Trump's Response To Petition For Guns At Cleveland's GOP Convention

Donald Trump said he is "a very, very strong person for the Second Amendment" when quizzed about a petition to allow guns at the July Republican National Convention in Cleveland.

Trump is quoted on the petition, which calls for allowing open carry of firearms at the Quicken Loans Arena during the GOP Convention. The petition, which does not name a creator, cited Trump's comment about gun-free zones.

"I will get rid of gun-free zones on schools—you have—and on military bases on my first day. It gets signed my first day... you know what a gun-free zone is to a sicko? That's bait."
The petition acknowledges that Ohio is an open-carry state, but adds that "the hosting venue—the Quicken Loans Arena—strictly forbids the carry of firearms on their premises."

The petition describes the arena's rule as an "affront."

"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 Boston Globe stated that, despite the Convention arena's high level of security, Trump told ABC's This Week that he and other delegates would be "sitting ducks, utterly helpless against evil-doers and criminals."The petition calls out Ohio's governor, Republican candidate John Kasich, to use his executive authority to override the gun-free zone at the convention.

Ted Cruz did not escape mention, as the petition quoted his statement about gun-free zones.

"Has anyone in this room noticed that shooting after shooting after shooting occurs in so-called gun free zones."
Gun free zones, Trump agreed, are "a catastrophe."
"They're a feeding frenzy for sick people."
University of Georgia professor Peter Smagorinsky used violence at Trump rallies as a good example of why there are gun-free zones. In a blog called GetSchooled, he quoted John McGraw, who had sucker punched a protester that was being ushered out of a Trump rally.
"He deserved it. The next time we see him, we might have to kill him. We don't know who he is. He might be with a terrorist organization."
There has been some debate over whether the petition is a hoax. Writer Dave Ross on thought it was.
"Now when I saw this on I said to myself, 'this is a parody.' The group responsible for it, 'Americans for Responsible Open Carry,' doesn't exist. And because the guy proposing it has the screen name 'The Hypernationalist' and his profile picture is Abraham Lincoln."
He added that however, the head of Ohio Carry, an existing pro-gun group, said, "[We] would love to see this petition take off and the RNC to allow law abiding citizens to carry at the event."

The entity, or non-entity, Hyperationalist took credit for the petition, although they still did not clarify whether it was intended as satire.

"Yesterday morning, the dedicated staff of the Hyperationalist launched the petition posted below. We have since collected 1,500 signatures and the pace seems to be picking up. Clearly we have struck a nerve."
The group went on to throw ISIS into the mix.
"It just doesn't seem right that thousands of patriotic Republican good guys should be left totally unprotected by whatever bad guys might wish to do them harm. I mean forgodsake people, ISIS could show up to take out everybody in and around that building and they'd be sitting ducks. Sitting ducks, I tell you! There might even be a bad egg or two among the delegates."
They were correct about "striking a nerve."

Trump is being heavily criticized for acknowledging what referred to as "That ridiculous petition."

Trump said that he would have to take a look at the petition, which now has over 44,000 signatures, before deciding whether to support it.
"I have not seen the petition. I want to see what it says. I want to read the fine print."
The Republican National Convention will be held in Cleveland on July 18-21.

[Image via Joseph Sohm/]