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article imageOp-Ed: Loaded Guns at the President's Townhall?

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By Sitafa Harden     Aug 12, 2009 in Politics
President Obama's town hall meeting in Portsmouth, New Hampshire was attended by groups of outraged citizens protesting his health care reform plan. Some brought along loaded guns.
This is highly unacceptable and it is imperative that we have a zero tolerance policy concerning President Obama's safety.
These are not simply rowdy debates. Many opponents of health care reform continue to respond with threats of harm to the President and other Democratic members of Congress.
It is a small step from these types demonstrations to actual acts of violence.
While there is no justification for this type of behavior, Newsweek's Holly Bailey and Katie Connoly noted some of the underlying causes of the intense rage displayed at these town halls in their blog.
They wrote:
Some of the most vehement opponents of reform in these town-hall meetings are prosecuting a larger debate about cultural values and the role of government...health-care reform is emblematic of a shift in the social fabric─a shift they are enormously uncomfortable with.
Indeed, we have experienced many major social shifts in this country in a relatively short amount time. The election of the nation's first African American president has rekindled issues of equality for all minorities in our society. Meanwhile, the prolonged economic downturn is rapidly blurring once well-defined lines of class and wealth in America.
In the face of such monumental changes, some Americans seem to feel as if they are losing their way of life. And people who feel as if they are losing everything just want to win something.
Anti Socialized Medicine rally in Fort Collins  CO
Anti Socialized Medicine rally in Fort Collins, CO
David Owen
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They will take on any issue, regardless of the lack of credibility of their arguments. Instead of constructively contributing to town hall discussions, they will show up pushing, shoving, screaming, and wearing weapons as intimidation tactics.
The fear that these individuals harbor may be very real to them. Change, even positive change, can often be frightening. But their fear is terribly misguided.
Talk from disgruntled birthers and deathers about restoring this country back to the way it was in "the good ole days" is fruitless. It is basically focusing on an America that never really existed for everyone, a false utopia that only served some while systematically shutting out others.
It is time now to look ahead. We have an opportunity right now to create a better America, and President Obama's health care reform is just one example of the type of change we can create.
Let us not allow misguided mobs using fear and intimidation to rob us of this opportunity for positive change.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
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