Gunman waits outside town hall meeting for Obama A 9mm pistol holstered clearly to his side, and holding a placard that references spilling the blood of patriots, this gunman is waiting for none other than Barack Obama. But instead of being wrestled to the ground by police and taken away to prison, William Kostnic is left untouched - because it is legally OK to carry a weapon in New Hampshire so long as it is not concealed. Kostnic was waiting for the U.S. president before a town hall meeting in the town of Portsmouth, New Hampshire yesterday. He stood in the grounds of a nearby church, which was private property, and police had no objections to his presence, MSNBC reported. Even American commentators were taken aback at the sight. 'Just to be clear,' a baffled MSBC anchor said to the reporter on the scene. 'You're saying a guy has a gun in the open - where we already know there are concerns about every president's safety, but certainly this president... and the guy's just being allowed to stay there? Is that right?' The reporter replied that the chief of police had told him that 'the law allows this man to be here'. The gun was registered to Kostnic, he said, was not concealed, and the man was standing on private property. The reporter did rush to add that authorities were 'well aware' of Kostnic's presence. It was unclear how far the church was from the Portsmouth High School, where Mr Obama was due to speak, or if Kostnic was still there by the time the president arrived. The MSNBC reporter descried the church as being 'at the top of the roadway that leads to the high school'. The placard Kostnic is carrying is a reference to a Thomas Jefferson quote: 'The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants.' The town hall meetings on Mr Obama's proposal to provide universal healthcare to those unable to afford private insurance in the U.S. have become increasingly violent over the past few weeks. And with Mr Obama reportedly receiving more death threats than any other American president - 400 per cent more than those against his predecessor George Bush, according to a new book - the idea that a man opposed to the president's policies on an issue that has already caused violence elsewhere would be allowed to carry a gun while standing in wait for him is, in short, baffling. 'In the President's Secret Service', a new book by Ronald Kessler, claims Mr Obama receives up to 30 death threats every day. Kessler claims the Secret Service is cutting corners in an effort to save money, leaving America's first black president particularly vulnerable. 'There's no question his life is in danger,' Kessler, a veteran investigative journalist, said in a recent television interview. 'Tomorrow, Obama could be assassinated... simply because the Secret Service was not doing what it used to do.' The Secret Service has denied his claims. The fierce row over American health care has becoming the defining issue of the summer in the U.S., and fast becoming the biggest domestic crisis facing Mr Obama. Emotions are running high, especially with myths spread by opponents to Mr Obama's policies, some even crossing the pond to attack Britain's NHS. Senior Republicans have scorned NHS waiting lists and the rationing of expensive treatments in a series of slick TV adverts. They have also attacked Britain's tax-funded system of healthcare for imposing a financial cap on the value of human life and allowing elderly people to die untreated, branding it 'evil' and Orwellian'. Meanwhile, with scuffles disturbing town hall meetings on the issue, representatives from the U.S. Congress have also received death threats over the proposed health care reforms. One lawmaker described enraged town hall protesters as 'a lynch mob'. 'It's a matter of time until someone is shot. And if it's Obama, the country is going to explode in violence,' wrote a commenter on the Washington Post's website yesterday At the town hall meeting in Portsmouth yesterday, Mr Obama 'wild misrepresentations' on his plans. He urged the crowd of 1,800, and those watching on national television, not to listen to those who seek to 'scare and mislead' on his plans. 'Where we do disagree, let's disagree over things that are real, not these wild misrepresentations that bear no resemblance to anything that's actually been proposed,' he said. 'Because the way politics works sometimes is that people who want to keep things the way they are will try to scare the heck out of folks, and they'll create boogeymen out there.' The boogeymen have prompted the White House to strike back. The president ticked off the highest-profile, most emotional issues that critics have used to greatest advantage to interrupt town hall meetings held by lawmakers home for the August congressional recess. For instance, Obama said the Democratic health care legislation would not create 'death panels' to deny care to frail seniors - or 'basically pull the plug on grandma because we decided that it's too expensive to let her live any more,' as the president put it. The provision he said had led to such talk would only pay doctors for counselling patients about end-of-life care if they want it, he contended. He also disputed accusations that he seeks a federally run system, or one in which the government makes decisions about care. The president also has plans to push his reforms online, where many analysts argue that he won the presidential election. Nevertheless, emboldened by the presidentâs sudden dip in the polls and outspoken in their support of free enterprise, Republicans are accusing the White House of trying to âsocialiseâ medicine with his âObamacareâ plan. Much more so than in Britain, this is seen as an anathema to the many Americans who oppose government intervention in their lives. Hillary Clintonâs attempt to change Americaâs private healthcare system was deemed one of the most embarrassing failures of her husbandâs two-term presidency. Now some analysts are suggesting Mr Obamaâs renewed focus on extending medical insurance coverage to the nearly 46 million Americans who are currently uninsured could suffer a similar fate. One senior Republican, Senator Jim DeMint, went so far as to label the issue Mr Obamaâs âWaterlooâ. The problem is that while many poorer Americans fall through the healthcare net, most receive health insurance that is at least partially paid for by their employers and a CNN poll carried out earlier this month suggested the majority of people are satisfied with the system as it is. The lightning rod issue of abortion is dominating many of the protests. Legislation under consideration by the US Congress would undo current policy which bans the use of federal funds to terminate pregnancies except in cases of rape, incest or when the motherâs health is in danger. Abortion and nationalization are traditionally two of the biggest bugbears in American politics. Both issues are guaranteed to arouse passionate responses in the nation's heartland which has been marginalised since George Bush was ushered from office. And the medical insurance companies are making sure that their voice is heard loud and clear. Seeking to influence the debate, healthcare companies have become the biggest spending lobbying force in Washington, with nearly $1million spent a day. Black U.S. Congressman has swastika daubed over Southern office sign after 'racist' debate A black U.S. Congressman had a swastika painted over his office sign after he yelled at allegedly racist protesters at a Southern town hall meeting, it emerged today. The 4ft wide Nazi symbol daubed over Representive David Scottâs name is now being investigated as a hate crime by the FBI. The Democrat, who has also received racist mail, discovered it at his headquarters in an Atlanta suburb yesterday. The incident happened a week after a rowdy debate in Douglasville, Georgia, that was supposed to be about plans for a new highway. But protesters hijacked the meeting, wanting to discuss Barack Obamaâs health care plans instead, and he yelled at them. David Scott Democrat Representative David Scott âNot one single one of you had the decency to call my office and set up for a meeting,â he told them. âOkay? Then do that. Do that. But donât come and take advantage of what these individuals have done. âYou want a meeting with me on health care, Iâll give it to you.â After the meeting Mr Scott said he was sent a poster of Mr Obama made to look like the Batman character The Joker with the racist N-word underneath. He said: âThereâs so much hatred out there for President Obama. âWe have got to make sure that the symbol of the swastika does not win, that the racial hatred thatâs bubbling up does not win this debate. âWe must not allow it to intimidate us.â An FBI spokesman said the bureau is investigating along with Capitol Police and the Smyrna Police Department. Mr Obama has launched plans to ensure the 47million Americans who do not have health insurance are covered.