Friday, February 22, 2008


This seems absolutely outrageous to me...
Secret Service Ordered End to Gun Checks at Obama Rally

NEW YORK The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported late Thursday that security details at Barack Obama's rally in Dallas (of all places) on Wednesday "stopped screening people for weapons at the front gates more than an hour before the Democratic presidential candidate took the stage at Reunion Arena.

"The order to put down the metal detectors and stop checking purses and laptop bags came as a surprise to several Dallas police officers who said they believed it was a lapse in security," reported the paper's Jack Douglas, Jr. More than 10 days remain until the Texas primary and a key vote for president.

"Dallas Deputy Police Chief T.W. Lawrence, head of the Police Department's homeland security and special operations divisions, said the order -- apparently made by the U.S. Secret Service -- was meant to speed up the long lines outside and fill the arena's vacant seats before Obama came on. '"Sure,' said Lawrence, when asked if he was concerned by the great number of people who had gotten into the building without being checked. But, he added, the turnout of more than 17,000 people seemed to be a 'friendly crowd.'"

The Secret Service did not return a call from the Star-Telegram seeking comment.

Are you fucking kidding me? And in Dallas for crissakes?!?

[via TPM's CAmpaign Wire]


Toast said...

Well, there's my jaw-dropping piece of news for the day. Thanks.

Chris Howard said...

I was wondering, what do you think has led to the lack of assassinations or attempts since 1981? Is it better security, fewer wackos?

I can imagine some redneck nut wanting to kill Obama, but if it happened, it would seem kind of unreal.

Mr Furious said...

Gun control laws have probably helped...I think the SS and law enforcement in general has probably raised their game a lot.

steves said...

"Gun control laws have probably helped."

Overall, they haven't. There have been numerous studies that have failed to show any connection between gun laws and a reduction in crime. As for assassinations, they weren't that common, so I doubt any law would help in that regard.

"I think the SS and law enforcement in general has probably raised their game a lot."

I think this is more likely. I attended a school security symposium a few months after Columbine and we discussed ways to identify students that were likely to commit mass killings. One of the participants was former FBI SAC and he said the Secret Service had developed the only protocols that were reliable in identifying potential threats and that they were very good at it.

I am certainly no expert on VIP protection, but if the Secret Service says gun checks aren't needed, then I will defer to them. OTOH, if this came from some appointee ("Brownie, you're doing a heckuva job"), then I am worried.

All Adither said...

That's truly frightening.

Mike said...

I'll come right out and say it: the first major BLACK candidate for President needs constant protection from the proportionally small (but in terms of raw numbers, large enough) number of people who want to blow his brains out.

The fact that I have to wait in line interminably to get on a plane or go into an arena makes this all the more outrageous.

Chris Howard said...

As for assassinations, they weren't that common

True, but actual firing on presidents and high-profile figures seemed to be easier. In this century, McKinley was killed, both Roosevelts were fired at, Truman was attacked at Blair House. Of course there were the 3 big ones in the 60's. Then Ford and Reagan were fired on at pretty close range. Wikipedia lists some post-Reagan attempts on Clinton, Bush and Bush, but nobody has gotten within close range with a gun since Hinckley.

I think you're probably right that it's better protection.

Anonymous said...

So...I was there for the rally and I was wondering if anyone would mention it. I was kinda pissed about it cause though 17,000 were in the crowd, another 13,000 were either turned away at the door or camped outside. Outta 30 thousand folks I'm sure there are a couple of lunatics...they didn't search at all...just let everyone roll in and it wasn't well-organized. People were just roaming and it made me nervous. Thanks for blogging this cause I felt like I was the only one makin a big deal about it.

Deb said...

What's that old cliche? If you can't beat 'em, let someone shoot 'em?