Josh Marshall is asking a lot of questions about this scary new phenomenon. The gun carriers will tell you it's about exercising their 2nd amendment rights, but of course, that's also what they said when they were standing by the doors of southern polling places in the Jim Crow era.
Of course it's a threat!
What's most worrisome is that, once you get a dozen armed men standing in range of political opponents (or worse, let's face it, a dozen armed white men in range of the supporters of a black president), you're just waiting for that one provocateur -- that white supremacist, that Glenn Beck-listening paranoiac, that delusional psychotic off his meds -- to light the kindling.
What do you think would happen if you had a bunch of armed, angry men staring down a group of political opponents, a picketing and shouting match ensued, and then someone discharged a firearm?