As of Monday, more than 40,000 people have signed a petition on Change.org to allow the open carry of firearms at the Republican National Convention in July, which will be held at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. The arena currently forbids firearms from its premises, despite—as the petition points out—the position of the Republican presidential candidates against so-called “gun free zones.”
“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,” stated the petition. “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.”
Some have pointed out that the language in the petition may identify it as a satire, and a blog called The Hyperationalist has taken credit for posting the petition. However, regardless of who initiated the petition and for what reason, gun owners have taken note and are responding. Likewise, a number of gun control advocates have also supported the petition, but only to openly mock the convention and Second Amendment supporters. Notably, the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence also shared the petition on its social media.
“This seems like a very good idea and nothing could possibly go wrong.” wrote one Twitter user responding to the petition.
GOP going open-carry at its convention will get my attention. They go open-carry/open-bar they’ll have my admiration. #doubledogdare
— David Simon (@AoDespair) March 28, 2016
— Wesley Chu (@wes_chu) March 26, 2016
If GOP candidates claim gun free zones are dangerous why dont they allow open carry at their rallies? Aren’t their supporters sitting ducks?
— Daniel Negreanu (@RealKidPoker) March 26, 2016
So far, only one of the Republican presidential candidates have commented on the matter. On Sunday, Donald Trump told ABC News that he was “a very, very strong person for [the] Second Amendment” and that he wanted to study the petition in greater detail. Trump did not specify on whether he supported or opposed the petition. Texas Senator Ted Cruz and Ohio Governor John Kasich, who were also mentioned in the petition, have yet to make a statement.
The Secret Service, in cooperation with local and state law enforcement, oversees security at the Republican National Convention.
What do you think about this?