For one, there is absolutely zero chance that this protest will cost the tax payers a single dollar. Where as bringing a firearm openly into a heavily populated public area at least has a chance, and I'd suggest a good chance, of causing a cost to the tax payers as the cops are called to come on site to check the situation.
For two, rightly or wrongly there are going to be people who feel PHYSICALLY THREATENED by the protest being done with the guard. It's not really believable to suggest anyone felt physically threatened by a TV commerical.
For three, I'm going to guess that the protest involving the gun didn't last 30 seconds.
If you want to say it's stupid protesting similar to or like how you think the rifle protests were stupid...that's one thing. But to claim that they're the same? No, I don't buy that one bit