Editorial: G-20: Guns and hot tempers a bad combination

By Editorial

Along with bringing an esteemed collection of world leaders, the G-20 Summit meetings… Along with bringing an esteemed collection of world leaders, the G-20 Summit meetings consistently attract large crowds of protesters. To keep things under control, the Pittsburgh Police and Secret Service have been preparing for weeks — there will even be an influx of 1,000 Pennsylvania state police officers for added manpower. But the city is looking toward more than just manpower.

Under a proposed city of Pittsburgh ordinance, protesters would face restrictions on carrying an assault weapon during the G-20 protests, according to an article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

A clause in the ordinance says that no one is allowed to posses a variety of items, including 37 types of firearms and even rotten eggs, if it looks like they are attempting to disturb police crowd dispersal efforts. As notably demonstrated at a recent President Obama protest in Arizona, citizens have the right to openly bear arms, provided they have a permit.

Legislators say this proposal has nothing against possessing guns. Supporters say they just hope gun owners leave them at home.

It’s not difficult to understand the rationale behind this proposal. G-20 protests don’t possess an immaculate record as far as violence. For example, 122 individuals wereProxy-Connection: keep-alive

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rrested following clashes with police forces at the London G-20 meeting in April. Gun-toting protesters could potentially wreck lethal damage.

Any type of gun, no matter its caliber or firepower, can obviously be deadly in the wrong hands.

Yet, as the ordinance targets assault weapons, there’s all the more reason to put it into effect. High-power semi-automatic rifles — examples of automatic weapons — have no place at such demonstrations. Even if self-defense is a priority, why do protesters need such firepower?

Of course, it’s true that the majority of gun-carrying protesters don’t intend to use their weapons, and many carry firearms to provide self-defense or to be used as a mark of intimidation.

But when it comes down to it, hot tempers and assault weapons never seem like a very safe or sound combination. And if protesters really want their point heard, acts of violence will only overshadow their message of reform.

The G-20 Summit consistently attracts swarms of protesters, and this tradition of sorts doesn’t appear to be going away. As long as the protesting persists, we should keep the potential damage to a minimum.

Right to arms advocates believe the G-20 protests serve as an impetus to tighten gun control. As the ordinance doesn’t include an expiration date, it could still be in effect even after G-20 concludes.

Perhaps this is an example of hasty legislation, and there’s sure to be even more discontent from gun rights groups. But the proponents of the ordinance still uphold auspicious reasoning.