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GOP Eerily Silent On Guns At Republican National Convention

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GOP Eerily Silent On Guns At Republican National Convention

Gloria Lincoln-Thompson carries her 9mm Smith & Wesson pistol in her waist band during a rally in support of the Michigan Open Carry gun law in Romulus, in this Michigan April 27, 2014 file photo. REUTERS/Rebecca Cook/Files

So do you think guns should be allowed at the Republican National Convention?

Granted, the question is moot. On Monday, the Secret Service announced that only its agents and Cleveland police will be allowed to bring firearms into Quicken Loans Arena when the GOP assembles there this summer. But “moot” is not the same as irrelevant.

As you may know, the Secret Service put its foot down because of a petition at Change.org demanding that convention goers be allowed to bring weapons to the Grand Old Party. The fact that the arena does not allow weapons, says the petition, is “a direct affront to the Second Amendment and puts all attendees at risk.”

It goes on to say: “As the National Rifle Associationhas made clear, ‘gun-free zones’ … 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.”

The petition adds that because “Cleveland … is consistently ranked as one of the top 10 most dangerous cities in America” and because of “the possibility of an ISIS terror attack on the arena,” convention goers must be allowed to bear arms.

As of Tuesday, over 50,000 people had signed.

Presumably, at least some of them recognized the petition as a pitch-perfect satire, albeit from a man whose sense of humor is drier than saltines in the Sahara. CBS News has identified the author, who styles himself “the hyperationalist,” as a fellow named Jim — he would give no last name or city of origin — who told the network he’s a liberal Democrat. But, he said, “I’m 100 percent sincere in my conviction that guns should be allowed at the GOP convention. (It would be a reflection of) the policies they sought to impose around the nation.”

He’s right, of course. The Republican Party has marched in lockstep with the NRA for many years, pushing an agenda of guns everywhere for all people at all times.

So why not guns inside the Republican Convention? If it’s OK to have guns in schools, bars and churches, then why not there? If Republicans in Iowa think blind people should have guns and Republicans in Alabama want little kids to have guns, then why not sighted adults? If, as Republicans routinely argue, more guns equal greater safety, why shouldn’t convention goers be armed? Wouldn’t this provide better protection for their candidates?

So far, the party has declined to answer. Ohio Gov. John Kasich, in whose open-carry state the convention will be held, told reporters he would defer to the Secret Service. Ditto Ted Cruz, who once gleefully ate bacon cooked on the barrel of an AR-15 rifle. Donald Trump said that before he comments, he will need to read “the fine print;” the petition is 799 words long.

The party’s silence magnifies its hypocrisy. If Republicans believe what they say, they should demand the right to cram as many firearms into that 20,000-seat arena as it will hold. This is shaping up as the tensest, angriest, most contentious convention of modern times. By GOP reasoning, it would be safer if handguns, machine guns and the odd bazooka were added to the mix. It should tell you something that no Republican will say that now.

For years, they have promoted their cynical, dangerous policy of pushing guns into every cranny of American life. The rest of us have argued against it with limited success. But now, along comes Jim, eviscerating both party and policy in a single brilliant stroke and reminding us that when people make foolish arguments, sometimes it’s better not to fight them.

Sometimes, it’s more damning if you just take them at their word.

(Leonard Pitts is a columnist for The Miami Herald, 1 Herald Plaza, Miami, Fla., 33132. Readers may contact him via e-mail at lpitts@miamiherald.com.)


Photo: Gloria Lincoln-Thompson carries her 9mm Smith & Wesson pistol in her waist band during a rally in support of the Michigan Open Carry gun law in Romulus, in this Michigan April 27, 2014 file photo. REUTERS/Rebecca Cook/Files

Leonard Pitts Jr.

Leonard Pitts Jr. is a nationally syndicated commentator, journalist, and novelist. Pitts' column for the Miami Herald deals with the intersection between race, politics, and culture, and has won him multiple awards including a Pulitzer Prize in 2004.

The highly regarded novel, Freeman (2009), is his most recent book.

