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by Chad D. Baus
Yet another murder occurred over the weekend in a so-called "gun free" zone in Ohio, and church officials are thankful the death toll wasn't higher.
From The Star Beacon:
Children screamed in terror and hid under the pews at Hiawatha Church of God in Christ on Sunday, witnesses said, as an Ashtabula man was shot and killed by his son just after the Easter service.
Richard Riddle, 52, was leaving the church on Hiawatha Street with his wife at about 1 p.m. when his son, 25-year-old Reshad Riddle, approached him and fired a single round from a handgun, instantly killing Richard, church associate pastor Sean Adams said.
About 150 parishioners were leaving the church in recessional. They ducked down at the sound of the gunshot, pushing their children and grandchildren under the pews as Reshad Riddle entered the church, still carrying the gun and yelling that the shooting was "the will of Allah. This is the will of God," Adams said.
"It was terrifying," Adams said. "The children were screaming, and people were dialing 911. We were afraid to breathe."
...Ashtabula police Chief Robert Stell said dispatchers received multiple calls from inside the church and immediately called law enforcement mutual aid from every available agency to the scene.
"The initial call we received was more along the lines of a mass shooting," he said. "We knew that shots were fired in the church, and we thought there were multiple people down. We called other agencies to assist because it was described as a mass shooting and we weren't sure if there were multiple shooters or multiple people wounded."
As was reported by the Associated Press, witnesses feared the worst:
"Tragic as it is, it could have been so much worse," Rev. Steve Sargent, associate pastor of the Hiawatha Church of God in Christ in Ashtabula, said Monday as he pointed out where the gunman moved through the sanctuary.
Michael Wofford, 59, a worshipper who attended Sunday's service with his wife and two grandchildren, said he feared a shooting rampage after the gunman finished his spiel from the pulpit area.
"Is he going to just walk out of the church or is he going to start shooting people at random," Wofford asked in the church vestibule. "Sooner or later he's going to run out of words. It could have been much worse."
In Ohio, if a church member with a concealed handgun license brings their firearm to church as a means of protection against such an attack, the law calls for him to be arrested and charged with a felony of the fourth degree, and a conviction would earn him up to $5000 in fines and 18 months in prison.
How did it get this bad in the Buckeye State, where, once upon a time, state law encouraged citizens to bear arms at church services? Will it take a church massacre (or massacres) in Ohio before the Republicans controlling the General Assembly do anything about it?
by Ken Hanson, Esq.
COLUMBUS, OHIO - The Newton, CT school shootings were a tragedy. Nationwide, the debate has ignited over what to do in response to these shootings. In response, big-city school districts have dismissed arming teachers in favor of more anti-bullying programs, locked doors, door buzzers, security cameras, "no guns" signs, gun bans, candle-light vigils and a supply of sacrificial animals as an offering to appease angry spirits.
"School safety is not cheap, but what cost do you put on a child's life?" asked Columbus Superintendent Gene Harris. "When will the Ohio General Assembly finally establish an equitable system of school funding, a system that will allow Columbus schools to have as many "no guns" signs and door buzzers as New Albany?"
When asked about arming teachers, a security provision that is budget neutral, Harris dismissed the idea. "More guns are not the answer. We need more "no guns" signs and anti-bullying programs, and we need them now."
by Ken Hanson, Esq.
WASHINGTON, D.C. Faced with political and legal threats to existing, and proposed, gun-control laws, activists have borrowed a page from those who blazed the trail before them – the American civil rights movement.
"It really crystalized, for me, when people laughed when I suggested homeowners randomly fire guns in the air to deter crime," said Vice President Joe Biden. "It simply motivated me to recommit my efforts towards advancing this agenda." The Vice-President then explained that there is a clear parallel between our current debate over banning guns and the American civil rights movement.
The Obama administration declared March 28, 2013, a national Day of Action in support of gun-control. The plan, per a press release from the administration, is to motivate literally dozens of activists in all 50 states to put Sharpie markers to drugstore poster board and stand on random street corners for around an hour in support of gun-control. In larger cities across America, the plan is for the activists to at least walk in circles, so that it qualifies as a "march."
Dear Ohio NRA Member:
The U.S. Senate is currently scheduled to vote on several anti-gun bills during the week of April 8. One, the so-called "universal background check" bill being pushed by Senator Chuck Schumer, would criminalize the private transfer of firearms between law-abiding citizens. This legislation would make it illegal for a family member to transfer a firearm to another family member without the federal government's approval. According to a recent Department of Justice memo, the effectiveness of a universal background check system "depends on gun registration" -- which is illegal under federal law. In addition, no background check system will ever be truly "universal", as criminals do not submit to background checks.
Please contact Senator Portman and encourage him to oppose this anti-freedom legislation. Ask him to support real solutions that will reduce violent crime and keep our children safe -- fixing our broken mental health system; securing our schools; and prosecuting violent criminals.
HB495: Definition of "unloaded" gun is now fixed for all Ohioans; "No Guns" signs come down in Statehouse parking garageSubmitted by cbaus on Fri, 03/29/2013 - 07:00.
by Ken Hanson and Sean Maloney
HB495, sponsored by Rep. Terry Johnson (R) and passed into law last December, became effective March 27, 2013, and is now the law of the land. The reforms make three changes to current law:
- Eliminates the "demonstrated competency" requirement for second and future CHL renewals, making CHL training similar to a hunting license.
- Fixes the definition of a "loaded gun" to match the commonly accepted definition.
- Allows law-abiding gun owners to have their firearms stored in their cars in the state-owned parking garages such as the one under the Statehouse.
There are now ways to have a loaded magazine in your vehicle.
The definition of "unloaded" is amended in R.C. 2923.16(K)(5) and (6).
