Armed Protesters Thank Obama For Allowing Guns in Parks

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Two dozen gun enthusiasts, Oath Keepers, and vintage 1992 militia members brought their many weapons to two Virginia national parks on Monday to protest encroaching socialism, government tyranny and health care reform, among other things. (When I pulled into the parking lot, a man with a rifle strapped to his back asked me if I was carrying any “long arms,” which did have to be unloaded in the park.) Speakers bashed any number of government officials as they talked about the need to embrace guns and religion and “restore the Constitution.” But it wasn’t entirely clear why they really needed to worry too much about the gun part. After all, gun control laws are disappearing faster than trees in the rainforest. And the greatest irony of all? This rally would not have been possible during the Bush administration. That’s because it was Democrats who helped pass, and Obama who signed, a new law that went into effect in February allowing people to carry guns in national parks.

Those contradictions weren’t totally lost on the rally organizers. Tom Fernandez, a Florida real estate agent and founder of Alarm and Muster, speaking from Ft. Hunt Park, Va., said, “It was President Obama who signed the law that lets us open carry in this park today and we had the gall to take him up on it. That’s the only thing I’m going to thank our president for.”

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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