CNN’s Rick Sanchez landed a lengthy interview yesterday with the man behind the man carrying a AR-15 rifle outside of the Phoenix Convention Center before President Barack Obama’s appearance Monday. Ernie Hancock – Valley radio talk show host, Ron Paul supporter and publisher of a libertarian news Web site — admitted he invited “Chris B.” to join those rallying outside the convention center with the rifle specifically to make a point about gun rights. This should have put an end to a bunch of silly talk about whether Obama somehow was in danger, even through “Chris B.” never was in visual range of the president. Instead, Hancock’s involvement is ratcheting up the conspiracy theories.
First, take a look at the Sanchez video:
Now, pop over to Talking Points Memo and you’ll get a good summary of what the liberal blogosphere is saying about Hancock and the gun incident.
Look, I’m not going to defend some of Hancock’s wilder theories about politics and news events. But I’ve known the man for at least six years. He used to be the producer on a local radio talk show I guest-hosted one day for three hours. Hancock is passionate about defending American liberties as outlined in the U.S. Constitution, and that includes the Second Amendment. He wants to engage the public in debating these issues, and finds unusual ways to do so. He’s not out to hurt anyone.
A reminder, “Chris B.” was acting well within Arizona law and never was stopped or questioned by law enforcement.
This is not the first time Hancock has tested public response to gun rights. In the past, Hancock has gone to government buildings carrying a gun to demand they comply with Arizona law which requires such places to provide a locker for securing weapons, or allow the person to keep the firearm at his side. Once Hancock had made his point, he has walked away, even when it’s clear the government agency is violating the law.
Hancock has gotten what he wanted from Monday’s ploy, even if a lot of the attention has been negative. Now, don’t we have better things to discuss, like the leaked episode of Mad Men?