Am I the only one whose sphyncters tighten watching Obama 'Work the Crowd'?

I just keep worrying where the next Lee Havey Oswald, James Earl Ray, Squeeky Fromme, Sirhan Sirhan is lurking.

Get him inside the fucking bubble godamnit!

I’m sure Secret Service is more than capable. I’ll bet they’re being extra careful too. I’m not worried.

I know. I know. I can’t stand to see him up and exposed on platforms in front of millions. I keep thinking… long range rifle (I have no clue about guns, but I know public people get assassinated).

I hope the SecServ do know.
Tangential Topic: I wonder if Amy Carter has thought about contacting Obama’s girls to share what it was like for her to have a SecServ man with her in school? It’d be nice if she did that…

I must admit that while watching TV today and seeing Obama campaign in Columbus, I suddenly got a chill run up my spine, thinking “what if someone takes a shot at him?”

It was not a happy moment.

But we must trust the Secret Service to do their job, and recognize that we can’t eliminate all risks.

Not really. If it happens, it happens. I have no doubt that there have been multiple attempts made on every president, and that we’re only aware of the successes and some of the more notable close calls. I trust the Secret Service to do their jobs.

No, you aren’t alone.

I have mild anxieties about random shootings in the first place. I freak out anytime I’m watching Obama speak live. Even the presidential debates. I slightly avert my eyes… because I don’t want to see a man die.

I don’t know how likely it is, how realistic a fear it is, but I know I’m not alone. My Mom will probably vote McCain but she has a lot of respect for Obama and even she is freaking out about the possibility of his assassination.

I would have called her fears overblown one year ago, but I’ve been absolutely shocked by the racial ugliness during this election season. You never know.

Seriously, I have no idea how people get so worked up about these things. With no intention to disparage you, I just can’t visualize being actively concerned about it.

It might just be my nature, since tornadoes, thunderstorms, terrorist attacks, riots, assassinations, plane crashes, car crashes, or any other kind of unlikely (to affect me) and hard to predict event has never scared me. Harmless insects, on the other hand…

Vox Imperatoris

I recently started a thread about this. Yeah, I’m seriously worried. There are a lot of crazy people out there, and some of them have guns. And some of them are white supremacists.

I used to be a lot more worried than I am now.

Some recent articles about the Secret Service have alluded to the fact that they have some new technology helping them. (Sorry, but don’t have any links. I believe I read one article about a month or so ago on MSNBC.) If I am not mistaken, it was in an article about a new technology that has also allowed the “surge” in Iraq to work so well, but is still top secret.

Just a WAG, but it somehow lead me to believe they might have a way to detect weapons (only firearms?) from a great distance away and be able to isolate the person(s) and location(s) before they have a chance to use it.

Again, just my WAG, but I can imagine they wouldn’t be letting him stand up in front of hundreds of thousands of people, and work the crowd afterwards, if they didn’t think it would work.

Look at it this way:

A JFK-style long range assassination attempt is trivially defeated by a static analysis of the terrain. In short, make sure all of the high points with a line-of-sight are covered and it’s impossible for a nutball with a sniper rifle to do anything but die.

An RFK-style short range assassination attempt is more difficult to prevent outright but, for the same reasons, it’s nearly impossible to pull off. For the single (modern)* politician to be killed that way, two survived completed attempts with no serious ill effects (Ford and Reagan). It is god damned difficult to fatally injure someone at close range while multiple armed people are coordinating deadly efforts to defend that person.

*(JFK and after. The Secret Service learns progressively more from each successful assassination, it seems, and the modern force is a product of JFK and RFK being killed so close to each other.)

A bizarre assassination attempt is a real wild card. It might be a real fizzle or it might take out the whole damned rally. There is no point to worrying about this category of attacks because, to date, none of them have been successful or even come close. Hell, there was a guy who seriously planned to fly a commercial airliner into the White House to rid the world of Richard Nixon. Didn’t amount to shit. Someone who wanted to drive a car bomb into JFK got an attack of conscience when he noticed Kennedy’s wife and daughter.

The world is a crazy place. Don’t let it drive you crazy.

My sphincter doesn’t tighten. I don’t think Obama is a juicier target than any other high-profile person.

My sphincter is as relaxed as is advisable, but I do acknowledge that there are probably significantly more individuals out there that may be compelled to make an attempt.

I take comfort in my belief that the assumed motivations of the majority of these necessarily selects from the shallow end of the gene pool - and this assumption has been borne out by the crack-brained plots that have already come to light.

We’re getting about one of these threads per day now. If this keep up I think the Secret Service is going to put us all on their watch list.

and some of them aren’t.

He is inside the bubble. The Secret Service guards you can see are only about a third of the protection detail.

Having just watched the excellent Day of the Jackal, about a cleverly-planned but doable assassination attempt on Charles Degaulle, I get a bit nervous, too.

Well, let’s put it this way.

Every assassination or assassination attempt of the modern era has been carried out by a fucking lunatic. Oswald, Sirhan, Hinckley, Fromme, and so on–all fucking nuts. The spectre of highly trained snipers sitting around waiting for a suitcase full of cash to assassinate political figures is a fantasy. It doesn’t exist.

So the biggest advantage of the president’s security detail is that they’re dealing with idiots and losers. And why hasn’t this supposed army of white racists who are going to be gunning for Obama spent any time assassinating other annoying black people? Why are Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Louis Farrakhan and Flavor Flav still alive?

Not too worried. The SS have the nutjobs covered, and it seems that Obama is well received by most foreign nations which eliminates most pro-contracts.

I admit I had a brief, nightmarish vision of Obama getting up on the platform to make his presidential speech and immediately toppling over to the sound of a gunshot…

…but I trust the guys they’ve got down there. Secret Service has everyone they can possibly get working on this.

It sure was a long range shot as compared to RFK’s assassination, or Reagan’s attempted one, but the kill shot (3rd, as generally accepted by those whose haberdashery does not carry metallic foil material) which hit JFK’s noggin was only from 265 feet away, or 122 yards. The CLOSEST distance on the Marine Corps KD (Known Distance) Rifle Range (where Oswald trained in Marksmanship, but wasn’t very good) is 200 yards. Longest shots are from 500 yards, or four times that third shot distance. And that is with iron sights, not a scope. I was stunned at how short a shot it was when I visited the 6th Floor Museum. SS can and does do the terrain and sniper perch analysis for a static position appearance ahead of the event, but it gets monsterously more complex for a parade route or other lineal movement operation.