About 32,000 people so far have signed a Change.org petition to allow guns at the Republican National Convention in the name of safety. Ohio is an open carry state, but the Quicken Loans Arena, where the convention is being held in July, is a gun-free zone.
Petition signers contend the ban on firearms will make them “sitting ducks, utterly helpless against evil-doers and criminals.”
“Cleveland, Ohio, is consistently ranked as one of the top ten most dangerous cities in America,” the petition says. “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.”
That argument has become ubiquitous among members of the National Rifle Association, anti-government militants and gun owners who feel unsafe without weapons. The same argument was made prior to the 2012 RNC in Tampa, but the Secret Service stepped in and banned firearms.
Critics say that Trump and his angry followers present the greatest danger to the RNC. His appearances are often marked with violence toward protesters, blacks, Muslims and others whom Trump rails against from the podium. He encourages his followers to create mayhem.
Protesters effectively shut down a recently scheduled Trump appearance in Chicago by surrounding the area where he was scheduled to speak.
The petition notes that: “All three remaining Republican candidates have spoken out on the issue and are unified in their opposition to Barack HUSSEIN (sic) Obama's ‘gun-free zones.’”
Petitioners include quotes supporting the universal right to carry firearms from each of the three remaining political candidates (below):
Donald Trump said "I will get rid of gun-free zones on schools — you have — and on military bases on my first day. It gets signed my first day ... you know what a gun-free zone is to a sicko? That's bait." (Jan. 8. 2016)
Ted Cruz has accurately pointed out "shooting after shooting after shooting happens in so called gun-free zones." He continued, "look, if you're a lunatic ain't nothing better then having a bunch of targets you know that are going to be unarmed." (Dec. 4, 2015)
And Ohio Governor John Kasich has been a leader in this movement to eliminate deadly "gun-free zones" starting with his brave decision to fight the Democrats and end "gun-free zones" at National Guard facilities in Ohio. (Dec. 18, 2015)
The signers also claim that carrying firearms is a “God-given” right:
“We are all too familiar with the mass carnage that can occur when citizens are denied their basic God-given rights to carry handguns or assault weapons in public. EVERY AMERICAN HAS THE RIGHT TO PROTECT AND DEFEND THEIR FAMILY (sic). With this irresponsible and hypocritical act of selecting a ‘gun-free zone’ for the convention, the RNC has placed its members, delegates, candidates and all US citizens in grave danger.
“We must take a stand. We cannot allow the national nominating convention of the party of Lincoln and Reagan to be hijacked by weakness and political correctness. The policies of the Quicken Loans Arena do not supersede the rights given to us by our Creator in the U.S. Constitution (sic).”