No Guns Allowed at GOP Convention

No guns allowedDo “Libtard policies” put good guys—stripped of their guns–at risk. Or don’t they?  

If the only thing that can stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun—or better yet, lots of good guys with guns—then it goes without saying that the contentious GOP convention should be prickling with weapons: rock hard Glocks, pen-sized pistols, and a whole array of AKs strapped across the backs of brave men who are ready to spray anything that moves with a shower of lead.

With threats on all sides, from Muslims and Blacks to feminists and federal wildlife agents, the only way to make America safer again is more guns. So we are told after each mass shooting. Surely the GOP wouldn’t hold their convention in a place that fails to allow the kind of enhanced security that is so dear to conservative hearts, so core to the Republican platform, and so necessary to keep Americans safe.

Four months ago, a Second Amendment activist or troll going by the moniker Hyperationalist realized that Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, site of the GOP convention, bans firearms on the premises. It’s the equivalent of the Democrats holding their convention at a place that bans collective bargaining for its workers, and Hyperationalist was outraged. He created a petition, quoting the NRA about the dangers of “gun-free zones” and demanding that Quicken Loans Arena change their policy, at least for the convention.

This is a direct affront to the Second Amendment and puts all attendees at risk. As the National Rifle Association has made clear, “gun-free zones” such as the Quicken Loans Arena 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.” (March 4, 2016 and Dec. 21, 2012)

Although it was unclear at the time whether the petition was the work of an aggrieved gun lover or a public safety advocate trying to make a point, it quickly gathered 55,000 signatures from folks on both sides of the aisle. If the point of the petition was to advance an expansive interpretation of Second Amendment rights, it failed. Republicans who show up at the convention next week with weapons will be stripped at the door of their arsenals, no matter how large or small.

In a July 14 letter to supporters, Hyperationalist conceded:

Apparently in Crooked Hitlary Clinton’s “politically correct” libtard America, some people would rather not be surrounded by high-powered semi-automatic assault weapons with high-capacity cartridges—and so the oppressive policies of Barack HUSSEIN Obama’s regime remain in place.

If the point of the petition was to show the public that Republican rhetoric about more guns making us all safer is utter bullshit, then it succeeded wildly, because the contrast between what Republican policy makers say they believe and actually believe couldn’t be on brighter display.

Republican leaders know full well that a convention hall teaming with mutually antagonistic adrenalin-jacked open- and concealed-carriers could be the safety equivalent of a convention hall decorated with gas cans and matchboxes. They may sell their souls for NRA dollars—they may be willing to sacrifice 33,000 Americans a year to gun death(interactive graphic here from Nate Silver), but they’re too hypocritical to actually put their own bodies on the line. Confronted with the prospect of their own mortality, they know that the right to life trumps the right to bear arms, even if they’re too candy ass to say it.

These are the people who have been demanding that guns be allowed on college campuses, in hospitals, in churches, in public parks . . . everywhere but the halls of Congress and the RNC. They have proposed that kindergartens would be safer if the teachers were all armed. They have fought for the right of suspects on the terrorism-watch and no-fly lists to stockpile firepower.

But they couldn’t bother to take on Quicken Loans or move their convention elsewhere or challenge the Secret Service (which sides with Quicken on this one) because, in reality, they want the kind of safety they’re unwilling to grant to rest of us. They want to know that if someone nearby is struck by a fit of rage or temporary insanity, or falls into a black hole of paranoia and decides he is surrounded by the hordes of evil, or wants to suicide in company in front of a bank of cameras, or aspires to go down in history as a hero or anti-hero—he’s going to have to pull off mass murder with his bare hands. They want to know that, to the best of professional standards, the crowd of strangers around them is unarmed, because they know that most bad guys with guns are good guys with guns until the moment they point at an innocent person and pull the trigger.

Valerie Tarico is a psychologist and writer in Seattle, Washington. She is the author of Trusting Doubt: A Former Evangelical Looks at Old Beliefs in a New Light and Deas and Other Imaginings, and the founder of  Her articles about religion, reproductive health, and the role of women in society have been featured at sites including AlterNet, Salon, the Huffington Post, Grist, and Jezebel.  Subscribe at

About Valerie Tarico

Seattle psychologist and writer. Author - Trusting Doubt; Deas and Other Imaginings.
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10 Responses to No Guns Allowed at GOP Convention

  1. madagascanlemur says:

    Pithy and spot on. I’ve read your voice as passionate and frustrated before, but in this case I’d swear you’re fed up with right wing hypocrisy and plan pissed off.


  2. lbwoodgate says:

    The classic NIMBY reaction.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. bscritic says:

    Very well said. Direct, accurate, and to the point. It is so fun to see hypocrisy and irrational thinking made perfectly clear.


  4. Paul J Ryan says:

    Hypocrisy: “A mouth that prays, hands that kill.” Arabian Proverb


  5. neldaswiggett says:

    Great Val. I was already thinking what hypocrisy, and you beautifully voiced it.

    On Fri, Jul 15, 2016 at 10:22 AM, wrote:

    > Valerie Tarico posted: ““Libtard policies” put good guys—stripped of their > guns–at risk. If the only thing that can stop a bad guy with a gun is a > good guy with a gun—or better yet, lots of good guys with guns—then it goes > without saying that the contentious GOP convention sh” >


  6. Lowell Bushey says:

    Hi, Valerie,

    Can you imagine the Quicken Arena filled to the brim, with every other person packing heat? Somehow, I think that that would be too scary for most people, especially women. :)

    btw One thing that gets scant coverage in the media is that there WAS a “good guy with a gun” (the bouncer, an off-duty cop) at the Pulse Nightclub!


  7. Joe Reedholm says:

    Thanks for writing about the hypocrisy. Kind of mindful of their abortion stance when one of their relatives is involved.

    I am surprised that other weapons manufacturers have failed to realize the market potential of the 2nd amendment. Rocket launchers, hand grenades, and other hand carried weapons are as logical. But why stop there? To really deter Obama’s forces, a guy would need a tank.

    Leaving aside protection from SWAT teams, arguing that guns improve one’s individual safety fails statistically. People who think having a gun nearby makes them safer probably believe that lottery tickets are a form of retirement planning.


  8. Comments from Ferdi’s friend L.S. Walker: “Simple answer. No one there is at risk because liberals are not allowed at the GOP convention and since those that commit mass shootings are Democrats or Muslim terrorists there is no need for guns at this private event.” . . .”This was done for the protection of the violent Democrats that will be there and will be attacking Republicans coming and going. Out of respect for the City of Cleveland they didn’t want to leave large numbers of dead liberals on the streets.” . .

    “The reason liberal hypocrite elected officials want to ban guns is because they have armed security to carry the guns for them. So the RNC is using that theory for this event.
    Liberals are so ignorant of the Constitution that they don’t understand that just because you have a right doesn’t mean you have to use the right. Choosing not to use a right doesn’t mean you are giving up the right.
    And lastly the big concern is that Liberals are going to try and infiltrate the event in order to cause violent disruption. If you allow GOP members to safely carry, putting no one else at risk, you open the door to these nut jobs to carry and shoot the place up.”


  9. mriana says:

    I really don’t understand the Reich’s love affair with guns and find it really disturbing. However, the other day I was reading an article about how, when, and why AK-47 and AR-whatever were invented (which I don’t think there was any need to invent them), as well as the use by terrorists and alike. That was just as disturbing. Carrying guns doesn’t make people safer, just more afraid of each other and giving pseudo-confidence to take down an imagined threat for the one carrying the gun, thereby potentially causing more danger.


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