The 2016 Presidential election features Donald Trump as the presumptive Republican nominee, and more than likely Hillary Clinton as the Democrat nominee, if she can avoid a felony indictment. These are the two most unliked candidates since “unfavorability” ratings started being tracked. Intense voter dislike for both candidates would seem to have created a “perfect storm” for a viable third party candidacy, and it appeared that the Libertarian Party might finally be positioned to make some gains.
Then Gary Johnson happened.
The popular former Governor of New Mexico handily won the Libertarian Party nomination at their convention over the weekend with 49.51% of the vote, while rising star Austin Peterson came in a distant second with 21.30% of the vote.
According to libertarian site Liberty Hangout, Peterson publicly gave Johnson a flintlock pistol as a symbol of party unity. Johnson’s alleged response was revolting.
While Petersen and Gary often had testy moments with each other in the debates, Austin stood by his word by endorsing Johnson after he won the candidacy.
As a token of good faith, Austin gave Johnson a replica of George Washington’s flintlock pistol, to let him know that he has Austin’s full support in the general election. Tearing up on the front stage of the convention floor, Austin said to Gary as he presented him with the pistol, “You have my sword, and you have my gun.”
Hours later, a number of delegates were reporting on social media that Johnson was seen tossing Austin’s pistol in the garbage. A husband and wife witnessed Johnson throwing out the pistol and retrieved it from the garbage. The pistol has since been returned to Austin Petersen and remains in his possession.
Peterson’s gesture was symbolic of his desire for party unity in a party dedicated to liberty and smaller government. Johnson’s response* to that gesture was to allegedly walk a short distance and then throw the flintlock pistol in a nearby trash can.
Hillary Clinton has threatened to trash the Second Amendment, but so far, only Gary Johnson has gone so far as to literally throw firearms in the trash.
Do with that information what you will.
* Bearing Arms contacted the Johnson campaign before writing this post. It had not responded by the time we went to print.