By Dean Weingarten
Arizona – -(Ammoland.com)- At Liberty Hangout, an article has detailed a boorish, foolish, insensitive, and careless action by the Libertarian candidate for President, former New Mexico Governor, Gary Johnson.
The nomination was strongly contested by two other candidates, Austin Petersen and John McAfee. Austin Petersen came in second, John McAfee came in third. When Johnson won the nomination, Austin Peterson pledged his support, and he did so with a dramatic flourish. From libertyhangout.org:
As a token of good faith, Austin gave Johnson a replica of George Washington’s flintlock pistol, to let him know that he has Austin’s full support in the general election. Tearing up on the front stage of the convention floor, Austin said to Gary as he presented him with the pistol, “You have my sword, and you have my gun.”
In a video, Austin Petersen explains that the gun is a prized possession, and that he is giving it to Gary Johnson. The pistol is a flintlock replica of one of George Washington's guns. It thus has multiple symbolic meanings to Second Amendment supporters. It represents liberty, limited government, the Second Amendment, and the Constitution that George Washington helped to write.
It was a dramatic bit of political theater.
The Libertarian Presidential candidate, Johnson threw it in the trash. The pistol, as part of a matched pair of firing replicas, sells for about $2,500. Non-firing replicas go for about $86. It is not clear if the pistol was capable of firing or not.
Whichever version of the pistol was thrown in the trash, it shows a severe lack of judgement on the Johnson campaign. The discarding of the pistol was witnessed, the pistol was recovered, and returned to Austin Peterson. The Johnson campaign has been reported as offering $500 for its return. From theliberterianrepublic.com:
Update: Two sources close to Petersen’s campaign have verified that on May 30th 2016, a representative from Johnson’s campaign reached out to a group of Petersen volunteers to attempt to extend an offer of $500 in exchange for the discarded pistol. Johnson’s campaign has not offered an official comment on the matter.
Libertarians have traditionally been strong Second Amendment supporters. Gary Johnson risked alienating a large segment of potential voters, voters that Hilary Clinton disdains, and voters that Donald Trump has been vigorously courting.
My suspicion is that the pistol thrown in the trash was a non-firing replica. If you look at the metal work on the grip, it is not inletted with precision. The back of the trigger shows an apparent mold line. Even Gary Johnson, who does not own any guns, would not be irresponsible enough to throw out a thousand dollar work of firearms art.
But Johnson, in throwing out the pistol, shows a disregard for the realities of politics. The action when viewed in comparison to Trump and Clinton, makes Trump appear a genius and Clinton almost competent. Throwing a gift in the trash, so soon after it has been given, working replica or not, just shows bad bad judgement. You would think a former governor would know better.
©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
About Dean Weingarten;
Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of constitutional carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and recently retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.