Is there a Second Amendment right to bring a loaded firearm to a place where the President of the United States is in your line of fire?
Apparently, the Secret Service enforces a weapons ban, and the area around a President protected by the Secret Service is considered Federal territory. But it’s hard to see how, if there’s a Constitutional right to carry weapons, that right can constitutionally be abrogated just because the President happens to be around.
The same, of course, applies to the Congress. Why should my exercise of my right to petition for redress by visiting my Congressman’s office be conditioned on my waiving my Second Amendment right to carry a gun, or for that matter a bomb? Let’s tear down those security gates, and encourage the Members and Senators to go armed so they can return fire when someone starts to unload his AK-47 from the Visitor’s Gallery.
Update A reader who is a gun-rights advocate has a reasonably persuasive answer:
The President isn’t in a gun-free zone; he’s in a zone where there are lots of people with guns, all of whom are loyal to him.
That’s the key point; most of us, most of the time, don’t get that as a possibility. So the rights line is a second-best, as most protected rights are. Since we can’t be assured that there will be people with guns who are on our side all the time, we get to carry a gun.