Political Animal


January 11, 2013 2:40 PM Educators

By Ed Kilgore

This news item out of Portland from Raw Story is a true sign of the times (if not the End Times):

Two men walked the streets of Portland armed with assault weapons earlier this week because they said they wanted to “educate” residents, who reacted by fleeing and calling police.
Warren Drouin and Steven Boyce told KPTV that they were forced to take drastic measure to make sure people were aware of their Second Amendment rights after 20 children in Connecticut were massacred with same type of AR-15 rifles they were carrying.
“We’re not threatening anyone,” Drouin explained. “We don’t have that type of criminal behavior.”
“This happens to open that line of communication, to let people know that you can defend yourself in a time of crisis or any time that you want to,” Boyce added.

Oh, okay. No threatening anyone. Just scaring the crap out of them.

KPTV’s Kaitlyn Bolduc reported that the demonstration created a “state of panic” in Portland’s Sellwood neighborhood.
“Employees inside of E Hair Studio hid in the back of the salon and locked there doors, while other ran for help for fear the two were really there to cause harm,” Bolduc said.
Police spoke to Drouin and Boyce and said the conceal-carry permit holders had not broken any laws.

That’s a problem for me. Toting assault rifles around in public may not literally “threaten” anyone with imminent death. But these civic-minded guys are explicitly “educating” people that they and everybody else is entitled to use them “in a time of crisis or anytime that you want to.” As I argued this morning, it’s the entirely subjective nature of the supposed right to use military weapons when you think you have to defend yourself (you know, from the kind of tyrannical, socialistic policies that a lot of people in Portland tend to vote for) that’s as scary as these dudes wandering the streets with their military shooting irons.


Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.


  • T2 on January 11, 2013 2:52 PM:

    this case highlights the folly of guys like LaPierre wanting everyone armed. Sooner, not later, someone is going to see a couple yahoos like these Portland guys walking down the street, go and get their deer rifle and kill them dead. Or be killed in a hail of automatic rifle fire that also happens to kill a couple babies in a stroller a block away.
    And LaPierre will then call for armored strollers with machine gun mounts.

  • Josef K on January 11, 2013 2:56 PM:

    This news item out of Portland from Raw Story is a true sign of the times (if not the End Times):

    This kind of stuff gets people like these "educators" killed by what they might term "friendly fire".

  • Ronald on January 11, 2013 3:01 PM:

    It won't be too long before we're reading stories of people getting shot out of fear for 'educational' displays like this.
    Fucking Oi. What stupidity.
    And if you happen to be a 'gun rights' advocate:
    Regulating firearms is far different than banning them. Get over it already.
    Constitutional rights are regulated and limited all the time. Get over it already.

  • Shane Taylor on January 11, 2013 3:08 PM:

    That is Hobbesian anarchy in the truest sense: being surrounded by a legion of George Zimmermans who suspect they, too, are living in someone else's gun sight.


    And it is no less inimical to liberty than tyranny.

  • George Mardikes on January 11, 2013 3:14 PM:

    More on the story is that it caused a lot of 911 calls and diversion of police from other duties.

  • boatboy_srq on January 11, 2013 3:15 PM:

    At what point will these nimrods understand that they're a risk to themselves and each other more than any other thing? Because rarely will anyone but a 2nd-Amendment-shouter be prepared to "take out" a gun-toting wingnut, and that gun-toting wingnut is more than likely to be just another 2nd-Amendment shouter...

  • Doug on January 11, 2013 3:27 PM:

    Except for the red brick building rather than a white/gray cement one, what's the difference between this picture and those coming out of the Middle East?

  • jjm on January 11, 2013 3:40 PM:

    All these aggressive gun guys are going have a very unintended effect: people are soon going to be very willing to get rid of the Second Amendment, or to replace with one that is more specific about the 'well regulated' part of it.

  • Bob on January 11, 2013 3:51 PM:

    "Desperate times." "Defend yourself." I want to live in a society in which I feel secure because we are civil to one another and have working social structures.. Not one in which general security depends on everyone packing. I guess this is unreasonable, isn't it??

  • Th on January 11, 2013 3:54 PM:

    jjm makes a good point.

