun Free School Zones,” does that not serve as persuasive evidence to you that simply passing legislation doesn’t actually stop violent crime?

    • xteeth
    • Rep. Jim Splaine

      The Old West went out over a century ago.  You want to arm everyone?  Open carry for everyone?  Wyatt Earp wouldn’t even support that.  

      The far-right and Tea Partiers want to return this country to the 1950s in the way women are treated, the 1930s in the way the poor are treated, and the 1850s in the way we treat diversity.

      Either they lust for a time of long ago, or they see profit in making “bulletproof back packs” for kids or selling more weapons to the fearful.

      Let’s not join them.  

      • BradleyJardis

        Rep. Splaine,

        Please understand, it isn’t that I think everyone should carry firearms.  I’ve just come to the understanding that society has too many firearms for the government to ever expect to effectively keep them away from really dangerous people who want them.

        Every month I find it absolutely astonishing how many people are convicted of violating the federal ACCA of 1994.  Each one of those people gets a mandatory 15-year prison sentence, usually consecutively with some other lengthy sentence.  

        Criminals simply don’t follow the law, and the police cannot be everywhere.

        The police are trusted by the people to carry firearms because of the inherent dangerous nature of their job.  Since the police spend over 90% of their time dealing with less than 10% of their respective population, the vast majority of people interact civilly.  

        I don’t know much of you personally, but I presume you’re a peaceful guy (in the other 90%) who believes in intellectual discourse to resolve disputes.  You’re probably the type of person that I would want to consider getting training, and then carrying concealed firearm as you go about your daily life.  

        You wouldn’t hurt anyone, but you’d probably help if you saw someone hurting someone else.

        I think that school boards considering this statute would be a good first-step: http://www.gencourt.state.nh.u

        Teaching responsibility is a good thing.

        • susanthe

          that more guns are the answer to school shootings is part of the problem. Thanks for stepping up and self-identifying, Mr. Jardis.  

          • BradleyJardis

            … is that people like you, Susan, should have the option to carry a concealed firearm to protect yourself.  

            Like I said above to Rep. Splaine, I have no reason to suspect that you’d ever hurt anyone, but you’d probably help if you saw someone hurting someone else.

            I’ve seen him picked on frequently around here, but by advocating that guys like Rep. Kyle Tasker be disarmed (the guy made a human mistake, and no one got hurt), you’re making the State House Complex far less safe.

            I’ve never heard anyone advocate for the Concord Police to be disarmed.  What happened in their agency is far worse than anything a state representative carrying a firearm did: http://www.lineofduty.com/the-…  

            • susanthe

              How many killings have there been at the NH State House?

              I don’t need your protection, Mr. Jardis. I certainly didn’t ask for it, and it’s very paternalistic of you to attempt to force it upon me.

              • BobRobertson

                “I certainly didn’t ask for it, and it’s very paternalistic of you to attempt to force it upon me.”

                Yet forcing people to pay for things because they’re good for them, like NHPR, Social Security, Medicare, Obamacare, is what being a Democrat is all about.

                • TimothyHorrigan

                  NHPR actually takes no direct  government funding at all, although its program suppliers get some federal funding.

                • susanthe

                  I’m not a Democrat – but don’t let that get in the way of your stereotyping. Slow day at Granite Grok?  

                • susanthe

                  It is interesting that you want everyone to have guns, but you don’t care if your fellow humans have health insurance. Do you consider yourself a Christian, Bob?

                  I’m betting that you’d be shitting in your tricorner hat if liberals and lefties started stockpiling weapons.  

            • Rep. Jim Splaine

              It’s amazing how far (in an exaggerated sense of the word) Tea Partiers, right-wingers, so-called Free Staters, and gun nuts will go to put a positive spin on their interpretation of the Second Amendment, and their need to carry guns around.

              I think the Founders, who put in the words “…well regulated…” would yell at them all if they could.  

              “…well regulated…”  Words DO matter in the Constitution.  

              One of my favorite TV westerns is The Rifleman.  I watch it whenever I can — even shows I’ve seen a dozen times.  But even Lucas McCain, who knew how to use his gun (with a little television magic he seemed he could make his rifle shoot endlessly at 30 rounds in 10 seconds) made mistakes and shot an innocent every now and then.

              Of course, that was only a TV show, the gun nuts of today would say.

              By the way — does anyone know if our Founders were personally armed at Independence Hall?  I know they had some duels in those days, and we know of a few famous ones.  And canes were sometimes used as weapons.  But did Congressman Davy Crockett walk around in the Capitol with a sidearm — the Fess Parker version did have him lugging “Ole Betsy” around.  Maybe a Tea Partier can tell us.  

