Forty-four states in the country have open carry laws. Ohio is one of them—and they recognize all out-of-state concealed carry permits as well. This issue was brought front and center when a man with a rifle entered the RNC event zone and caused some people to freak out. The Cleveland Police Union president called on Gov. John Kasich to suspend the law for the duration of he convention. Kasich, noting the gross overreach, has declined to do so. Nevertheless, that didn’t stop ABC’s Good Morning America, CBS This Morning, and The Today Show from quaking in their boots about our oldest civil right. Kyle Drennen over at Newsbusters clipped and transcribed the anxiety episode from the media over open carry at the Republican National Convention.
Partial transcript is below:
STEPHANIE GOSK: Good morning, Matt. Well, one of the big concerns following that terrible attack in Nice, France was that something similar could happen here. And the police chief here in Cleveland said they’ve adapted their security plan, including blockading key roads like this one. That's what these huge trucks are doing here, very little will be able to drive through when the protests are occurring here and thousands are on the street.
The other concern that police have, that people are going to come here carrying their guns. There is a long list of banned items, but because of Ohio law, they are allowed to bring guns. You have the head of the police union yesterday calling on Governor John Kasich to declare a state of emergency, suspend that law. But the Governor says that is beyond his authority.
MATT LAUER: I want to talk about the readiness, especially the police force here. We know that in the wake of the police shootings down in Dallas, the open carry laws created some confusion. You have similar laws here. Are you worried about it? Should that law be suspended temporarily?
FRANK JACKSON, MAYOR OF CLEVELAND: Well, if you ask me what my preference is, of course. But it is the law of the land, so that means we’ll enforce the law. But as my police chief tells me, there's also a condition and responsibility to those who are engaged in an open carry, so we enforce that side also.
SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: Obviously it is within an individual’s right, here in Ohio, to carry a weapon if he or she is licensed, but are you or your police chief making a request, “Hey, folks, if you wouldn't mind, leave your weapons at home. It would make things more clear for our police officers who are trying to monitor these protests”?
LAUER: But it does seem ironic, Mr. Mayor, some of the things you can't have around that convention center, a water gun, umbrella with a metal tip, tennis balls, mace, canned goods, glass bottles. One of the things you can have around that convention center is a gun.
JACKSON: It's the contradiction of life, that's right.
Right, of course, the Democratic mayor of Cleveland finds this all problematic. Don’t get me wrong—I support open carry, and those who choice to open carry their firearms are well within their rights to do so. My only critique of it is that, whether we like it or not, some people get freaked out and would probably call the police. Then, a portion of your day is wasted on explaining to cops that you’re just minding you own business and well within the law. It’s just an unneeded hassle to your day. In terms of self-defense, a crazy person with a gun is most certainly going to target you first if the see a firearm on you. Yet, in the end, it’s not a huge issue. After all, I would rather have stronger concealed carry laws, best exemplified when a state adopts constitutional carry, like Vermont, where a person doesn’t need a permit to carry—open or concealed. Regardless, this whole idea of suspending a constitutional right is downright ridiculous.