    Also wondering if under "stand your ground" laws, you can shoot someone with a gun coming towards you on the street?

  • BoomerKid on January 11, 2013 3:58 PM:

    I know a couple of people with conceal-carry permits here in NC that would drop these two morons first, and ask questions later when they saw those assualt rifles.

  • Zorro on January 11, 2013 4:06 PM:

    I'm an NRA-recognised Sharpshooter, 1st bar (got that in HS). If I felt threatened by those morons from a distance, I think I'd be justified in taking them out under "stand your ground" laws. Whaddaya think?

    Bear in mind: I'm a pro-2nd Amendment liberal. But this is absurd.


  • tblack on January 11, 2013 4:07 PM:

    you don't have to even go into the stand your ground debate here. what would happen if, for the sake of argument these two morons had a medical emergency in the streets (heart attack, seizure of some kind, etc)- what would be the chain of custody for these weapons? some guy passed out on the sidewalk sporting an AK- no police on the scene- what next?

  • dr2chase on January 11, 2013 4:11 PM:

    Try some of that "educating people about rights" stuff while riding your bicycle (most states, it's a "vehicle", cyclists have pretty well-established rights to a lot more of the road than many people driving think they do, and a lot of it hangs on a constitutional right of free movement), see how far that gets you (*). This is all about intimidation. Like to see how these guys would respond to a carload of teenage boys yelling "WOO-HOO!" in their ear as they drove by.

    (*) Kindly do not go down the "cyclists run red lights" rathole. The rights exist, in the same way that we have free speech even though some people use it to commit fraud, libel, etc.

  • sick-n-effn-tired. on January 11, 2013 4:14 PM:

    They both must have very very small penis and a brain akin to a BB in a tin can

  • T2 on January 11, 2013 4:44 PM:

    Portland. I'd love to see these guys try their little stunt in downtown Detroit or the 3rd Ward in Houston, or Oakland. Or East LA.

  • T-Rex on January 11, 2013 4:46 PM:

    Back in the 60's, a group of militant Black Panthers marched through the Sacramento State House brandishing assault rifles in the air. The very loose gun regulations in California gave them a complete legal right to do so, and therefore no one could prevent them from doing it, let alone arrest them. Ronald Reagan signed a tough gun control law faster than you could say "Second amendment my arse." Let's hope these clowns provoke similar reactions, although since they're white, I'm afraid the chances are slim.

  • Wholly Disgusted on January 11, 2013 5:18 PM:

    Why isn't concealed just that, concealed. And what kind of holster does one buy to conceal a rifle. A concealed license should mean a concealed weapon, period.

    This really is just selfish copy cat idiocy. They did little more than tacitly say: Dead kids or not, we want our guns.

    The only difference between these two and George Zimmerman, Trayvon Martin's killer, is intent. How are the citizens around these gun-carying fools supposed to determine their intent?

  • jefft452 on January 11, 2013 6:50 PM:

    T-Rex on January 11, 2013 4:46 PM
    “…although since they're white, I'm afraid the chances are slim”

    Chances are better than you think,
    In the 60’s the Panthers scared white people, so something had to be done

    The thing is, those white guys “educating” about 2nd amendment rights, and causing all those 911 calls,

    Well, those 911 calls were coming from scared white people

  • Ol Froth on January 11, 2013 7:13 PM:

    Can the stores that lost business because their customers fled in fear file a civil suit against these morons?

  • Anonymous on January 11, 2013 8:16 PM:

    I just read the articles up at oregonlive.com (The Oregonian's website). I live in a neighboring city to Portland. First of all I'm shocked at most of the pro-gun comments at the website. I suppose some are posting just for shock value. But disturbing, especially considering the recent mall shooting in the area.

    But what about this: if these guys want to "educate" their right to guns, why not hold up signs on a corner like anyone else that is protesting/promoting or whatever? No, they have to be "manly" or shock people. But scaring the bejebbers out of the general public isn't helping their "education" program. A day care in the area locked down, businesses on the street where these knuckleheads showed up either shut down or had a serious decline in business. Why shouldn't these business owners be reimbursed for lost income by these two? In fact, I'd love to see these idiots sued or at least dragged into small claims court. Would be a good "education" for them!