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  1. FireBaron March 30, 2016

    One again, the GOP has been hoist on their own petard! In this case, their insistence of 2nd Amendment rights butting heads against the rules and regulations of a private facility that bans firearms, a governor of that state deferring to a federal agency, and the same federal agency saying “No way!”
    Will Wayne LaPierre start screaming that every GOP delegate should be armed? Will he invoke the spirit of the late Antonin Scalia in this demand? Will they claim interference by the Democrats because the Secret Service director is a Democratic appointee? Inquiring minds want to know!

    1. pisces63 March 30, 2016

      This one made my day. Love it. Sounds of Silence!!

      1. dpaano March 30, 2016

        Yeah, not a troll to be heard!!!

    2. I of John March 30, 2016

      I am pretty sure old Wayne LaPierre will be mum on the subject. It would like to see a reporter corner him on this though. Just deserts is what this is.

      1. ps0rjl March 30, 2016

        I agree wholeheartedly. The GOP has been a firm backer of the NRA. Let them dance with the one that brought them. They want teachers at schools armed and college kids armed. Why shouldn’t they want ,all the delegates or at least those who want to be, armed. After all “Isn’t well- armed society a polite society?”. It’s almost comical how the candidates and the GOP are dancing around this issue!

        1. RED March 30, 2016

          The Cons are are always disgusting. They did the same thing in Georgia where they passe a law allowing guns everywhere, everywhere but the statehouse where they all are. Just disgusting trash!

  2. Andrew Long March 30, 2016

    come one Repubs, man-up here. You are either all in or you are all out with your guns.
    What are you afraid of? Oh wait…could it be all the certifiable crazies that make up your party? Imagine…an arena full of armed crazies. Bet you would be in utter protest if it were the Democrats convention not allowing your guns.

  3. plc97477 March 30, 2016

    I am a big fan of Leonard Pitts and love that the National Memo has added the author to the news letter, makes it easier to not miss any of my favorite writers. Way to go. I am sorry that the Repugs have turned tail on this, I was hoping for fireworks at the convention. Oh well, I always knew they were cowards.

  4. AlfredSonny March 30, 2016

    When will the GOP start practicing what they preach by allowing guns in their conventions?

    1. Daniel Jones March 30, 2016

      They won’t. They don’t want to be sickly, ignorant, dying, and desperate–they want the voters that way so they’ll elect more-of-the-same on the basis of promises and vague hope. Vaas Montenegro is laughing at those voters.

      “Did I ever tell you; what the definition of insanity is? Insanity.. is doing the exact same fu@%ing thing, expecting $#!^ to change. That is crazy; but the first time somebody told me that, I don’t know I thought they were bull$#!^^ing me, so **boom**, I shot him. Then you see, the thing is.. [chuckling] ..he was right.”–Vaas.

  5. Dominick Vila March 30, 2016

    The real reason the GOP is silent on this issue is because they fear one of their most cherished goals may result in the demise of the Grand Old Party due to a self prescribed overdose.

  6. Elgranreyes March 30, 2016

    Republicans are in grave danger of choking on heavy irony.

  7. toncuz March 30, 2016

    I put that petition on Change.org 8 months ago and never got support. This is where he got the idea.


  8. 1Zoe55 March 30, 2016

    Hypocrisy, thy name is the Republican/Tea Party. Gun-free zones are not good. Guns in schools, in restaurants and bars, in supermarkets, aimed at Federal Officers are good. HaHaHa! A bit afraid are these idiots within the Republican party because they may just have a “circular firing squad.”

  9. RED March 30, 2016

    I love it!! I completely agree with Jim. I think there could be not many things that would be better than letting a large gathering of ignorant Cons be armed to the teeth in a small space. Then they can play ok corral all they want and hopefully same people have enough sense to stay away so that people with a brain, unlike ignorant Cons won’t get hurt.

  10. Eleanore Whitaker March 30, 2016

    So wait…Let me see if I’ve got this right…It’s okay for gun smugglers from GA to illegally sell guns in minority neighborhoods in NY City but no guns allowed at an RNC convention? Wow…and how precisely will Ole Dead Eye Cheney manage his target practice?

