In light of this morning’s shootings in Baton Rouge, the Cleveland Police Department has asked Governor John Kasich to suspend legal open carry until the end of the Republican National Convention.
Hours after three policemen were killed by an open carry shooter, Kasich said no.
The irony is enormous, considering that the Republican Party has made open carry and putting an assault rifle in every home, as per the wishes of the National Rifle Association.
Second Amendment fetishists, the vast majority of whom are Republicans, are fiercely protective of their right to to make those around them extremely uncomfortable as they proudly expose their phallic killing machines to the public. They appear to entertain the delusion that they will somehow save the day when they use their weapon to dispatch a “bad guy” with his own NRA-approved weapon.
The likelihood of this happening is almost none. Seven “good guys” with guns just got shot by one bad guy with an assault rifle. A week ago, five more “good guys” were shot by a man with an assault rifle. They had to use a robot bomb to dispatch the shooter. So all of a sudden the NRA’s argument, which was never entirely coherent, is entirely baseless.
But as police officers in the recent Dallas massacre recounted, open carry makes the job of police officers much, much more difficult. Being unable to distinguish between shooters and obnoxious civilians leads to wasting of police time and puts even more lives at risk.
The irony would be amusing if it didn’t come at such a painful cost. The Republican Party’s obsessive worship of the firearm is one of the biggest killers in America – and even our police agree.
Opinion columnist and former editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.