A man from Rogers, Minnesota…a small town in the Sixth Congressional District represented by Michele Bachmann…went through the trouble of strapping on his Glock .40 caliber handgun and dropping his Kel Tec 380 in his pocket before visiting the site of President Obama’s talk last Saturday in Minneapolis. His name is Josh Hendrickson and both handguns were loaded.
He went to the speech to stand outside and show off his cammo and his guns. The press took note and had a chat with him. Hendrickson told them, “I’m a pretty laid-back guy that loves his kids and his country.”
Hendrickson was released from jail about a month ago after serving for an assault charge. He had pepper-sprayed a customer at the Cub Foods (a grocery store) in Brooklyn Center. Hendrickson was a security guard at the Cub Foods.
(Until now, I did not know that Cub Foods had security guards.)
The story of Josh’s visit to the President’s talk, carrying two loaded handguns, can be read at the Star Tribune or elsewhere on the Internet.
Actually, Josh told reporters that it really wasn’t any trouble at all to bring his guns. He routinely grabs his car keys, his wallet, and his loaded pistol on the way out the door each day. That is, I would guess, because Josh is a gun nut.
In the meantime, Josh’s congressional representative…that crazy lady who French kissed George Bush and called for an investigation of all Democrats in Congress to check to make sure they agreed with her “American Views”…has been known to tell her constituents to come to the table “Armed and Dangerous.”
Well, apparently they do. I believe it is the case that signs on sticks are against the rules at rallies, protests, or public gatherings such as this one. No sticks allowed. A stick that carries a big sign on which you express your First Amendment rights is not okay. But guns, with which you First-Amendmently express your Second Amendment rights, are okay.
So, the problem as I see it is that our social rules and regulations are often pieced together in somewhat haphazard ways that make no sense. The rule about the sticks is typically a local ordinance, untested in any court. Since sticks are arms and the Second Amendment says “right to bear arms” not “right to bear arms but not sticks” then surely the stick laws would be struck down in a second if challenged. But still, the rules of our society are somewhat haphazard not so much in the logic but in the means by which the rules arise. Collectively what appears to be an illogical mix (sticks no, guns yes) is only illogical because it’s a work in progress (one might even say “half baked”).Given enough time, municipal laws, state or provincial laws, federal or national laws and international laws would all make more sense as a whole because, after all, we one species and we share one planet. How much zany variation (sticks no, guns yes) is required?
But the laws are haphazard, and this confuses the duller individuals such as Josh. The idea that it is okay to visit a speech given by the president of the United States with the gun you normally carry, and in this case with an extra gun thrown in to boot, is absurd. At this moment in our legal and social history, it happens that Josh can get away with it. But that does not make it right. This sort of aggressive and obnoxious behavior is very negative, potentially dangerous, and is only allowed by the quirkiness of our system. The fact that the vast majority of gun-owning Obama-haters kept their guns home while Josh brought his guns is primarily because Josh is confused.
Again, that confusion is understandable. Quite often, people don’t find a sense of direction or guidance from our zany system of rules. Since it is illegal to bring a stick to the rally, but it is legal to pack two loaded handguns, it would be hard for a guy like Josh, who I’m thinking is not the most lucid lure in the tackle box, to know what to do and what not to do and when. Josh needs our help. He needs some social cues. He needs, in fact, to gain a sense of ostracization for his asshatery.
I’d like to let him know what’s going on in other people’s minds when he straps on his Glock and goes to visit the president of the United States.
Josh, most Minnesotans do not think it is appropriate to walk around with a loaded gun unless you are a cop or if you are out hunting. This includes every single gun owner I know in Minnesota whom I’ve asked over the years, and this is a considerable number. Even people I know who collect guns and have large numbers of them or who hunt all the time do not drop the Glock into the pocket on the way out the door. Then again, most of these people…those I know who have guns…did not and would not vote for Michele Bachmann. And they all think Joe Wilson is a jerk. I’m willing to bet, Josh Hendrickson, that you do not think Joe Wilson is a jerk, and that you are a big fan of Bachmann’s. Together, all that makes you a jerk, Josh.
Why am I telling you this, Josh? I’m using my First Amendment rights here. I have strong feelings about a certain issue and I want to make my opinion heard loud and clear. I am exercising my constitutional rights. I certainly hope that you do not have a problem with that.
Josh, I think you are an asshole. I’m in Rogers now and then. When I’m in town, please stay away from me, and under no circumstances are you to approach any member of my family. If we stop at the Antique Mall, or grab a bite at BoBo’s, I expect you to clear the hell out and stay away. For all I know, you are a heavy drinker and a crack head and a psychopath. I don’t trust that the government is any good at keeping guns out of the hands of people who should not have them. Given your known record of violence, I think it is wise to not trust you, Josh. Since I don’t trust you, I don’t want you living in the same society I live in, and if I had my choice, I’d drive you to the edge of the Good Ol’ USA and drop you off at the border. If I knew where you worked, I wouldn’t patronize that place. If I knew what school your kids went to, I would contact that principal and ask them to search you when you showed up at the school for events or to pick up your kids. And if I worked for the Secret Service, I’d be on your ass like ugly on an ape.
I say all these things as though I’m guessing them, but who knows? Maybe someone like me, someone who finds you and your actions to be terribly offensive, is your next door neighbor, or your employer, or the barkeep at the Champps down in Maple Grove. You know those people know who are not saying this stuff to you? They’re just avoiding the issue. Almost everybody you know thinks you are a shithead, Josh. And that’s probably always going to be the case.
And you know what? Most Minnesotans feel roughly like I do. In fact, the legislative sponsor of our Minnesota conceal and carry law did not have nice things to say about you.
I shouldn’t really worry, though. Now that you actually have shown up at a Presidential speech armed with two handguns, and showed off, YOUR ass is on THE list. Forever. For the rest of your life, information about where you live and where you ever have lived, where you work and where you ever have worked, your history of security guard jobs, of pepper spray use, your police record, is all linked into a file and is now the responsibility of some Secret Service agent who really has better things to do than to follow you around on paper until you die. You are wasting taxpayer money, you shithead.
Have a nice life being watched by the Secret Service.
Enjoy the following two videos. In the first, we get a look at Josh himself. In the second, we get a somewhat broader overview of the problem we are seeing today of which Josh is only a tiny, ant-like part.
This entry was posted on Wednesday, September 16th, 2009 at 5:32 am and is filed under Greg Laden, Politics. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.