The circus maybe over, but I’mstill watching

Eric Steinkopff - Managing Editor

Both Republican and Democratic national conventions are over — finally — and all sides seem to think their presentations were the best. That’s normal, I guess.

What doesn’t appear to be normal for these events in a presidential election year is the overwhelming call to go against the establishments of both parties. That might just be fashionable, like in the 1960s when the hippie generation said not to trust anyone over the age of 30, but I think there’s more to it than that.

Republican presidential hopeful and businessman Donald Trump obviously isn’t with the old guard of that party. There were still more traditional and non-traditional candidates taking swipes at him during that convention. But he’s still on his way with his new vice presidential running mate Indiana Gov. Mike Pence.

Democratic presidential hopeful and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is with the old guard of that party, but the supporters of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders weren’t going to go away so quickly. They spent much of the beginning of that convention expressing their displeasure, especially under the circumstances leading to Democratic Party Chairman Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s resignation.

Once the dust settles from both events, maybe we can get down to a real look at the issues, the facts and platforms. I’m watching with interest and can’t seem to look away — kind of like a train wreck you know is going to happen, but you just have to watch the spectacle. I guess that’s human nature.

But one of the things I thought very interesting and it isn’t getting much play, deeply involved First Amendment and Second Amendment rights — and probably a few others.

I seem to remember during the Republican National Convention that there were some people intending to protest, who wanted to carry their sidearms on their belts under the state’s open carry law. They appeared to be black from the reports on television. Some people were concerned.

There were some frantic reports that quoted a couple of law enforcement officers asking the Ohio governor to temporarily repeal the open carry law. They appeared to be white from the reports on television.

You never know when you see an opinion from one person of a group whether he or she represents the thinking of the entire rank and file, or if maybe that person is just the loudest.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich, whom Trump beat in the primaries, said no, that he did not have the authority to change state laws. That was the job of the state Legislature.

So, some people who apparently could legally have firearms for self-defense — without criminal records, mental deficiencies, etc. — were going to march — armed.

I was wondering if this was another train wreck about to happen. I had to watch.

But nothing more was reported on that. If someone else saw something, please let me know.

In some states it is not legal to carry firearms into large gatherings of people. I’m not a lawyer or law enforcement officer, and I don’t know Ohio’s laws.

It seems that some of the legal gun owners who appeared to be of a different ethnic group than myself, were going to protect themselves during peaceful marches or demonstrations. The situation seemed to have worked out without bloodshed.

Wow! Freedom of speech, freedom to peaceably assemble and the right to bear arms and I didn’t hear about any incidents.

I’m surprised that some gun rights advocates didn’t jump on that as a positive example of their beliefs.

Eric Steinkopff

Managing Editor

Reach Eric Steinkopff at or 580-482-1221, ext 2072.

Reach Eric Steinkopff at or 580-482-1221, ext 2072.

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