Guns a no-go at Republican National Convention

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By Natasha Blakely
MI First Election

Despite the Republicans’ strong stance in support of the Second Amendment, guns are not going to be allowed in the 2016 Republican National Convention.

To be held July 18-21, the convention will be in Cleveland at the Quicken Loans Arena. Despite the fact that Ohio does not regulate the open carry of guns, Quicken Loans’ policy has strictly forbidden firearms and other weapons of any kind in the arena.

According to Justin Giorgio, press assistant for the convention, “The Republican National Convention is a National Special Security Event, which means the Secret Service is the lead agency, and we will defer to their planning as it relates to safety and security of the Convention.”

Secret Service policy says it has the authority to deny firearms at sites even in open-carry states. The convention, which will be hosting a number of important figures, will be one of those sites.

An online petition calling for the suspension of the gun ban in the arena was started by The Hyperationalist mid-March 2016, and three weeks later had already obtained more than 50,000 signatures. The petition was created mostly to start a conversation on gun control rather than actually bring guns to the convention. According to the convention’s official website, “roughly 50,000 people are expected to visit the Cleveland area during the gathering.”

A 2015 study by Columbia University showed that about 19.6 percent of Ohio adults own guns. While slightly lower than Michigan’s 28.8 percent and a mere third of Alaska’s 61.7 percent, it was still nearly four times Delaware’s 5.2 percent.

A graph depicting the percentage of gun owners in Ohio, Michigan, the state with the lowest percentage and the state with the highest percentage based off research by Columbia University.

A graph depicting the percentage of gun owners in Ohio, Michigan, the state with the lowest percentage and the state with the highest percentage based off research by Columbia University.

Some Michiganders shared their thoughts on the topic. Megan Yasick, 22, is getting her concealed-carry permit soon, said, “I think, especially with the way the campaigns are going, it’s smart to not allow guns where people are acting insane. But in general I think it should be allowed.”

Caution at the convention seems to be the viewpoint people are adopting.

Marissa Bennett, 21, said, “I think it’s kind of interesting. I agree with it though. I mean, I don’t know what it’ll be like with Donald Trump there. People might get some ideas, and you don’t want anyone getting injured. I get (banning guns) for the convention specifically.” Bennett firmly believes in people’s Second Amendment rights.

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