Can you bring a gun to a political event?
Apparently, political events in the US now have a "bring your own gun" policy, which seems a bit silly. Megan McArdle says "the hysteria about them has been even more ludicrous." Probably so. It seems to me that, if you're allowed by law to bring a gun to a public event, people eventually will bring guns to political events. Similarly, if you were allowed, by law, to come to these events in the nude, you'd probably see some shriveled willies. It might make some other people uncomfortable to see somebody with a glock strapped to their leg, but I don't see where just having a gun constitutes a threat. Cops have guns, which tends to make me uncomfortable, but they're allowed to keep them. So, I'm not keen on restricting yet another civil liberty.
Now, coming with a gun and a sign referring to Jefferson's line about watering the tree of liberty with the blood of tyrants? I'd imagine you'd spend the entire event in the secret service line of fire, but if that's your thing, hey, knock yourself out. That's the other thing- they have pretty good security at these events. So, if the asshat with the gun on his leg unholsters it, he's likely to do so in the last few seconds of his life. I'm not particularly worried about the open carry fan boys- it's the unlicensed-gun-under-the-coat guys you'd have to look out for. The statistics show that people who are licensed to carry guns are not generally the ones who kill people with them, although they will bore you to death if you ask them to talk about their shooting range experiences.
Should you bring a gun to a political event? Well, not if you're trying to convey some message, aside from "Hey, look at me! I'm an asshat". It's cruel and unfair, but many people are still uncomfortable with seeing guns at ostensibly peaceful public forums; the same is true of chainsaws, machetes, and flamethrowers. Let me put it this way- there are probably states where I'm allowed, by law, to attend a political rally with a bloodsoaked machete and a sign reading "It's not a bad time to kill our political leaders". But, were I to do so, with the intention of drawing attention to my larger point that taxation can be excessive, it would probably be drowned out by the louder message: I am a stupid asshat.
But, again, I'm not worried that the stupid asshat with the "blood of tyrants" poster is going to get a few shots off, or even try to. I'd be willing to bet money that none of the geeks showing off their guns at these rallies will try to use them. There have been a good number of assassinations in American history, but they were never done by people who came in telegraphing "Look at me! I've got a gun! Ask me about Ron Paul!"