  • Anonymous on January 11, 2013 8:20 PM:

    Ol Froth: I see we have the same idea.

    TRex: This may spur some action. Our governor is a liberal Democrat who used to be an ER physician. Our state house and Senate are run by Democratic majorities. But we'll see if action is taken.

  • Oregonian (was Anonymous above) on January 11, 2013 8:29 PM:

    Speaking of Governor Kitzhaber, article:

    [Oregon] Gov. John Kitzhaber says he won't lead the charge on tougher gun control laws in Oregon, but he expects the Legislature to take up the issue and will support what he considers to be reasonable changes... he's a "big supporter of the Second Amendment" and owns a bolt-action .22 hunting rifle that belonged to his grandfather [he uses it for target practice only]... he has no objections to laws aimed at restricting the kinds of weapons and ammunition used in the shootings at the Clackamas Town Center mall and the Connecticut elementary school..."I don't know why anyone would need an assault rifle in this day and age," Kitzhaber said. "I don't know why anyone would resist a ban on guns in schools." Kitzhaber has assigned members of his staff to look into not just increased firearm restrictions but also the mental health issues that go along with mass shootings. He said he does not plan to introduce any gun or mental health legislation himself, but won't stand in the way. "I believe the Legislature should take action, and everything should be on the table."

  • Sixes on January 11, 2013 8:43 PM:

    "Portland. I'd love to see these guys try their little stunt in downtown Detroit or the 3rd Ward in Houston, or Oakland. Or East LA."

    There's a reason those chickens**ts picked that neighborhood in Portland. While they'd be taking their chances anywhere in Oregon (an awful lot of us liberals own guns around here), they picked a quiet village-like neighborhood in a VERY liberal part of town where the odds on their personal safety were pretty good.

    They may have been ok legally, but they were stupid, selfish, thoughtless COWARDS.

  • beb on January 11, 2013 9:32 PM:

    "And armed society is a polite society," declared Robert Heinlein but I've always wondered how my holding a gun makes me any more polite than if I weren't. And obviously seeing other people holding guns doesn't make us more polite, it makes us scared.

  • Richard W. Crews on January 11, 2013 9:40 PM:

    I agree with sick-effin-tired (above), but IF Imsaw them in my neighborhood I would get on their cases for their small penises. We had some jerks do "open carry" (unloaded) in SoCal. I made up my mind that I would loudly heckle anyone doing this about their small weiners. Loudly. And they aren't going to shoot me. And if they put down their gun and came at me. I'd for sure let them hit me first. "Madman with guns attacks customer" oughtta' do ng. And a big something to them - since violent crimes can cause you to lose your permit. So, let's just pile on the laughing and ridicule every time they show up.

  • BillB on January 12, 2013 2:50 AM:

    Well at least one of them said he was um , wait-for-it - home-schooled!
    Like many states, OR. is a very rural land mass with a small liberal area that out-votes them. Gov. Kitz knows full well that any anti-gun legislation is toxic to the swing district politicians here. His original term, years ago, was a nightmare of a right wing house passing right wing cr#p and him vetoing it all. He likes his new majority and won't rock the boat. Hmmm, sounds like obamster.

  • Lisa Deutsch Harrigan on January 12, 2013 4:23 AM:

    I say everyone who was inconvenienced by these Idiots should take them to court and sue the pants off of them. Even if you just max out on Small Claims Court, it is going to hurt.
    People had to close down their businesses and everyone suffered from the fear and anxiety.
    The Civilized way to deal with a Public Nuisance.

  • Litterbox on January 12, 2013 9:07 AM:

    Im a pro-gun moderate Liberal and this display was flat out stupid. First and foremost, there was no way to tell if the guns were loaded. Magazine present, bolt forward. Jesus Christ for the sake of other peoples concern, take the magazine out and have the bolt open. Secondly, hand out flyers or something rather than walking around with two rifles. And whats with the middle-east appearing head wrap one of the guys was wearing. I hate to pick on a stereotype, but the only thing missing from that picture was a tummy wrap of dynamite. Zero thought went into their little display or the effect it might have.