<html> <head><style type ="text/css">body { font-family: "Bloomberg Prop Unicode I", Verdana, sans-serif; font-size:125%; letter-spacing: -0.3pt; color: #FF9F0F; background-color: #000000; text-align: left; } p {line-height: 1.25em; max-width:900px; width:expression(document.body.clientWidth > 900? "900px": "auto" );} h1, h2, h3 { text-align: left; font-weight: normal; color: #FFFFFF; } h1 { font-size: 130%; } h2 { font-size: 115%; } h3 { font-size: 100%; } #bb-style { font-size: 90%; max-width:900px; width:expression(document.body.clientWidth > 900? "900px": "auto" ); } b, strong { font-weight: bold; } i, em { color: #FEC54A; } pre { font-family: "Andale Mono", "Monaco", "Lucida Console"; letter-spacing: -0.3pt; line-height: 1.25em; } table { border: 0; font-size: 90%; width: 100%; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; } td, tr { text-align: left; } td.numeric { text-align: right; } a:link { color:#53B2F5; text-decoration: none; } a:visited {color:#53B2F5} a:active {color:#53B2F5} a:hover {color:#53B2F5} </style> </head> <body> <p>By Francis Wilkinson</p> <p>Gunwise, the Republican National Convention in Tampa presents the party with some knotty issues. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has designated the August convention a "National Special Security Event." Guns will be prohibited inside the convention hall and in a safety perimeter around it.</p> <p>So the Republicans' own convention will not be able to showcase one of their favorite principles: that the presence of concealed guns "enhances public safety," as Representative Lamar Smith of Texas <a href="http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CREC-2011-11-16/html/CREC-2011-11-16-pt1-PgH7661.htm">said</a> recently. Many Republicans in Congress, like many of their colleagues in state legislatures, support legislation that would <a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-07-26/congress-wants-a-national-race-to-the-bottom-on-concealed-handguns-view.html">effectively legalize the carrying of concealed firearms</a> in all 50 states.</p> <p>If the party's gun logic will be subverted in the convention hall, at least it will reign supreme in the rest of Tampa, where a temporary ordinance will be in effect. Concerned about a "potentially contentious environment" in the city, Mayor Bob Buckhorn has <a href="http://www.tampagov.net/paofiles/Event%20Zone%20Ordinance/EventZoneGuidelines.pdf">banned</a> a number of  items during convention week. They include: metal knuckles, mace, paintball rifles, hard plastic that is more than ¾ inch thick, wood that is more than ¼ inch thick and aerosol cans. In the area around the convention defined as the "event zone," glass bottles, light bulbs and locks that are not attached to a bicycle will be forbidden. As will pieces of rope more than 6 inches long as well as sticks, poles or water guns.</p> <p>All of these items are banned on the presumption that they might cause harm. Guns don't make the list.</p> <p>Buckhorn<a href="http://www2.tbo.com/mgmedia/file/249/buckhorn-letter-gov-scott-rnc-zone-guns/"> asked</a> Republican Governor Rick Scott to issue an executive order restricting the transportation of guns in Tampa during the convention. Scott refused. As Scott pointed out in his <a href="http://www.tampagov.net/paofiles/Scott_Buckhorn%20Letters/20120502_LetterfromGovernorScott.pdf">reply</a>, sticks, poles and water guns are not protected by the Second Amendment. Guns are. You can't argue with his logic.</p> <p>(Francis Wilkinson is a member of the Bloomberg View editorial board. <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/fdwilkinson">Follow</a> him on Twitter.)</p> <p> </p> </body> </html>