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Keller @ Large: Where Guns Can't Go

BOSTON (CBS) - Is it a joke? Or an effort to spark a serious debate about guns and public safety?

An online petition to lift the ban on guns at the upcoming Republican National Convention certainly has people talking.

Not gonna happen, says the Secret Service, and they're in charge. But the petition calling for it has drawn close to 50,000 signatures, and re-ignited an old controversy: should public places like schools, movie theaters and convention halls be gun-free zones?

"That's the wild west mentality," says Newton-based anti-gun violence activist John Rosenthal of Stop Handgun Violence. "More gun access, more gun violence. Would you like to be in a movie theater where everybody was armed in the dark shooting one another?"

"We don't want wild west, that's not what gun owners want," counters Jim Wallace of the Gun Owner's Action League in Northboro. "There's a lot of movie theaters that actually allow people to carry. If you look at the one where there was a huge incident [in Aurora, Colorado] it was the only one within 15 miles that did not allow people to carry."

Wallace notes the State House is a gun-free - or as he calls it, defenseless - zone, and there's a bill on file there to study whether or not it should stay that way. But Rosenthal says that approach defies history and logic: "You have more people armed in the State House or in hospitals or schools or you name it, you're gonna have more gun violence."

Wallace claims people have become over-reliant on others to provide security in public places, and we've seen how mass shootings have often led to tighter security measures. But Rosenthal, a gun owner himself, calls that a distraction from the real issue of too many weapons in irresponsible hands.

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