After armed citizens came to the statehouse in Lincoln, Nebraska, state senator Machaela Cavanaugh, who sponsored a gun control bill, claims the intent of the men were to intimidate her. In Kentucky, gun rights supporters with AR-15s showed up at the state capitol providing some rather dramatic photos. A 11 year old girl toted an AR-15 as she and her grandfather appeared to testify before the Idaho legislature. In several states, it is legal for citizens to bring firearms into the state capitol.
Anti-gun politicians, like Cavanaugh, claim the intent of these protesters are to intimidate politicians. "Remind" is a better word. Armed protests serve as a warning in good-faith that legislators should not make laws that abridge the right to keep and bear arms. Without authoritarian laws, lawmakers have nothing to fear.
The Second Amendment is about violent resistance to tyranny and the ability of ordinary Americans to kill tyrannical politicians, bureaucrats, and the soldiers and police the former would send to enforce dictatorial laws. I firmly believe that Americans have the right and should be allowed to peacefully remind politicians like Cavanaugh of that right.
Cavanaugh shouldn't be specifically afraid or intimidated absent any threats or overtly threatening behavior. Nevertheless, these politicians are afraid because of the very reminder that average citizens have the ultimate veto power. Many are cowardly hoplophobes to begin with, so it makes it doubly scary to them when armed citizens are willing to take risks like assemble with arms. It is unsurprising that Cavanaugh wants to deprive them of their guns.
There is a need to prevent whackjobs from assassinating people vs. the deeper respect for rights and that of keeping would-be tyrants on their toes. It's a hard line to draw and not one that I'll attempt here. However, people shooting up state capitols isn't something that happens. I argue that as the state capitol is the symbol of the entire state, if guns aren't allowed there, then what does that say about the rest of the state? I support dangerous, but responsible freedom.
Gov. Pete Ricketts said he supports "our folks who are going to take advantage of that with our right to open carry." Strategy is important. It may look cool and be fun to show up with a rifle, but voting in the right people is more important. The Black Panthers held aggressive open carry protests and stormed the California state capitol while armed. Not only did California ban firearms in the capitol after that, but banned loaded open carry, effectively disarming the state.
I would remind people that threatening violence is criminal and will be prosecuted as such. Jefferson advocated in the Declaration of Independence that man wait until conditions are insufferable before rebelling because the cost of rebellion is so terrible.
Anti-gun politicians have to remember that once they go too far, Americans will rebel. It will be ugly and devastating. People will die and lives will be uprooted. Showing up with a rifle at the statehouse is not something to be taken lightly, but ultimately it is our right and shouldn't be infringed upon.