Late in March 2016, a petition on Change.org was addressed to the management of the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio, the venue for the upcoming Republican National Convention, demanding that the open carrying of firearms be allowed at the event. Though the open carry of firearms is permitted in Ohio, the Quicken Loans Arena disallows the carrying and use of “weapons of any kind, including pepper spray, pocket knives and/or blades” ostensibly for the benefit of the safety of attendees. As of 11:26 a.m. San Francisco time on March 25, 2016, the petition has accrued 13,040 signatures.
The petition apparently cites safety concerns as the primary motivation for the open carrying of pistols, rifles and shotguns at the Republican National Convention:
“According to the policy on [the Quicken Loans Arena] website, ‘firearms and other weapons of any kind are strictly forbidden on the premises of Quicken Loans Arena.’
“This is a direct affront to the Second Amendment and puts all attendees at risk. As the National Rifle Association has made clear, ‘gun-free zones’ such as the Quicken Loans Arena are ‘the worst and most dangerous of all lies.’ The NRA, our leading defender of gun rights, has also correctly pointed out that ‘gun free zones… tell every insane killer in America… (the) safest place to inflict maximum mayhem with minimum risk.’ (March 4, 2016 and Dec. 21, 2012)
“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.”
However, considering Donald Trump threatening that his supporters will riot if he does not receive the Republican nomination for President, and given the fear and loathing surrounding his campaign along with the violence on the part of his supporters, particularly at his campaign rallies, I get the awful impression that the petition to allow the open carrying of firearms seems to be the groundwork for enabling the murder of the protesters who will invariably show up at the Convention if Donald Trump is indeed chosen as the nominee.
The petition also makes a quick note of another alleged threat:
“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.”
Of course, the petition does not take into account the fact that the formation of Islamic State of Iraq and Syria resulted from the power vacuum following the U.S.-led overthrow and subsequent capture and execution of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, which means that the United States, under the command of President George Walker Bush enabled the creation of ISIS!
Needless to say, while a bloodbath at the Republican Convention would be unfortunate, it would doubtless be predictable, given the Republicans’ appeals to fearful, violent bigots for more than the past half century and Donald Trump’s campaign being the apotheosis thereof.