If you’ve been following the Republican campaign for president, it probably seems self-evident that the only thing that could make the historic acrimony and anger even more potent—not to mention dangerous—is throwing firearms into the mix. But that’s exactly what an anonymous Change.org petition began pushing for last week, calling for the open carry of firearms at the Republican Convention in Cleveland this July. Nearly 50,000 people signed on to it, prompting the U.S. Secret Service to step in as the voice of reason and respond on Monday. The answer? Nah, no guns.
The petition challenged Quicken Loans Arena’s policy banning firearms because Ohio is an open carry state, meaning gun owners are given enormous leeway to holster up pretty much wherever they choose. “[The policy] is a direct affront to the Second Amendment and puts all attendees at risk,” the petition reads. Here’s more:
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. 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.
As you can see, no one is being hysterical about anything here.
The Secret Service on Monday asserted its right to protect the candidates. “Title 18 United States Code Sections 3056 and 1752 provides the Secret Service authority to preclude firearms from entering sites visited by our protectees, including those located in open-carry states,” Secret Service spokesman Robert Hoback said in a statement. “Only authorized law enforcement personnel working in conjunction with the Secret Service for a particular event may carry a firearm inside of the protected site.”