There is a great deal of fear surrounding the Republican National Convention in Cleveland in a few short weeks. The presumptive candidate, Donald Trump, draws more protestors than the average GOP presidential candidate and, this year, that means there will be more right-wing protestors there to greet them. For example, a white nationalist group that was involved in a bloody altercation with leftist protestors in Sacramento last week is planning to attend to “make sure that the Donald Trump supporters are defended.”
It’s gotten so bad that law enforcement officials are having to defend their plans to keep the peace and at least one law enforcement group from another state has decided against lending a hand.
The good news is that guns will be banned in the area outside the Quicken Arena and in the a 3.3-square-mile “event zone” where protests are allowed.
The bad news is that the guns that are banned are water guns. And sleeping bags. And switchblade knives, slingshots, BB guns, pellet guns, tennis balls, tape, rope, and bike locks. (You can read a more complete list HERE.
REAL guns, however? Those are A-OK:
Ohio is an open carry state, which means that anyone who owns a gun legally can holster up in public because there’s no law against it. Ohio does have a concealed carry law, so gun owners who want to carry their guns clandestinely must obtain a license from the state. They can carry their hidden weapons in restaurants, malls, bars, nightclubs, museums, sports stadiums and other places. […]
[There are] two protected zones that will encircle Quicken Loans Arena, where the convention takes place July 18-21. Think of it like an inner loop and an outer loop. The outer loop, christened the event zone, spans the entirety of downtown, and Cleveland enforces the rules there. The city last week announced a ban on a hodgepodge of assorted weapons in that area: knives, paintball guns, and axes. But once again, when it comes to guns, the city can’t contradict state law.
So unless the Ohio Legislature or Gov. John Kasich intervene, Cleveland will allow guns within the secure outer ring. (The legislature is no longer in session, and it’s doubtful that Kasich, a gun rights supporter, would step in.)
So, there you have it. An already high-tension environment that promises to provide drama and, very likely, violence will have the added wildcard of actual guns, some which you’ll be able to see, some of which will be concealed.
This could get very, very ugly.
[Worst Choice graphic by Fernando Horta]