Saturday, March 26, 2016

The Paranoid Style, 48 Years Later

Support has more than quadrupled overnight for a petition to allow firearms at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.

The petition, filed by “Americans for Responsible Open Carry,” was filed Monday on, an online forum. By Wednesday, 630 supporters had signed the request to carry firearms in and around Quicken Loans Arena, which will host the 2016 Republican National Convention from July 18-21.

With a goal of 5,000 signatures, the petition topped 5,300 by 6 p.m. Thursday.

The Ohio Republican Party, which is sending one of 50 state delegations to Cleveland this summer to nominate the party’s next presidential candidate, 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, state and federal authorities, is handling security for the event.

“They are coordinating and will be continuously refining security plans leading up to the national convention,” said Alee Lockman, a spokesperson for the Republican National Convention.

The Secret Service banned guns at the GOP convention in Florida four years ago.

And this will definitely pick up steam as people realize that Cleveland is decently-sized American city where not everybody is a Republican.

The petitioners, who claim a “God-given” right to carry, suggest that armed, law-abiding citizens will make the event more secure in a city full of crime.

“Cleveland, Ohio is consistently ranked as one of the top ten most dangerous cities in America,” the petition stated, referencing a Forbes story. “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.”

Criticism of the effort is split between those fundamentally opposing open carry and a more nuanced attack on the Republican Party for not standing behind its traditional support for an uninhibited right to have and hold firearms.

“Hypocrisy is the death of political parties. Stand by your frothy principles, or shut up about them,” wrote a commentator from California, whose argument that Republicans tend to support unabridged gun rights but do not always hold events at open-carry friendly venues has been made before by progressive organizations.

Note the argument here: these folks are saying that they do not believe the Cleveland PD or Cuyahoga County Sheriff's Department, or even the Ohio State Police or US Secret Service can protect the convention, only an armed mob of convention delegates can.  Which is exactly what you want when tensions are high and the party, already marred by acts of violence where dissent is concerned, is facing an unprecedented crackup over Trump's nomination.  This is a great idea, and I'm sure law enforcement is going to love every second of it.

Chicago 1968 might look like a church carnival compared to what's coming to Cleveland this summer.

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