March 28, 2016
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(ANTIMEDIA) United States — A petition to allow firearms at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland currently has over 43,000 supporters — and people are signing at an exponential rate.
Started by Citizens for Responsible Open Carry last Monday, the Change.org petition continues to gain in popularity. Between Monday and Wednesday, just 630 people had signed, according to Ohio.com. By 6 pm Thursday, the number more than doubled to over 5,300. Then, just 24 hours later, the petition’s support nearly tripled — to 15,077. By Saturday, another 28,000 people had signed the petition. After mainstream media picked up the story, the number quickly surpassed 40,000.
Though Ohio is an open carry state — meaning law-abiding gun owners are permitted to carry their weapons in plain sight — Quicken Loans Arena, which is hosting the RNC from July 18-21, strictly forbids firearms on its property.
According to the petition — which will be delivered to Quicken Loans Arena, the National Rifle Association, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, the Republican National Committee, Reince Priebus, Donald Trump, and Sen. Ted Cruz — there are “five points of action” for consideration:
1. A “suspension” of the arena’s policy prohibiting firearms.
2. A condemnation from the NRA for the “egregious affront” to Second Amendment rights.
3. A plea for Kasich to employ “executive authority” to override Ohio’s “gun-free zone loophole.”
4. A demand for explanation from Priebus and the RNC on the choice of Quicken Loans Arena in light of its policy and a demand for a “contingency” plan should the venue not suspend its policy and “honor the constitutional rights of RNC guests.”
5. An appeal to all Republican presidential candidates to “insist upon a suspension” of Quicken Loans Arena’s policy “to ensure the safety of [their] supporters, delegates, and all attendees at the convention.”
Such vibrato over the right to openly carry weapons in a state that broadly allows it by law would, perhaps, not seem unreasonable if a number of ‘ordinary’ circumstances were in place. But, as anyone not emerging from decades-long slumber understands, the present political atmosphere in the United States could best be described as anything but ordinary.
Trump and Cruz appear to be competing of late for the title of Most Vitriol Spewed — and supporters of every political stripe lap it up. Trump’s divisive and often vacuous, though impassioned rhetoric has translated to mounting violent outbursts against protesters and the press attending his rallies. Cruz, glomming onto Trump’s wildly effective xenophobic spiel, recently asserted the need for police to ‘go into’ predominantly Muslim neighborhoods to ‘look for potential terrorists.’
Such hyperbole, coupled with the prior violence already having occurred at rallies, led the City of Cleveland to seek 2,000 sets of riot gear and request some 3,800 additional police to patrol the RNC. Even Trump, himself, asserted there would “be riots” should he be denied the Republican nomination.
Whatever your position on the Second Amendment and guns, the fact they are prohibited at the RNC likely concerns the potential liability of the venue and Republican Party organizers more than anything else. Though, after one Trump supporter blindsided a protester in the process of leaving a rally, it’s arguably better not to add firearms to the already volatile mix.
This article (Someone Started a Petition to Allow Guns at the Republican National Convention and It’s Going Viral) is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Claire Bernish and theAntiMedia.org. Anti-Media Radio airs weeknights at 11pm Eastern/8pm Pacific. Image credit: Lucio Eastman. If you spot a typo, email email@example.com.