On August 11, 2009, President Obama held a town hall meeting in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Outside of the meeting place there were many people exercising their First amendment rights by protesting. One man, William Kostric, not only exercised his First Amendment Right, he exercised his Second Amendment right as well. Mr. Kostric was openly carrying a pistol and he had a sign that read, “It's time to water the tree of Liberty.” The sign also had an image of the coiled timber rattlesnake, most commonly seen on the Gadsden flag. Mr. Kostric's sign was a reference to a quote made by Thomas Jefferson, “The tree of Liberty must be watered from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.”
Many who evidently do not believe in Freedom and Liberty tried to say that the sign was a veiled threat against the President. Many people, including John Gibson, that say they support the Second Amendment have said that Mr. Kostric was wrong for exercising his right. They say he should not have had a loaded firearm at a town hall, especially with the President in the area. If these people truly supported rights, they would know that rights aren't dependent on who may be around. Mr. Gibson even went so far as to say that “you shouldn't exercise your rights every minute of every day.” I guess Mr. Gibson would be okay with the police searching his house without a warrant if it was the right time of the day. That might be true, Mr. Gibson believes that warrant-less wire-taps of citizens under the Patriot Act did not harm the Fourth Amendment in any way. Since the Fourth Amendment is clear on warrant-less searches, I have to disagree with Mr. Gibson. It concerns me greatly when people say they support the Constitution yet their actions show this not to be true.
The people that criticize Mr. Kostric seem to be under the assumption that he was the only armed person at the town hall meeting and were also aware of Jefferson's quote as well as many other quotes from our founding fathers. New Hampshire is a free state whose motto is “Live Free or Die.” I can assure you there where many more people armed at that town hall meeting, above and beyond the Secret Service. The license plate on all New Hampshire vehicles display the state motto. I didn't hear a single suggestion that the drivers of these vehicles where threating the President. If someone were intent on harming the President, I seriously doubt that they would draw attention to themselves by openly carrying a firearm.
Chris “I have a tingle up my leg” Matthews verbally assaulted Mr. Kostric, trying to equate him to a Presidential assassin. He was one of the people that tried to say that Mr. Kostric's sign was a threat against the President. Obviously, Mr. Matthews must believe that President Obama is a Tyrant, otherwise, how would the sign be a threat against him? He said that he understood New Hampshire law and the Second Amendment. He also said that because of the history of Presidents being shot in America that you shouldn't bring a gun to a Presidential event. A right that shouldn't be exercised because of circumstance is no right at all. I could be wrong, but I don't recall Mr. Matthews having a problem with the Black Panthers having weapons outside of a polling place for “security.”
Some of Mr. Kostric's critics say that the Republican party should denounce such right-wing extremists. They say that the left will take this incident and use it as ammunition against them. However, why would a person that has harmed nobody, was not being violent, violated no laws, and did nothing but exercise rights granted by our creator and codified in the United States Constitution be considered a right-wing extremist and why would you want to denounce them? I guess if wining an election is the only goal and you don't believe in the Constitution, you might want to denounce an American citizen. The only violence at these town hall meetings has been perpetrated by the left via SEIU members. Conservative citizen, Kenneth Gladney was handing out Gadsden flags at a town hall meeting in St. Louis. He was not forcing the flags on anyone. Before he was beaten so badly that he had to go to the hospital, his attackers asked him, “What is a N...er like you handing out these flags?”
People have a right to say that Mr. Kostric was wrong. However, we should never buy into the notion that rights should only be exercised when someone else thinks it's okay. Stand up against these people. Let them know you won't let them infringe your rights just because they are too cowardly to exercise theirs. If they are afraid of a man with a firearm and a sign, there must be something fundamentally wrong with either their understanding of America or their thought process.