A contested convention. Drunken conventioneers. Disgruntled delegates. Police with $50 million in new riot gear. Guns for everybody! What can possibly go wrong?
Americans for Responsible Open Carry opened a Change.org petition this week, asserting that the people attending the upcoming Republican Convention have a right to bring their guns.
The event is being held at Cleveland's Quicken Loans Arena, which has a strict "no guns" policy, but Ohio is an open carry state, so gun enthusiasts complain that their second amendment rights are being abridged.
The group sent a letter to Quicken Loans Arena, The National Rifle Association, Ohio Governor John Kasich, The Republican National Committee and its Chairman Reince Priebus, Donald Trump and Senator Ted Cruz, insisting they open up the venue to guns of all kinds. (Their petition includes a picture of an assault rifle.)
The push to bring guns to the convention comes during a time when the Republican Party is angrily divided; with the prospect of an open convention on the horizon and one candidate already warning there will be riots if he isn't the nominee - not his fault of course, he can't help it if his followers love him so much.
The petitioners claim they need their guns because Cleveland is such a dangerous place, and in case of an ISIS attack.
Add together Politics + Men away from home behaving badly + Free flowing alcohol + A hodgepodge of police borrowed from other locales + Cleveland police with a $50 million budget for riot gear like the stormtrooper-like armor in the photo on the right, and what can possibly go wrong?
Here's the open carry petition:
RECOGNIZE OUR CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT TO OPEN CARRY FIREARMS AT THE REPUBLICAN NATIONAL CONVENTION AT THE QUICKEN LOANS ARENA IN JULY 2016
SUMMARY: In July of 2016, the GOP will host its convention at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. 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.
According to the policy on their website, "firearms and other weapons of any kind are strictly forbidden on the premises of Quicken Loans Arena."
This is a direct affront to the Second Amendment and puts all attendees at risk. As the National Rifle Association has made clear, "gun-free zones" such as the Quicken Loans Arena are "the worst and most dangerous of all lies." The NRA, our leading defender of gun rights, has also correctly pointed out that "gun free zones... tell every insane killer in America... (the) safest place to inflict maximum mayhem with minimum risk." (March 4, 2016 and Dec. 21, 2012)
Cleveland, Ohio is consistently ranked as one of the top ten most dangerous cities in America. 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.
All three remaining Republican candidates have spoken out on the issue and are unified in their opposition to Barack HUSSEIN Obama's "gun-free zones."
Donald Trump said "I will get rid of gun-free zones on schools—you have—and on military bases on my first day. It gets signed my first day...you know what a gun-free zone is to a sicko? That's bait." (Jan. 8. 2016)
Ted Cruz has accurately pointed out "shooting after shooting after shooting happens in so called gun-free zones." He continued, "look, if you're a lunatic ain't nothing better then having a bunch of targets you know that are going to be unarmed." (Dec. 4, 2015)
And Ohio Governor John Kasich has been a leader in this movement to eliminate deadly "gun-free zones" starting with his brave decision to fight the Democrats and end "gun-free zones" at National Guard facilities in Ohio. (Dec. 18, 2015)
We are all too familiar with the mass carnage that can occur when citizens are denied their basic God-given rights to carry handguns or assault weapons in public. EVERY AMERICAN HAS THE RIGHT TO PROTECT AND DEFEND THEIR FAMILY. With this irresponsible and hypocritical act of selecting a "gun-free zone" for the convention, the RNC has placed its members, delegates, candidates and all US citizens in grave danger.
We must take a stand. We cannot allow the national nominating convention of the party of Lincoln and Reagan to be hijacked by weakness and political correctness. The policies of the Quicken Loans Arena do not supersede the rights given to us by our Creator in the U.S. Constitution.
THEREFORE, WE ARE CALLING TODAY FOR THE FOLLOWING FIVE POINTS OF ACTION:
1. From the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland: A suspension of their policy preventing the open carry of firearms on the premises of the arena from July 18-21, 2016 to coincide with the Republican National Convention.
2. From the National Rifle Association: An immediate condemnation of the egregious affront to the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution constituted by the "gun-free zone" loophole to the state law.
3. From Ohio Governor John Kasich: A concerted effort to use his executive authority to override the "gun-free zone" loophole being exploited by the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio.
4. From Reince Priebus and the Republican National Committee: An explanation of how a venue so unfriendly to Second Amendment rights was chosen for the Republican Convention. Further, we demand a contingency plan to relocate the convention to another location should the Quicken Loans Arena refuse to honor the constitutional rights of the RNC guests to open carry firearms during the convention.
5. From all Republican candidates for President: You have been brave in raising awareness about the immense dangers posed by "gun-free zones." In order to ensure the safety of your supporters, delegates and all attendees at the convention in July, you must call upon the RNC to rectify this affront to our Second Amendment freedoms and insist upon a suspension of the Quicken Loans Arena's unconstitutional "gun-free zone" loophole. Every American is endowed with a God-given Constitutional right to carry a gun wherever and whenever they please.
As of Easter morning, the petition had more than 31,000 signatures.
Photo is from Open Carry via Facebook