Conservative protesters are feeling threatened by pro-health insurance reform liberals who are coming to congressional and presidential town hall meetings with holstered video cameras strapped to their hips. So says an organizer of the anti-health insurance protesters who march outside the public forums.
“It sends the wrong message in our society,” said former Texas Congressman Dick Armey, now Executive Director of the Pinkies Up Tea Party Coalition, which describes itself as “a patriotic front.”
Armey is speaking out after his members contacted him about pro-reform counter-protesters carrying cameras in the open. One man came to a rally in Raleigh, North Carolina, with a Sony HDR-CX520V slung over his shoulder. The incidents make Armey’s fellow conservatives nervous.
“Cameras are so small now they can be easily concealed under a coat or in a bag,” said Armey. “Suppose a conservative is shouting down the public option. Tensions rise. Heated words are exchanged. Next thing you know, a liberal pulls out a camera and: bang. A patriotic Republican gets splattered all over the blogosphere,” he said.
Shirley A. Nutt of Westmost, North Carolina, says she is worried at the potential of running into camera-wielding Democrats at rallies, forums, and other chances to disrupt public discourse. “Takin’ my picture is the kind of threat of violence we’ve come to expect from anti-gun, anti-death penalty, anti-war liberals,” she declared.
“Besides, it steals little bits of my soul,” Nutt added.
Law enforcement officials in North Carolina say there are no laws against openly carrying video cameras in public. “Or concealed ones, for that matter,” said Sheriff Andrew Taylor of Mayberry. Taylor went on to say: “What I’m seeing a lot are people carrying concealed intellects.”
Worries over safety
A recent victim of a camera-wielding assailant.