The Republican National Convention this July could feature a new addition: Guns. The convention, set to take place in a few months at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, will decide the Republican Party’s choice for President, and if one group has its way, the delegates, alternate delegates, credentialed media and others will also be packing some open carry heat.
According to CNN on March 27, a Change.org petition claims that Cleveland is a not only a violent city but that the Republican convention also could be a threat for terrorists. The petition cites the fact that all three candidates, Donald Trump, Ted Cruz and Ohio governor John Kasich, have voiced opposition to gun-free zones to some degree.
The petition, read here in its entirety, has just over 31K signatures as of the writing of this article. The petition was authored by “NA,” and will be delivered to the three candidates, Quicken Loans Arena, the National Rifle Association and Reince Priebus, the chairman of the Republican National Committee.
In part, the petition says:
“Though Ohio is an open carry state, which allows for the open carry of guns, the hosting venue—the Quicken Loans Arena—strictly forbids the carry of firearms on their premises… This is a direct affront to the Second Amendment and puts all attendees at risk.”
After linking a Forbes article that ranks Cleveland as a top-ten city in the US for violence, the petition says:
“By forcing attendees to leave their firearms at home, the RNC and Quicken Loans Arena are putting tens of thousands of people at risk both inside and outside of the convention site. This doesn’t even begin to factor in the possibility of an ISIS terrorist attack on the arena during the convention. Without the right to protect themselves, those at the Quicken Loans Arena will be sitting ducks, utterly helpless against evil-doers, criminals or others who wish to threaten the American way of life.”
The petition calls on Ohio governor and GOP hopeful John Kasich to use his executive authority to override Ohio’s “gun-free zone” laws, and asks Chairman Priebus to explain why a “gun-free” venue was chosen, and to relocate the convention if open carry is not allowed.
The “NA” author of the petition appears to have deleted his or her online profile, but USA Today suggests the petition is being backed by the Americans for Responsible Open Carry.
“The Ohio Republican Party said it was not aware of the petition, nor was the host committee overseeing the convention, although it noted that the Secret Service, in conjunction with Cleveland, Cuyahoga County and state and federal authorities, is handling security for the event,” notes USA Today.
Your thoughts below. Armed, gun toting attendees at the Republican National Convention: A good idea?