An armed march on Washington? Let's not. Update: Kokesh an anti-war smear merchant?

Before we get started on this story, I would like to take a moment to point out that you’d be hard pressed to find any point where I’ve been anything but a staunch defender of the Second Amendment, as I would hope most regular readers know. I’ve taken flack for it from a lot of people this year, ranging from family members to folks in the media. But even approaching it from that sort of position, I’ve got to say that this is a really bad idea.

A march on Washington with loaded rifles

Libertarian activist and radio host Adam Kokesh is hoping to get 1,000 people to march on Washington on July 4 — armed with loaded rifles. The plan, launched with a Facebook group today, is to gather on the Virginia side of the Potomac, where gun laws are lax, and then march across the bridge with loaded rifles slung over their shoulders into the District, where openly carrying weapons is generally prohibited.

“This will be a non-violent event,” the Facebook group warns, “unless the government chooses to make it violent.” Already, over 200 people have said they’ll attend the march.

The plan is to march over the bridge, around the Capitol building, the Supreme Court and the White House, all with loaded rifles slung over their shoulders. Honestly, it’s difficult to imagine a worse idea, particularly in the midst of a heated debate with gun grabbers in the government. Kokesh describes this as an act of “civil disobedience” but it falls well short of that goal. If he wanted to promote an act of peacefully breaking the law to make a point, it would certainly be worthy of considering. For example, you could take a large number of people to block the entrance to the main office of the A.T.F and force the police to arrest and remove you. But this is something very different.

Showing up with a thousand (or even a few hundred) people openly carrying loaded weapons and marching toward the Capitol is not something that law enforcement is going to play around with, particularly when you announce it in advance. And they’re not going to allow the march to proceed “peacefully” either. Normally I’d write this off as a bad idea that wouldn’t gain widespread support, but the problem here is that it doesn’t need widespread support. It would really only take a few hundred really upset people to get it rolling. And even if most of them intend it to be peaceful, when the officials show up to arrest them, weapons drawn, you have the potential for disaster which Rick Moran foresees.

With the furor over gun rights and the government’s efforts at gun control, this march is likely to attract enough people to make it an extraordinarily dangerous event. Who knows what kooks will be marching? Most marchers will no doubt be level headed and sincere in their desire for a non-violent event. But it only takes one unbalanced person to cause a tragedy.

Sensible gun owners, along with the NRA, are making the point that the government needs to respect the rights of law abiding, responsible gun owners and spend their time chasing the actual criminals. There could be no better gift to hand to gun rights opponents than to have a bunch of people get arrested for breaking established (if really bad) gun laws or, worse, getting in a shootout with the cops. This is not the type of representation we need in this debate.

UPDATE: (Jazz) From the Boss Emeritus. Was this all a dodge?

[Kokesh] marched in uniform in mock patrols for the anti-war movement, paraded around holding an upside-down American flag (see Jonn Lilyea for more), was arrested for defacing signs, and traveled to Germany to urge soldiers to abandon their posts and seek aid and comfort with his anti-war minions.

Kokesh, believe it or not, is now running as a Republican candidate for Congress in New Mexico. And, believe it or not, he is getting positive exposure on at least one Fox News show. He has the backing of Ron Paul, the Republican Liberty Caucus, and the 9/12 Project.

The New Mexico Republican Party has its head in the sand. If you have friends and family in New Mexico, make sure they know who the real Adam Kokesh is.

He is an anti-war smear merchant in GOP clothing. Spread the word.

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