A police union boss has requested the public be disarmed in Cleveland for the Republican National Convention. Ohio Governor Kasich refused. I think disarming the public is a bad idea. Let's look at events as reported by CNN:
"We are sending a letter to Gov. Kasich requesting assistance from him. He could very easily do some kind of executive order or something -- I don't care if it's constitutional or not at this point," Stephen Loomis, president of Cleveland Police Patrolmen's Association, told CNN. "They can fight about it after the RNC or they can lift it after the RNC, but I want him to absolutely outlaw open-carry in Cuyahoga County until this RNC is over."
Loomis openly doesn't respect the constitution, he just wants his way. He wants to give the orders and not be limited by concerns about the rule of law. And he doesn't sound very interested in having the gun ban be temporary.
I assume Loomis also wants to outlaw concealed carry. I wonder if he wants to outlaw private security, too. Should Trump be banned from hiring the bodyguards of his choice? Or should the government hand out special gun-allowance exceptions to some privileged people?
"We are going to be looking very, very hard at anyone who has an open carry," he said. "An AR-15, a shotgun, multiple handguns. It's irresponsible of those folks -- especially right now -- to be coming downtown with open carry AR's or anything else. I couldn't care less if it's legal or not. We are constitutional law enforcement, we love the Constitution, support it and defend it, but you can't go into a crowded theater and scream fire. And that's exactly what they're doing by bringing those guns down there."
Loomis doesn't care about the law, he just wants arbitrary power. People like him are a reason why we need our guns!
Americans want to protect themselves. Self-defense is especially crucial at this time of domestic terrorism by (or inspired by) Black Lives Matter. There's also an ongoing threat from radical Islam.
Loomis reasonably thinks there's a danger. It's especially irresponsible to disarm Americans who are known to be in danger.
Kasich, responding to the request, said: "Ohio governors do not have the power to arbitrarily suspend federal and state constitutional rights or state laws as suggested."
Great reply. I didn't like Kasich much during the 2016 primaries because he's a Democrat-friendly moderate. But here he's standing up for some principles! He's defending gun rights and limited government power. I appreciate that.
Convention CEO Jeff Larson said that organizers remained confident in the security measures currently in place and did not expect Kasich to take any new action.
"The open carry laws in Ohio haven't changed recently, it's been in effect for quite some time, they've had a number of big events that have taken place with open carry without any issues," he told reporters Sunday afternoon. "They've been planning their security around that issue."
That makes sense.
Consider the political meaning for the national gun debate if the RNC takes extraordinary measures to disarm the public. It would signal that even Republicans consider an armed public to be an extraordinary danger. That would marginalize gun owners and advocates.
People frequently call for special exceptions when there's a crisis or a situation is extra important in some way. But the important cases are when we most need to follow our principles and use good methods. When the stakes are high, we should use our best approach, not use an ad hoc plan B.
To disarm the public in a crisis implies that a disarmed public is actually the best and safest approach. If we disarm the public when we want to maximize safety, it implies a disarmed public is always safer. That's anti-American.
Armed Americans are a good thing. People should appreciate gun-owners and recognize that, on the whole, guns increase safety. Don't be scared of your neighbors, they're not thugs. Most Americans are good people who use guns for defense.
If guns are bad when there's a threat of violence, when are they good? Just for sports and hunting, but never for defense? Is gun-ownership just a compromise because we don't have enough policemen to be everywhere? I don't think so.
If cops can't protect an armed public in Cleveland, when can they? When would cops ever be able to safely deal with gun-carrying Americans?
Americans don't want to rely on the government for protection. They don't want to trust in authority. Americans value self-reliance and the ability to get on with their own lives and take care of themselves. They don't want to be dependents. That's a great attitude!
Gun free zones are targets. Disarming the public encourages crime. It means criminals just have to dodge cops, but don't have to worry about armed resistance from their victims.
Also, it's not all that hard to sneak weapons through security into airports. Even with pretty ideal conditions, screening people is really hard. People with bad intentions will be able to sneak weapons into Cleveland. Outlawing guns would primarily disarm law-abiding citizens, not terrorists.
And it's important to go on with life as usual whenever possible. We shouldn't respond to terrorist threats in ways that disrupt daily life unless we really have to (e.g. we find an abandoned suitcase and have evidence it contains a bomb). There's no clear, immediate danger in Cleveland, just broad general concerns.
The world is watching and our choices have both symbolic and practical value. Let's demonstrate that, when the stakes are high, armed Americans are a good thing, and we don't have to rely on the government for everything important.