This news item out of Portland from Raw Story is a true sign of the times (if not the End Times):

Two men walked the streets of Portland armed with assault weapons earlier this week because they said they wanted to “educate” residents, who reacted by fleeing and calling police.

Warren Drouin and Steven Boyce told KPTV that they were forced to take drastic measure to make sure people were aware of their Second Amendment rights after 20 children in Connecticut were massacred with same type of AR-15 rifles they were carrying.

“We’re not threatening anyone,” Drouin explained. “We don’t have that type of criminal behavior.”

“This happens to open that line of communication, to let people know that you can defend yourself in a time of crisis or any time that you want to,” Boyce added.

Oh, okay. No threatening anyone. Just scaring the crap out of them.

KPTV’s Kaitlyn Bolduc reported that the demonstration created a “state of panic” in Portland’s Sellwood neighborhood.

“Employees inside of E Hair Studio hid in the back of the salon and locked there doors, while other ran for help for fear the two were really there to cause harm,” Bolduc said.

Police spoke to Drouin and Boyce and said the conceal-carry permit holders had not broken any laws.

That’s a problem for me. Toting assault rifles around in public may not literally “threaten” anyone with imminent death. But these civic-minded guys are explicitly “educating” people that they and everybody else is entitled to use them “in a time of crisis or anytime that you want to.” As I argued this morning, it’s the entirely subjective nature of the supposed right to use military weapons when you think you have to defend yourself (you know, from the kind of tyrannical, socialistic policies that a lot of people in Portland tend to vote for) that’s as scary as these dudes wandering the streets with their military shooting irons.


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Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.