Mr. Frommer - shame on you for saying such because truth be told plenty of people have carried firearms outside of political rallies before but you have never opened your mouth or typed away on your keyboard about it before now have you; then again neither has the mud slinging media - has it! As a mater of fact - did you decide to boycott states in which the Black Panther Party is found. I seem to remember, unless I am mistaken, them showing up in force with openly exposed weapons outside of polling places during a recent presidential election where they seemingly (at least it seemed that way to many who reported on it) intimidated potential voters among others. Heck that could potentially threaten free elections couldn't it; but then they did support then Senator Obama in his run for the presidency so I suppose that made it okay in your eyes. As for Ronald Reagan, whom you brought into this debate, he was the first presidential candidate ever endorsed by the NRA. He likely would have welcomed such activity outside of his political events when carried out by law abiding citizens who were merely exercising their right to keep and bear arms, their right to free speech and their right to assembly.
Mr. Frommer - This is the United States of America - we do not live in a totalitarian regime such as that of Cuba, the former Soviet union, the former Taliban controlled Afghanistan, or North Korea. People within the United States of America, including the state of Arizona have rights, are guaranteed those rights by our Constitution, and are at liberty to legally exercise those rights. Have you forgotten that? The people who carried those firearms outside of the rally were simply exercising their rights as a way of making a political statement. They posed no threat to the life of the president. They were not extremists, they were regular citizens sir; yes regular citizens do carry firearms. I have carried a firearm at every political event I have ever attended but have never been a threat to anyone while doing so. Now you may think that a clever statement on my part because I am a federal agent and I have attended many political events in my official capacity but let me assure you I also carry when off duty and have done so at political events in the past.
Of course, you may also think yourself clever in making the blog post that you did in which you apparently implied those legally exercising their rights to be extremists. You seemingly also blatantly stated that others should consider avoiding travel to Arizona, then basically denied doing so:
I mean come on now Mr. Frommer what did it mean in the title of the post when you said:
"Then Consider Skipping Arizona For Now"?
Then in the post you said this:
"For myself, without yet suggesting that others follow me in an open boycott, I will not personally travel in a state where civilians carry loaded weapons onto the sidewalks and as a means of political protest. "
Wasn't that statement in the blog post title a suggestion for others to at least consider boycotting travel to Arizona - or did you mean they should do it covertly at first? Then again, maybe you meant they should hop, skip and jump through the state when you said they should "... consider skipping Arizona..."? It sure seems to me like it was meant to mean they should boycott travel to Arizona but of course you being more liberal minded than me could have a totally different interpretation of that statement - couldn't you?
By the way, you made a broad, and my bet is pretty hollow, statement there when you said:
"I will not personally travel in a state where civilians carry loaded weapons onto the sidewalks...".
So does this mean you will not travel in the great majority of states within the United States, or was that just a rash statement on your part? You see, almost every state within our Union allows citizens to carry firearms while they walk the sidewalks - some with more, some with less, restriction than others but almost all allow some form of open or concealed carry of firearms. In no state is a citizen, legally or otherwise, allowed to carry a firearm into a presidential rally whereby the president could be under threat - such is simply not allowed for by the United States Secret Service. By the way, the Secret Service was not concerned about a threat from these folks were they. Had they believed any of these armed citizens to have been credible threats they would have detained them for questioning - don't you think? It certainly is within their authority to do so, and they do so regularly with even unarmed citizens who are apparent threats to the well being of any of our presidents. So tell me, if these armed citizens were such extremists, if they posed such a terrible threat to the safety of the president, or even to attendees at the rally, then why did the Secret Service or the police not remove them from the scene. The truth be told is that there likely was no real threat and there were only some citizens exercising their rights and liberties - rights and liberties you quite frankly do not seem to like others to exercise.
I think you goofed with that blog post, and with the apparent suggestion that others avoid Arizona and states where citizens can carry firearms in public (as in on the sidewalks). I would be willing to bet on that. While you, and some leftists, avoid travel to the state of Arizona - and to other states wherein others like myself who enjoy our liberties and rights - citizens who exercise their rights and liberties will flock there in order to counteract any damage you may have tried to do. Likewise while your travel guide sales may increase among the leftists, I can assure you that I for one will never knowingly again add one penny to your coffers by purchasing anything you have written, edited, endorsed or published. I would urge others who value their rights and liberties to consider doing likewise, or to protest your views in any legal way, as a form of exercise of their freedom of speech but my guess is I do not need to do so. I figure that they will not require any prompting from me to do so because you have shot yourself in your foot on this one without any help from me.
Folks, if you are about to take a vacation or short getaway trip, I urge you to travel to Arizona. Travel there frequently if you can. Visit the Grand Canyon, see Sedona, fly into Flagstaff, visit the Saguaro National Forest, climb the mountians at the Chiricahua National Monument, go back in history at Tombstone, be amazed by the colors at the Painted Desert, go to the Petrified Forest, see Native American cliff dwellings, visit the Navajo Nation, go to the Buffalo Soldier Museum, enjoy all that Phoenix and Tucson have to offer, drive through the White Mountains - there is a lot to do in this wonderful state. Let the Arizona governor and state legislature know you are doing so despite Mr. Frommer's apparent suggestion to do otherwise. Let them know you travel to and enjoy Arizona because of its stance on the right to keep and bear arms and on its stance regarding freedom of speech. I was just there for 4 months, and would go there again tomorrow if I could. While I was there for work, I must point out that I decided to spend all of my free time there. I could have easily visited other nearby states such as New Mexico, Nevada, or California. While I considered both New Mexico and Nevada, travel by me to California for leisure was simply out of consideration by me due mostly to its extreme leftist stance on almost everything - especially gun rights.
All the best,