Losing Our Minds Over Trump And Guns

Over at RedState, Neil Stevens wrote a diary on Friday entitled, “My Advice For Reporters And Protestors Visiting Donald Trump Events.”

My advice for reporters and protestors visiting Donald Trump events is simple: You have a right to keep and bear arms. Use it. If Trump’s brownshirts know their targets are armed, they’ll get less handsy, fast.

For those who want to carry a concealed weapon for personal protection, NRA offers classes on handgun safety, and NRA-ILA has detailed information on state gun laws, including which states have permit reciprocity agreements with other states.

Traveling to another state for an event? Here are TSA’s rules on transporting firearms.

And lastly, when attacked by a Trump goon, if you’re hesitating to defend yourself with your firearm, ask yourself whether it’s better to be tried by twelve, or carried by six.


At Gateway Pundit, Jim Hoft responded to Stevens with an article of his own, “HORROR! Conservative Website REDSTATE Calls on Far Left Protesters to BRING GUNS to Trump Rallies.”

RedState, a right of center website, formerly managed by Trump-basher Erick Erickson, is part of Townhall Media.
The website claims it has three goals:
1) Educate conservatives
2) Motivate conservatives to get involved in the political process
3) Activate conservatives through RedState’s support and tools

Today Redstate called on all far left protesters to BRING FIREARMS to Donald Trump rallies.

This is a new low for the Trump-hating ‘so-called’ Conservative media.

They can’t beat Trump at the ballot box so now they want his supporters shot dead.
It’s one thing to promote an opposing candidate.
It’s quite another to want him and his supporters dead.

I do hope the FBI is notified about this threat.

Below is a screengrab from Redstate website today.

Let’s cut through the hyperbole from both sides.

Stevens’s advice is ostensibly that of lawful armed self-defense, but he’s unfortunately forgotten the context of the situations being discussed, and context is always critical in matters of self-defense.

There has been violence at Trump rally from both Trump supporters and Trump opponents? Absolutely. But with rare exceptions, that violence has been petty posturing and simple assault, which does not justify the use of deadly force, anywhere.


While specifics in the language of the law vary from state to state, the general rule is that you cannot draw a gun on another human being unless there is an imminent risk of serious injury or deadly force. Someone throwing an elbow or a punch or kicks to the shins or spitting or strong words without the legitimate threat of serious injury or death does not justify the use of deadly force in response, ever.


And lastly, when attacked by a Trump goon, if you’re hesitating to defend yourself with your firearm, ask yourself whether it’s better to be tried by twelve, or carried by six.

…is also incredibly bad advice in the context of a crowded rally with thousands of people around purely from a practical perspective.

I just completed Defense Against Street Crimes at Gunsite Academy. A key focus of the class is engaging lethal force threats in crowded environments with innocent bystanders. It is incredibly easy to become target fixated on a perceived threat. You can develop tunnel vision and not see the innocents downrange of any shots you fire. In a crowded venue, any shots fired for any reason are statistically more likely to hit more innocent bystanders than legitimately bad people. Nothing in any of the Trump demonstrations from either side comes close to justifying the use of deadly force in the first place. Purely from a tactical perspective, carrying guns in such a crowded venue is a horrible idea.


Even if you have a legitimate lethal force threat, there is very significant possibility that a perfect shot will stop the bad guy… and penetrate completely through the bad guy to hit a complete innocent (or more than one) on the other side.

It’s also typically illegal to carry firearms in the venues where these rallies are held as a matter of venue policy, and the Secret Service tends to ban firearms near presidential candidates for obvious reasons. You cannot legally carry a gun to a rally for any candidate, and if the Secret Service catches you attempting to, Very Bad Things will happen to you, because the Secret Service tends to view people hiding weapons near Presidential candidates to be potential assassins, for obvious reasons.

Carrying a gun to a Presidential rally of any kind is monumentally stupid, almost certainly illegal in every conceivable venue, and a great way to find yourself staring down the barrel of a Secret Service agent’s gun.

As for Hoft’s post at Gateway Pundit, it’s equally moronic.

Stevens was not calling for Trump or his supporters to be killed. He was (unwisely) advocating for armed self-defense because—for reasons beyond the control of any one person—Trump’s rallies have become a magnet for violence.

Hoft also selectively quoted Stevensto obscure the fact that Stevens was talking about carrying firearms for self-defense, which is more than a little inflammatory and intellectually dishonest.


They call the run up to elections “silly season” because people become impassioned and irrational and sometimes lose themselves in the heat of the moment.

It’s exactly the wrong time and place to introduce firearms to the mix.

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