WESSON, TENNESSEE — When Clem O’Connell gets in his truck and heads out to the Republican National Convention this summer, he wants to be assured he can bring “any and all arms” he deems necessary into the convention hall.
O’Connell is one of the many thousands of Americans who have signed an online petition to the RNC, asking them to allow the open carrying of firearms during this year’s convention. Many have said that sounds like a bad idea due to the fact that it is almost certain it will be a very hotly contested and emotionally-driven convention. The fight between the establishment and rank and file voters over their presidential nominee is certain to bring about a brokered convention already, but O’Connell feels that guns would not only make the convention safer, he doesn’t think there should be any limitations on the weapons allowed inside at all.
“Show me in the Second Amendment where it says arms have to just be guns,” O’Connell demanded, “because I thought my Republican Party was all about treating the Constitution — and society — as if we still live in 1788.” Clem claims that the founders would have scoffed at the notion that he wasn’t to bring weapons into a political process like the convention, even though he admits after doing “lots of research” that he couldn’t verify if all the signers of the Constitution were “packing heat” at the time or not.
But Clem says that traditional firearms aren’t enough, and he wants to know why he can’t bring a thermonuclear device into the convention if he wanted to. O’Connell told us that while he doesn’t have a dirty bomb currently, he feels Thomas Jefferson and James Madison would want him to have one so that he could use it against his own duly elected government in case he doesn’t personally like the outcome of an election.
“Clearly they were in favor of arming everyone and everyone for any cause known to man,” Clem said, “and sure George Washington himself rode up on a horse himself, leading the army against an insurrection over taxes himself. But that doesn’t mean anything. Not really. What matters is that the NRA and the gun lobby has convinced me that it’s not only in my best interest, but it was totally the intent of the founders to create a society where elections could just be overturned by the opposing side carrying more and bigger guns around with them.”
Clem told us that he’s of the opinion that if Patrick Henry knew about them, he’d change his famous speech to end, “Give me fissile material, or give me death!” According to Mr. O’Connell, peace is “sustained only through overt shows of force” and “nothing is more forceful than a nuclear blast.”
“I’m not saying I’m going to detonate the damn thing,” Clem said,”I’m just saying I want the opportunity to do so, if I see fit. What’s so wrong with that? Is that not the true definition of liberty — doing whatever the fuck I want whenever the I want and then just simply pointing to the American flag and crying when I get called out on it?”
So far, no one from the RNC has responded to Clem’s request to bring a nuclear device into the convention, but he does have 3500 co-signers to his proposed petition amendment.