    And what about all those cowboys with their chaps, spurs and cowboy hats? Won’t they get upset at a NO GUNS ALLOWED RNC dictum? Or should that be dickdumb?

    Not to worry, all those drawling, swaggering show offs are proving who they really fear most…armed Republicans…roflmao

  11. Independent1 March 30, 2016

    If more guns make a place safer according to the NRA, why is it that red states in general, some with the highest gun ownership rates in the nation, also lead the nation BY FAR in murder and suicide rates?? While the states with the lowest murder and suicide rates are generally by far the states with the lowest rates of gun ownership??

  12. Zengo March 30, 2016

    funny that the RW trolls never add their incoherence to these discussions

    1. dpaano March 30, 2016

      And they won’t because they have nothing to say against the NRA OR the GOP!!!

  13. ray March 30, 2016

    Way to go Jim.

    1. jamcrky March 30, 2016

      yeah it was brilliant

  14. Deb Brouhard March 30, 2016

    The GOP know exactly what will happen — and we’ll get to watch it live on TV. If the GOP let in guns it would take –what an hour before bullets start flying, many innocent people dead, including police, and everyone of them pointing fingers at the other and them blaming Obama. I bet you the GOP went to the Secret Service and asked THEM to prohibit guns so they (the GOP ) wouldn’t have to tell their dumb gun living SOB’S, ” hell no we’re not letting you get anywhere near us with guns.”

    1. dpaano March 30, 2016

      Maybe if people carried guns, someone would do away with Trump and solve EVERYONE’s problems…..at least the GOP’s!

  15. jeffromac23 March 30, 2016

    They really should allow guns at the convention then all the political problems would be solved with all the dead and wounded who would be left to obstruct the government from doing what it should, help the poor and the less fortunate.

    1. dpaano March 30, 2016

      You’ve got a point there, but the thought of a lot of dead and wounded isn’t good either.

  16. Otto T. Goat March 30, 2016

    Let me know when anti-gun Obama and Hillary stop using armed bodyguards.

    1. Zengo March 30, 2016

      YEEEESSSS!!! Incoherence!!

    2. greenlantern1 March 30, 2016

      Thanks to Eric Holder, and his FBI, Russian gun dealers, like Viktor Bout, are behind bars!

    3. j_verria March 30, 2016

      Ummm, nobody here is disagreeing with you dude. We all agree that you should be able to carry arms at your convention! Did they print this in Spanish where you are? Try to stay up with the article currently being discussed.

    4. Darsan54 March 30, 2016

      Wow. You sure do you live up to the worst aspects of your name, but insult goats who are wonderful creatures.

      1. Otto T. Goat March 30, 2016

        Insult goats are wonderful creatures.

  17. dpaano March 30, 2016

    Totally agree!!! If the GOP wants everyone to be able to carry a gun wherever they go….they shouldn’t have a problem with people carrying weapons to their convention! It seems a little hypocritical! Maybe they’re afraid that if Trump doesn’t get the nomination, the doo doo will hit the rotating blade BIG TIME!!! That would be something to see!

  18. greenlantern1 March 30, 2016

    Ever hear of police officers Alyn Beck and Igor Soldo?
    They were murdered by Jerad Miller and Amanda Miller!
    Their gang leader was Cliven Bundy!
    Put him in charge of security!!

  19. mbm March 30, 2016

    Practice what you preach. You’ve made your bed, now lie in it. However, with all the hatred, divisiveness and back stabbing being spewed among Republican candidates, the convention would no doubt turn into a modern day Shoot Out at the OK Corral. Watching these hypocrites demand 2A Rights as God given while denying those very rights at conventions, state houses, Congress, etc just exposes these ludicrous cowards for what they really are.

  20. Rationalist1 March 30, 2016

    Bazookas. Now that would make exciting TV.

  21. bobnstuff March 30, 2016

    I really wish the Republicans could be armed if only so we could watch a circular firing squad. The sad thing is people out side the convention will be shot and killed. This convention should make the 68 Democratic convention look tame.

  22. divittorio March 30, 2016

    Here is an opportunity for the GOP to experience the world they have enabled. What could possibly go wrong?


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