(Editor’s note: This article was a submission from freelance writer Jordan Michaels.)
The petition calling for open carry at the Republican National Convention has gained tens of thousands of signatures in the last several days. The most recent articles report over 35,000 signatures; as of 10:00am EST on Monday, that number is up to +42,000. That’s nearly 10,000 signatures in three hours, and the number is climbing every minute.
Anti-gunners, predictably, are using the petition’s popularity as an opportunity for insults and condescension. One petition commenter, Jeffrey Thomas from San Francisco, said, “I signed it because I believe in Natural Selection. I’ve got my popcorn ready to sit back and watch the fun.” Another, Larry Gassan from Los Angeles (notice a geographic pattern here?), said, “I think that a hastily-brokered convention with a floor-fight can be solved with lots of guns.” Brilliant, Larry.
The GOP convention is set to be held in July at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. The petition, published by Change.Org user Len Davies, calls Quicken Loans Arena’s gun-free zone “a direct affront to the Second Amendment and puts all attendees at risk.”
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump addressed the petition on ABC’s This Week, but hesitated to offer his support: “I have not seen the petition. I want to see what it says. I want to read the fine print.” Senators Ted Cruz and John Kasich—the two remaining GOP candidates—have yet to comment.
As the petition points out, Ohio is an open-carry state, but Quicken Loans Arena strictly prohibits firearms of any kind on the premises. Though the Secret Service is working with Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, and state and federal authorities to bolster security, petitions signers believe these measures are insufficient to keep convention delegates safe.
The GOP, of course, doesn’t control the gun policy at Quicken Loans Arena. Also inconvenient for gun-grabbers: the Secret Service, not the GOP, makes the final call about whether or not guns will be allowed at the convention. The Service just released a statement, in fact, saying that they won’t.
But if you’re an anti-gun liberal, details aren’t your strong suit. The primary argument from the left-leaning, gun-grabbing camp accuses the GOP of hypocrisy. Most of the top petition comments, like this Think Progress article, propose some version of, “If the GOP wants guns in schools, they should have guns at their convention! Oh! Burn!” It would be funny if it weren’t so inane.
It’s quite possible the petition is nothing more than an anti-gun plant. Though the rhetoric of the petition itself is pro-Second Amendment, every top petition comment is from an anti-gunner, and criticizing the pro-gun GOP for something it can’t control is #1 in the gun-grabbing playbook.
Either way, the situation demonstrates once again the hatred anti-gunners feel towards supporters of the Second Amendment, and the (il)logical leaps they’ll take to accuse us of hypocrisy and ignorance.