Social Question

galileogirl's avatar

Why is the Secret Service allowing armed individuals get within 100 yards of any President?

Asked by galileogirl (12579 points ) August 20th, 2009

I know throughout the 20th century that whenever a president visited your town, the Secret Service would pull out their list of the local loonies who had made death threats against a president and hold them for those threats for the time the president was making his public appearance. Now these people seem to be seen as a joke. Believe me as one who lived through the assassinatins and assassination attempts of the 60’s, it’s no joke! And publicizing this behavior without consequences is making it worse. Shouldn’t we demand this be stopped? I understand all about the 1st and 2nd Amendments but both have logical exceptions.

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17 Answers

ragingloli's avatar

the SS probably wants him dead too. so they open up gaps for the assassins without being too obvious

janbb's avatar

I’ve wondered the same thing myself. Is this not an argument for more stringent gun control? WTF?

dpworkin's avatar

The Secret Service sets up whatever size perimeter that it believes is adequate for each occasion.

In the case of the recent examples, I can only say that which is legal is not necessarily that which is wise, and though these people are within their rights I feel they are profoundly irresponsible. (I am a gun owner and a strong supporter of the Second Amendment.)

ragingloli's avatar

years ago, assassins had to hide themselves several hundred metres away in buildings.
now they can bring their assault rifles and publicly display them and no one does anything.
(if the guy with the ar15 had shot obama with it, i’m sure the crowd would have cheered)

marinelife's avatar

GQ I have been wondering the same darn thing.

Edit: I found this statement. I think they are being a bit nonchalant. What if someone else grab’s the carrier’s gun even if the carrier has no violent intent? What about guns in any crowd at all?

“Secret Service spokesman Ed Donovan said armed demonstrators in open-carry states such as Arizona and New Hampshire have little impact on security plans for the president.

“In both cases, the subject was not entering our site or otherwise attempting to,” Donovan said. “They were in a designated public viewing area. The main thing to know is that they would not have been allowed inside with a weapon.” From the AP

dpworkin's avatar

The Secret Service is not about to allow an assassination, and saying that the organization wants Obama dead is a very serious charge, to be carefully thought over.

They can deepen the perimeter any time they wish. The president was not in range of these guns, and the local police were warned by the protest organizer that the armed people would be present.

I think we can agree that carrying weapons openly anywhere near the president stinks, without having to become hysterical about the danger.

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

All the gun nuts should pay attention to this.
They hate Obama because they are under the mistaken assumption that he wants to take away their guns but they’re being allowed to carry guns in front of Obama.
That means it’s STFU time for the NRA because the Pres is meeting them halfway.

Noel_S_Leitmotiv's avatar

Its more lame Obama PR crap.

dpworkin's avatar

Wait. @Noel. You are seriously suggesting that Obama has something to do with this? We know who organized both incidents. Pay attention. Up until this moment I imagined you to be a thoughtful Conservative. You have instilled a doubt.

Noel_S_Leitmotiv's avatar

Dont panic, its just a kneejerk theory.

dpworkin's avatar

Oh, well, then those do your credibility no good, and so far you are quite credible and a worthy opponent.

Noel_S_Leitmotiv's avatar

Thanks for that, though not everything i say is meant to be taken seriously.

patg7590's avatar

they are all ex-halliburton :]

cadavera_innumera's avatar

Coming from a first hand experience with the secret service, I’d have to say they are on point and I don’t worry about Obama’s safety whatsoever.
warning: wall of text below
While he was still campaigning back in October he visited my campus (Temple Uni, Philadelphia) and held a speech in the early morning. I, an opportunistic photographer, setup my tripod at the window of my 9th floor dormroom. Snapped a few shots and then stuck the camera outside of the window to a few more.
5 minutes later I get some aggressive knocks on my door, it’s 8am, eff that noise, too early for anyone I know. So I don’t answer. I get my gear ready and plan to walk across the street to the rally for more shots. Out my door, I look to the left, 3 fellas in black suits and sunglasses and a handful of philly cops knocking on doors… Hmm I scurry back inside and they come running and shouting Sir! Sir! We need to check your room, do you have an orange sticker on your window (ironically an Obama sticker). Yeah, that’s me. They storm in, search high and low, question me and my intent and demand me to take the tripod down.
I found out later from a run-in with one of the cops that in those 5 minutes they had printed out “keyhole” images of my room via sattelite and had gained access to my “secure” building. They knew what my room looked like before they ever entered.
flickr set of the ordeal

galileogirl's avatar

@Noel_S_Leitmotiv It was just McKinley pr crap, Roosevelt pr crap, Truman pr crap,Kennedy pr crap?, King pr crap, more Kennedy pr crap, Wallace pr crap, Ford pr crap, Reagan pr crap?

When someone attacks a leader, s/he is attacking the entire system. These actions are so ill-conceived, egocentric and illogical that it calls into doubt their ability to handle a weapon safely. An earlier answer was right when they noted that how would one of these guys safeguard a weapon. It only takes one Hinkley in the crowd to bring about a multiple murder. Even if the gun toter never meant to use it, people could be killed in an affray. What would be his response-“I didn’t think it would happen” or more realistically “I didn’t think” While people have the RIGHT to carry a gun, more importantly they have the RESPONSIBILITY to think about the consequences.

dpworkin's avatar

@galileogirl Poor @Noel_S_Leitmotiv already said he was joking. He didn’t really require a second tongue lashing, did he?

Zaku's avatar

@cadavera_innumera – Neat story, though of course the response wouldn’t have provided much protection if you had been an assassin.

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