A couple of days ago I posted that the Secret
Squirrels Service isn’t going to allow heaters into the hall where Johnny “Col. Tigh” McCain is speaking on Friday’s Leadership Forum at the Annual Meetings.
There were some pissed off people in the comments, and I also got some nasty emails that were directed at NRA, Sen. McCain, and the Secret Service all with varying degrees of vitriol. I actually really wanted to talk about this issue, because a lot of people have really got the the wrong idea about this and are angry about something they don’t really have a good reason to be angry about.
First off, this isn’t NRA’s fault. NRA can in no way dictate to the Secret Service how they (the Service) is going to run protection for Sen. McCain. Trust me on this one, when you’re dealing with the Secret Service on the issue of executive protection, it’s their way or the highway.
It’s also not really McCain’s fault either; the minute he agreed to accept Secret Service protection, he immediately ceased being the guy who made the final decisions about his safety and security.
I want you guys for just a second to look at this issue from the point of view of the protective detail that has to watch McCain’s shorts during this convention. If I was in their shoes, I would have made the exact same decision to screen people. And it wouldn’t be because I think some NRA member is going to take a shot at McCain, it would have been because if I didn’t screen everyone going into this thing, than I wouldn’t be doing my job.
Having been to events before involving presidents and candidates and such, I can say that attendees have been screened at every single one that I’ve seen in the past – to expect NRA members to not be screened is expecting special treatment. Even if every single NRA member that would be carrying to this event is a law-abiding citizen, the protective detail really can’t take that chance. Just because you or I or any of the other 60,000 NRA members in attendance wouldn’t do something stupid/illegal doesn’t mean that the Secret Service isn’t going to treat this like any other speaking engagement for a presidential candidate.
If you don’t like McCain, that’s fine. If you don’t like NRA, that’s your prerogative as well – but if you are going to hate on NRA or McCain, don’t get mad at them for something that’s completely out of control. It’s also kind of foolish to get mad at the Secret Service for doing their jobs.