              • kestrel9000

                and bash the Roberts Court all you want, and, like you, I’m sure, I can think of any number of rasons to bash the Roberts Court (Citizens United? Bueller? Bueller?) but

                “…well regulated…”  Words DO matter in the Constitution.

                Heller and McDonald are law.

                “The prefatory clause does not suggest that preserving the militia was the only reason Americans valued the ancient right…” The Court (in the majority opinion rendered in DC vs Heller)  also reasoned that elsewhere in the Constitution, such as the First, Fourth, and Ninth Amendments, the phrase “the right of the people” is used only to refer to individual rights-that is, rights held by people as individuals. It is this phrasing that is used in the operative clause of the Second Amendment. Finally, the Court reasoned that the right to own weapons for self-defense was an “inherent” (in-born) right of all people. “It has always been widely understood that the Second Amendment, like the First and Fourth Amendments, codified a pre-existing right. The very text of the Second Amendment implicitly recognizes the pre-existence of the right and declares only that it ‘shall not be infringed.'”

                That’s it. Anything else is just talk.  

                • Rep. Jim Splaine

                  kestrel9000:

                  “You can parse the Second Amendment and bash the Roberts Court all you want, and, like you, I’m sure, I can think of any number of rasons to bash the Roberts Court…”

                  Well, my rason to think that “…well regulated…” means a whole lot is that there MUST be — and of course is — some limit on the “right to own weapons for self-defense.”  It’s not just an “inherent” or “inborn” “right of all people.”  

                  My goodness sake.  Can’t blind supporters of the Second Amendment see that?  I support the Second Amendment, but it’s not all encompassing.  There are legitimate limits on the kinds of weapons, and power of those weapons, that any individual should own.  

                  • BobRobertson

                    Why must there be any arbitrary limit?

                    There is no limit on my ability to own a car, or airplane, which have as their only limits just how much money I have.

                    And also, if I may ask, if the 2nd was only “meant” to cover rifles, shotguns, pistols, etc., then to whom would “Letters of Marque and Reprisal” be issued?

                    In order for Letters of Marque to make any sense, there would have to have been PRIVATE WARSHIPS.

                    Remove the laws restricting arms, and people will buy what they can afford. Some collector might have a bazooka, but today a collector can get a bazooka, or a grenade, if they want one anyway.

                    And just like a 200mph car, they can pay for their own insurance. Strict individual responsibility makes weapons ownership self-limiting.

                    • Rep. Jim Splaine

                      My goodness Bob — Owning Bazookas?  Grenades?  How about cannon?  Missiles?  

                      And “they can pay for their own insurance?”  

                      Your proposal sounds more like the tribes and gangs and warlords of other parts of the world, not like the America I love.  

                      “Home of the free and land of the brave” has to mean protection from private arsenals and armies by people who, by your words, “will buy what they can afford.”  

                      That takes “liberty” out of the meaning of the Second Amendment.  

                    • xteeth

                      You can’t have a car on public roads that is sixteen feet wide or I don’t know how long. I’m pretty sure you would get into trouble if your car was higher than 11 feet though that would probably be self limiting what with bridges etc. You can’t have one that exudes toxic gasses or blinds other drivers or what were those things on Greek chariots that almost undid Ben Hur?  

    • TimothyHorrigan

      You are right, Mr. Jardis: merely passing laws is not enough.  You need law enforcement officials who are willing and able to enforce those laws.

      • BradleyJardis

        Rep. Horrigan,

        I’d like to share with you my serious objection to the federal law that was supposed to prevent the CT tragedy.

        The federal “Gun Free School Zone Act of 1990″ (18 USC 922 (q)) was passed by the US Congress in response to the very real problem of gun violence in schools.  For the first time since the New Deal, in 1995 the Rehnquist Court struck down the GFSZA in United States v. Lopez, 514 U.S. 549 (1995).

        The SCOTUS said it was unconstitutional and that the federal government didn’t have that power under the Commerce Clause.

        Rather than respect the SCOTUS, the US Congress re-enacted the GFSZA in 1997 with a political preamble with all-sorts of reaching about how a firearm being present in a school really (wink, wink) influences the national economy.  I’ve read the Federalist Papers, and the Founding Fathers would be rolling over at that undercutting of Article III.

        PS: Congrats on your reelection!  I had a great time running, meeting people, and spreading issues, but ultimately was soundly defeated by High Sheriff Marcou.  

        I hope that I generated enough political support for the Sheriff to consider other ways to use some of the discretionary powers of his Office.  

        • TimothyHorrigan

          I have read the Federalist Papers too, but I  missed the part about how the Founding Fathers would be rolling over (with laughter, presumably) at the Gun Free School Zone Act.  The Second Amendment postdates the Federalist Papers by 15 years or so, anyway, and (correct me if I am wrong) but the GFSZA does not prevent state militias (i.e., the National Guard) from training or carrying out military operations near schools.

