FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
In the Situation Room yesterday, we showed you video of a man in Phoenix, Arizona carrying an assault rifle to a protest outside President Obama's speech. Police say he was just one of about a dozen demonstrators carrying weapons.
A man is shown legally carrying a rifle at a protest against President Obama on Monday in Phoenix, Arizona.
In Arizona, anyone allowed to have a gun can carry it in public as long as it's visible. And the man - who had the semi-automatic rifle slung over his shoulder - said he was doing so because it's legal and he thinks others should do it more often. Just what we need… people wandering around with assault rifles slung over their shoulders at events where the President of the United States is present.
This is the second time in as many weeks that weapons have been seen near presidential events. In Portsmouth, New Hampshire last week, a protester had a gun strapped to his thigh.
Gun rights advocates say they're exercising their constitutional right to bear arms and protest - but critics say this is a disaster waiting to happen.
They insist people shouldn't be allowed to bring guns to an event where the president is - that it only distracts Secret Service and law enforcement who should be focused on protecting the president.
Secret Service has acknowledged the events in Arizona and New Hampshire... but says it's not aware of any others.
When asked if these individuals carrying weapons jeopardized the president's safety, they say "of course not," adding these people would have never gotten close enough to the president.
Here’s my question to you: Should people who are allowed to carry guns be permitted near the president?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
Al from Syracuse, New York writes:
On one hand, I love these guys. I'm no gun nut, but I absolutely love the "because I can" defense of a gesture. And I think it's a cool way to make a point. On the other hand, their point is pretty dumb. No one is trying to take away their guns. An Obama administration isn't going to be rolling back any second amendment rights and to think otherwise exposes these people as the nuts they really are.
Rich from McKinney, Texas writes:
Umm, Jack, the Secret Service isn't worried about it and neither should you be. You’re making a mountain out of a mole hill. It's the guns they can't see that worry them.
The presence of the president should not create a "Constitution-free" zone. It is legal to carry a weapon openly in Arizona. The presence of the president shouldn't restrict this, just like it shouldn't restrict our ability of free speech, freedom of assembly, etc. Restricting our rights is something I would have expected from the last administration, not this one.
Jay from Toronto writes:
What kind of collective insanity does your country suffer from? You have gun-totin' yahoos parading around the president, proclaiming their "constitutional rights" yet you can't bring so much as a pair of nail clippers on an airplane. There's some kind of disconnect going on.
Of course not. What a stupid thing to ask. I wonder what President Kennedy or Lincoln would have to say about this.
Ed from California writes:
Do you know what's scarier than that? These people are allowed to vote.
Gordon from New Jersey writes:
Jack, Anyone who feels the need to strut around in public showing off a gun obviously has inadequacy issues, and should not be allowed anywhere near the president. Can't the Secret Service just be empowered to disarm these nut jobs and send them home with an electronic ankle bracelet and dose of Viagra?