Gun control is a hot ticket item for Republicans leading into the November elections, especially in light of the death of Trayvon Martin in Florida. Trayvon was an unarmed youth returning home from the store carrying an iced tea and a bag of Skittles when he was shot to death by neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman. The death of Trayvon has quickly become the case to be argued- for and against gun control legislation throughout the U.S.
The Republican National Convention (RNC) will be held in Florida in August this year. Concerns over attendees being armed due to the conceal and carry law in Florida have come to the surface. The Associated Press reports “Tampa city leaders have already proposed a host of banned items (lumber, hatchets, gas masks, chains and "super soaker" water cannons) - but they are prevented from outlawing concealed guns.” Super soaker water cannons are large water guns. Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn has said the state law makes the city “look silly” since it has banned water guns, but loaded weapons cannot be banned due to First and Second Amendments. But "We're kind of constrained by the state law," he said. The rules for the convention also ban lumber, hatchets, gas masks, chains.
In light of the anticipated protests during the convention, protest zones will be set up and hopes are high there will be no violence- but local authorities will be preparing for the large crowds. The police department in Tampa will be rotating its’ 1000 member police force to provide convention security. 3,000 officers from agencies throughout the state will be called in to help out as well. Crowds of up to 45,000 people are expected. A strong presence of law enforcement officers will hopefully curtail protestors from getting violent during the convention.
As this election season draws closer, all eyes and ears will be on the national conventions for both parties. Onlookers will watch to see how the issues are addressed and begin to make plans on how to cast their ballots in November. It is very unlikely anyone will remember a lot of the details about the RNC in Florida once their decisions are made on who will receive their vote. But be rest assured- no one will forget knowing that water guns have been banned, but loaded weapons are welcome through the front door of the Republican National Convention.