  • mevansnh
  • mevansnh

    The Real Rationale for the 2nd Amendment, That Right-Wingers Are Totally Ignorant About

    http://www.alternet.org/commen

    • BradleyJardis

      … because I believe all rights can belong only to the individual.  The concept of “group rights” just doesn’t make sense to me.

      The five liberties protected by the 1st Amendment are  for the individual.  The liberties protected by the 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, etc, etc, are for the individual as well.

      Heller said that article is wrong, too.  Of course with the SCOTUS being a political organization, if President Obama  gets to appoint new justices, Heller could disappear tomorrow.

      • mevansnh

        “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

        I don’t see the word “person” in the amendment.  I see the word people..plural.  Makes perfect sense to me.  The idea was that the people had the right to keep and bear arms as part of a militia to protect the security of a free state.  

        • TimothyHorrigan

          Even in this forum I will reamed out for saying this, but we are a republic. That means “the people” are essentially the same thing as the government: the people choose their leaders, and those leaders’s job is to protect the people’s rights and safety.  This amendment means that our government has to have some sort of armed defense forces.

          • mevansnh

            We The People are the government.  

            • Lucy Edwards

              on Daily Kos this morning: would those who say they need all these guns to protect themselves from “the government” fire those weapons at their fellow citizens who were serving in the military?

        • kestrel9000

          means the same thing in the Second Amendment as it does in the Fourth.  

  • tchair

     “They get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”

    The 2nd amendment was crafted when the were NO Repeating fire arms. Now 100 rounds a minute is possible….
    BUT WHAT OF THE FUTURE…
    A WALLET SIZED WEAPON THAT WILL BURN A 1/4 INCH HOLE IN ANYTHING UP TO A MILE????

    WHEN DO WE DEFINE WHAT “ARMS” ARE AND WHO SHOULD HAVE THEM ?
    IF NOT NOW…WHEN?
    HOW LARGE A BODY COUNT WILL BE REQUIRED BEFORE WE ACT ?

    • BobRobertson

      The first amendment was crafted when there were no repeating presses, no radio, no bull-horns.

      If people want to have freedom of speech, then they should stand on a soap-box the way the Founders intended.

      • tchair

        There are limits on speech yet some think there should be no limits on arms. We have the most arms and the most gun death….SEE ANY PROBLEM HERE?

        • BobRobertson

          Well, no, the UN ranks the US only at the 52% mark in “gun death”, there are countries with total gun control, such as Mexico, with far more “gun death”.

          Who said there should be no limits on arms?

          Just use exactly the same limits as is on cars: Liability.

      • xteeth

        It remains true that they can’t get a broadcast license in Canada because of the lies that they sprinkle in their news programs.

    • kestrel9000

      See US vs Miller, SCOTUS 1939 which upheld the National firearms Act.  

      • BobRobertson

        One of my favorite SCOTUS cases.

        1) The decision the SC made was that any weapon used by in time of war is A-OK and specifically covered under the 2nd. That means any machine gun, cannon, tank, grenade, warship, etc etc etc. It also explicitly covers a “short-barrel shotgun” which is what Miller had been caught with, because they were in fact used in WW1 in the trenches.

        2) The defense never showed up. The Miller case was remanded back to the Appellate courts for “fact finding”, and that fact-finding case was never held. Which means that the previous ruling by the Federal court in US vs Miller was never actually overturned: The 1934 NFA is therefore declared unconstitutional.

        Miller is a great lesson in selective history. Everything about it comes down on the side of the defense, yet it has simply been “declared” to support the 1934 NFA when it does no such thing.

        This is what happens when you actually READ THE CASE.

  • pberch

    it is ALWAYS useful to see what Justice Scalia, writing for the MAJORITY in Heller, actually wrote:

    “Like most rights, the right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited. From Blackstone through the 19th-century cases, commentators and courts routinely explained that the right was not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose…Although we do not undertake an exhaustive historical analysis today of the full scope of the Second Amendment, nothing in our opinion should be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms.26 [Footnote: We identify these presumptively lawful regulatory measures only as examples; our list does not purport to be exhaustive.]

    We also recognize another important limitation on the right to keep and carry arms. Miller said, as we have explained, that the sorts of weapons protected were those “in common use at the time.” 307 U. S., at 179. We think that limitation is fairly supported by the historical tradition of prohibiting the carrying of “dangerous and unusual weapons.””

    • BradleyJardis

      The decision was not nearly as powerful as some of us 2A supporters would have liked.  

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