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I dearly hope I'm not being unduly alarmist here, but given recent events, it's difficult for me to judge.  So let me just pass along the report from Talking Points Memo:

Based on the news that health care events are edging into violence, an anti-health care reform protester in New Mexico named Scott Oskay is calling on his hundreds of online followers to bring firearms to town halls, and to 'badly hurt' SEIU and ACORN counter protesters

Links and details follow below.

The TPM article in question is here.  It provides screen shots of Twitter traffic from "ScottEO" (apparently Scott Oskay) which read:

If ACORN/SEIU attends these meetings for disruptive purposes, and you have a license to carry...carry.

and

If ACORN/SEIU attends these townhalls for disruption, stop being peaceful and hurt them.  Badly #iamthemob

(TPM explains a bit about the #iamthemob tag, but I'd certainly welcome further explanation from anyone who grasps its significance.)

But the significance of a request to people to arm themselves, and to be ready
to use those weapons to inflict violence on others at these meetings, is unmistakable.  I very much hope his advice is disregarded, and equally hope that security staff at these meetings are highly vigilant.  I fear this won't end well.

Update 1:In the comments, the girl notes that TPM has updated their site; it looks like the current link to TPM's coverage is Anti-Health Care Reform Protester Encourages Physical Violence, Use Of Firearms.  There's also now a link to it from their home page.  Thanks!

Update 2:I've just woken up to find this message in my gmail inbox:

From: "jeff childress" childress@lycos.com
Subject: SEIU

The violence was started last night BY SEIU, here in St.Louis!! Punched a black
conservitive handing out 'Don't tread on me' flags, all on tape, so get your  
facts straight. The SEIU thugs will do you Dem's well. Keep stirring the pot.
Its fun to watch....  

What my new quasi-literate friend (shouldn't it be a requirement that to hold a political philosophy, you should at least be able to spell it?) is apparently referring to, based on 20 minutes of quick searching, is an alleged incident that is all over Fox "news" and similar propaganda sites but does not seem to be present on actual news sites, including the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.  Perhaps, if this actually happened, it'll turn up later today.

Of course, I don't espouse violence of any kind, but I think it's worth pointing out that even if this did happen -- and as yet I see no credible evidence that it did -- a punch is not the same as a bullet.  It's also worth pointing out that full responsibility for the escalation going on here rests with the Becks and Limbaughs of the world, and the pitifully gullible fools who follow them: these are the people who are trying to turn a discussion into a brawl.

Originally posted to RiderOnTheStorm on Fri Aug 07, 2009 at 12:49 PM PDT.

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