Sure It's Brilliantly Funny, But We Should Be Totally Serious About Open Carry at the Republican Convention

Time for Republican leaders to put their own asses on the line for a change.
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Chez Pazienza
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Time for Republican leaders to put their own asses on the line for a change.

It is, without a doubt, maybe the best political troll job in recent memory, a brilliant piece of satire that does what all good satire and only good satire can do: hold a mirror up to arrogance, absurdity and foolishness while being nearly impossible to defend against. It's a work of art that's so breathtaking in its ironic simplicity it's a wonder nobody thought of it sooner. Regardless, someone finally did, and it deserves to be embraced and circulated far and wide because it's one of the rare attacks across partisan lines that actually has the ability to land with a brutally resonant thud

 Early this week, a mysterious Change.org user who went by the initials "N.A." -- before his or her profile disappeared off the site -- began a petition to press for the Republican National Convention to be an "open carry" event. Right now, the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, where the upcoming GOP convention is scheduled to be held, is a gun-free zone, which as you know -- or at least as conservatives relentlessly remind us -- makes it a prime target for armed thugs and criminals. When there are no good guys with guns around to keep everyone safe -- the more guns the better -- well, that's when bad guys with guns will swoop in and make every one of those defenseless little lambs their bitch. Again, more guns -- more safe. That's the calculus we've heard for years.      

But at the very event meant to display to all of America everything the Republicans and the conservative movement stand for, the Second Amendment right to be a true patriot and carry a gun with you everywhere you go is being infringed upon. Since you'd imagine conservatives won't want to stand for that, as they never stand for it when it's our lives on the line day after day, this petition demands that the Quicken Loans Arena be stripped of its gun-free status and declared an open carry venue -- at least for the convention. Ohio, after all, where presidential candidate and Second Amendment purist John Kasich is governor, is an open carry state -- so it seems especially un-American to deny those attending the RNC their constitutional right to arm themselves to the teeth. I mean, guns don't kill people by themselves -- so what's the problem exactly?

The petition quotes the NRA, which has said that "gun free zones... tell every insane killer in America... (the) safest place to inflict maximum mayhem with minimum risk." It points out that Cleveland is one of the ten most dangerous cities in America. It proclaims that the Republican party cannot allow its convention to be "hijacked by weakness and political correctness." And it calls upon John Kasich to suspend Quicken Loans Arana's gun-free zone status, Reince Priebus to explain why a gun-free zone was chosen in the first place, and the current crop of GOP presidential candidates to demand that God-given Second Amendment rights not be infringed upon at the ultimate showcase for conservative values. 

I mean, what could possibly go wrong? Donald Trump has already threatened violence if he isn't given the nomination and a contested convention is likely, so what better way to ensure that things don't get out of hand than to have an entire convention floor full of people with guns. The media will be there and everyone knows the media are lying liars so is there any more powerful statement to make that they'd better be "honest" than to surround them with high-strung reactionaries packing heat? And of course, there's bound to be protesters. They've infiltrated Trump rallies and those things have the security of the Wannsee Conference, so you can expect trouble. Given that you never can tell if those people making trouble are just hippies or if they're dangerous agents of ISIS, best to have every single person around them be available at a moment's notice to draw a weapon and open fire.

Look, while we can joke about this, because it truly is so brilliantly clever in its inception and execution, every single person reading this needs to go sign that petition immediately. Because it's rare that the dangerous gun fetishism of the Republican party is so ably called out and that the opportunity to put that party on the spot for its absolute subservience to the gun lobby, at the expense of the lives of ordinary men, women and children, is so clear. Conservative lawmakers crow about the dangers of gun-free zones and how only an open carry utopia will keep us all safe, despite piles and piles of research to the contrary. So if they believe no place can't be made safer by the introduction of a bunch of average citizens with guns, then let them put their own lives on the line in service of that ideal.

And if they're not willing to -- let them be forced to say so.