Any notion that the GOP convention in Cleveland is going to be a peaceful one can be disposed of rather quickly when you remember that the convention itself is supposed to be a gun-free zone, but the rest of the city of Cleveland is apparently fair game.
As the Republican convention in Cleveland approaches, several delegates from Pennsylvania who support Donald Trump say they are planning on bringing their guns with them to the GOP gathering. Why? They say they are worried about possible violent protest and even an attack from ISIS.
James Klein, a pro-Trump delegate from the Harrisburg area, notes that guns won't be needed inside the convention hall and that delegates won't be allowed to bring in weapons. "But," he adds, "there's the hotels. There's going to be dinners."
So Klein, an insurance executive and economist, has decided to come armed to Cleveland, and he has urged his fellow delegates to do the same. "We're talking about ISIS," he remarks, citing the recent shooting in Orlando and the bombings at the Istanbul airport. Referring to protesters outside Trump rallies, he adds, "We're talking about people who have shown a propensity for violence."
"There are a whole bunch of things happening: You go to various events, receptions, whatever, outside the convention hall," says Ash Khare, a delegate from the northwest corner of the state who applied for a concealed carry permit in preparation for Cleveland. "And you walk on the streets and, you know, people know that you are a delegate, and who knows what the crazy people are going to do? So you've got to be vigilant about what's going on and prepare yourself."
Yeah, because paranoid Trump delegates walking around with guns is a great idea. What if you don't want these assholes walking around armed in Cleveland, near your kids and family? Too bad. Ohio's an open carry state thanks to the GOP that has controlled the state since 2004.
You can open-carry in the state without any license whatsoever as long as you legally own the firearm. You can't carry a loaded gun in a motor vehicle without a concealed carry license however. Ohio has reciprocity agreements with states like Pennsylvania, so yes, these bozos can happily be carting around whatever firepower they like, especially with a CCL.
Boy, doesn't that seem like a great idea?
Marc Scaringi, another Trump delegate from the Harrisburg area, says that during the past few weeks there have been many emails exchanged among the Pennsylvania delegates discussing whether to bring weapons to Cleveland.
A lifelong member of the NRA who carries a gun every day, Klein notes he is particularly concerned about the threat of international terrorism. "I'm not a terrorist, okay, but I'm an academic and a theorist, and I would think that if I were an ISIS guy that I might want to attack the Republican National Convention," he says.
Klein continues: "People will attack you at your weakest, at your softest." That is, he explains, attacks are not likely to occur at the convention hall but elsewhere in the city where police and Secret Service officers are unlikely to stop an attack.
In other words, there's going to be all kinds of jackholes like James Klein here wandering around Cleveland loaded for bear.
Enjoy that, Forest City!