Armed Protesters Thank Obama For Allowing Guns in Parks

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Two dozen gun enthusiasts, Oath Keepers, and vintage 1992 militia members brought their many weapons to two Virginia national parks on Monday to protest encroaching socialism, government tyranny and health care reform, among other things. (When I pulled into the parking lot, a man with a rifle strapped to his back asked me if I was carrying any “long arms,” which did have to be unloaded in the park.) Speakers bashed any number of government officials as they talked about the need to embrace guns and religion and “restore the Constitution.” But it wasn’t entirely clear why they really needed to worry too much about the gun part. After all, gun control laws are disappearing faster than trees in the rainforest. And the greatest irony of all? This rally would not have been possible during the Bush administration. That’s because it was Democrats who helped pass, and Obama who signed, a new law that went into effect in February allowing people to carry guns in national parks.

Those contradictions weren’t totally lost on the rally organizers. Tom Fernandez, a Florida real estate agent and founder of Alarm and Muster, speaking from Ft. Hunt Park, Va., said, “It was President Obama who signed the law that lets us open carry in this park today and we had the gall to take him up on it. That’s the only thing I’m going to thank our president for.”

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Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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