What might have once been considered minor news, or no news at all, is now making the rounds on social media sites and sparking further conversation regarding gun control laws and the NRA.
The NRA will be hosting a convention this coming Friday (5/4/18) in Dallas, Texas, where Vice President Pence and President Trump are scheduled to appear and speak. Because of the attendance of Pence and Trump, the Secret Service has called for a complete weapon ban at the event; including firearms.
This gun ban has stirred up gun control activists and survivors of mass shootings on Twitter and beyond.
“Wait wait wait wait wait wait you’re telling me to make the VP safe there aren’t any weapons around but when it comes to children they want guns everywhere? Can someone explain this to me? Because it sounds like the NRA wants to protect people who help them sell guns, not kids.” – @MattxRed
NRA supporters are fighting back by pointing out that it was not the NRA, but the Secret Service that issued the ban.
Regardless, having the two biggest figureheads of the GOP attend an NRA convention where firearms are banned is both ironic and hypocritical.
Even NRA supporters are speaking out. The below comment was found on an online forum of a Texas gun rights advocacy group called Texas CHL :
“If I was a [Democrat], I’d have a field day with this,” one member wrote. “Obviously even republicans and so called leaders don’t trust the ‘good guys.’ I realize it’s the VP, but still makes our whole argument look foolish. You may disagree…but in my opinion the very people that claim to protect the 2A should never host an event that requires disarming the good guys. Sad. No excuses for this…it makes us look stupid.”
It is completely understandable that the Secret Service would want to ensure the safety of POTUS and VPOTUS. Under normal circumstances, I doubt there would be much of any discussion. However, given the current political climate and the polarization surrounding gun control, it is easy to see why this has become a hot topic.
The argument for banning guns at the NRA convention is that the Secret Service is doing their job and want to minimize any possible threats to Trump and Pence. This is regular practice. Besides, weapon bans are common at conventions, concerts, theaters, schools, and other venues or establishments where many people gather. Another argument is that if everyone had guns at the event, a “crazy liberal” who would want to do harm to Trump or Pence could use it as an opportunity to assassinate.
Meanwhile… there is a movement among NRA/firearm supporters to have widespread open carry laws across the nation. Also, consider all the comments made by individuals and even conservative media after mass shootings along the lines of “if only more people had guns, they could have stopped the shooter”. So if that last line were the case, why couldn’t a convention full of “good guys” stop one “bad guy”?
An ardent supporter of the 2nd Amendment and gun owner was arguing against this last point of mine and mentioned that firing a gun in such a crowded place would be irresponsible as there is a high chance of collateral damage. The most likely scenario would be that the shooter is tackled to the ground.
My response was to say that, if that were the case, then guns would be pretty much useless in preventing most historical mass shooting situations as the areas were very crowded and collateral damage likely.
The conversation came to a halt soon afterward.
You would think that the Republican President and Vice President (the latter of whom has been a longtime ally of the NRA) would use the NRA convention as the perfect opportunity to showcase their party’s vision for the country by allowing firearms. What better way to send a message to their constituents, as well as to the rest of the nation, that firearms are safe than by giving a speech to a room full of proud gun carrying American citizens?
There is nothing actually wrong with following the safer route established by the Secret Service. All I ask is that citizens and politicians against gun reform seriously think about the logic behind the Secret Service measures. Then consider how they are not much different from the reasons of those who want stricter gun control regulations.