The new law allows anyone to have a loaded magazine or speed loader in the vehicle. THERE IS A TWO TIER approach to this.
For someone who does not have a Concealed Handgun License, that person may have loaded magazines or speed loaders in the vehicle so long as:
- The magazine or speed loader does not fit any firearm being transported in the vehicle; or
- The magazine or speed loader is in a compartment reachable only by leaving the vehicle; or
- The magazine or speed loader is in a closed package, box or case that has multiple compartments (i.e. a gun case) as long as the magazine or speed loader is in a separate compartment in the closed package, box or case from the firearm, OR, if the closed package, box or case only has one compartment, the magazine or firearm is separately enclosed in something using a snap, buckle, zipper, button, hook and loop etc. (My best stab at this is it is a one compartment gun case, the gun or the magazine/speed loader would need to be in some sort of pouch that is closed.); or
- The magazine or speed loader is on the person of the occupant in a pocket that is closed using a snap, buckle, zipper, button or hook and loop.
For someone with a CHL, they may have a loaded magazine in the vehicle anyway they wish, so long as any magazine for a non-handgun is not inserted into the non-handgun. (i.e. a loaded rifle magazine may be anywhere in the vehicle as long as it isn’t inserted into the rifle.)
In addition to that important change, two other changes were made.
Messages of thanks pour in from school employees after attending Buckeye Firearms Foundation-funded training opportunitiesSubmitted by cbaus on Thu, 03/28/2013 - 15:00.
In addition to its much-publicized Armed Teachers Training Program, Buckeye Firearms Foundation is supporting various types of educational opportunities all over the state of Ohio. Following are just a few of the many responses we have received from people who have attended the training.
...I received a rare chance to be a guest of yours for the teachers conference Saturday morning [March 16]. I would like to personally thank you for that great opportunity. This was my first time seeing Lieutenant Colonel Dave Grossman speak and surely not the last. What a great guy, and strong freedom fighter for our rights! Every word he spoke touched a prism of my heart that I truly wasn't expecting.
During these times of struggle, and an outright war for what we are God, and lawfully, given, it warms my heart to see a group of individuals so dedicated and driven to fight for what is rightfully ours, the second amendment!
In the face of the recent rash of mass murders, you not only rhetorically and generically say "It's unconstitutional to start banning and registering firearms!" you also stand for a more radical approach. That approach being arming and empowering teachers, administrators, and school board members with KNOWLEDGE. The knowledge about firearms and firearm safety. About situational awareness, building safety and security, and about crisis management! I could see the transformation unfold before my eyes, from SHEEP to SHEEPDOG [that day]!
You and your administration at BFF have an awe inspiring gift. You touch my very soul from start to finish. You inspire me to keep fighting the good fight not only for our fellow Americans, but for the future generations, the children, of this great nation as well. You are doing such great things and I will forever continue to support and pray for you all.
Again, I want to give you a personal and heartfelt, thank you so very much, for the opportunity to be your guest at the teachers conference yesterday. I will forever be enriched by the emotion, and the knowledge that I was able to experience that day. I pray that you have a positive outcome with what you are doing this coming week, training the teachers, and that it is only the beginning!
First class for Buckeye Firearms Foundation-funded Armed Teachers Training Program held at Tactical Defense InstituteSubmitted by cbaus on Thu, 03/28/2013 - 07:00.
by Chad D. Baus
The first Armed Teachers Training Program class was conducted this week at Tactical Defense Institute in Adams County. The Columbus Dispatch has published the first coverage of the training, which was funded by Buckeye Firearms Foundation.
From the article:
Arming teachers in classrooms is the best way to stop more mass murders, said Jim Irvine, the president of the Buckeye Firearm Association.
"Gun control is purely political and has no place in this conversation," Irvine said. "It doesn't work."
This is why the Buckeye Firearm Foundation, a non-profit with the association, paid $30,000 for two dozen Ohio school teachers, administrators and maintenance workers to learn how to handle a gun should a shooter invade a school.
by Dean Rieck
When I needed a new belt holster for my Glock 17, I knew exactly where to look: Comp-Tac.
I'm not one of those guys who likes to collect three dozen holsters. I want one holster that suits my needs and will last forever. In this case, I needed a new holster for my full-size Glock, which I use primarily for training and fun shoots.
I've used a Kydex paddle holster from another well-known company for a few years, but I never liked it. There's no retention adjustment and I have to really yank to draw the weapon. Plus, the rivets are rusted, the plastic is thin, and I'm always worried it's going to break. I bought it because it's cheap and I guess you get what you pay for.
That's why I wanted to make a change. And I knew Comp-Tac was the right place to look. I knew this because last year, I took a 3-day class at Tactical Defense Institute and tested a Comp-Tac holster for my M&P9c, which I use for concealed carry. It performed flawlessly and I couldn't have been happier.
So of course I returned to Comp-Tac to get a holster for my Glock. I chose the belt holster because, while paddles make gearing up and down a little easier, having anything down your pants will eventually cause a little discomfort over a period of time. Plus, a belt holster provides more space between the body and the pistol grip for a confident draw stroke.
McCain emerges as key senator in creating universal gun registration scheme; Bloomberg targets Ohio Sen. Rob Portman in adsSubmitted by cbaus on Wed, 03/27/2013 - 07:00.
by Chad D. Baus
The Hill is reporting that Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) has emerged as a key player in Senate Democrats' battle to move legislation to impose a so-called "universal" background check gun registration scheme that would force law-abiding gun owners to get permission from the government before any private transfer of firearms, even among family members.
From the article:
McCain and Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Dean Heller (R-Nev.) are at the top of a list of Republicans considered most likely to sign on to legislation expanding background checks after talks with Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) stalled earlier this month.
Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) has signaled he will likely support the yet-to-be-finalized proposal he negotiated with Sens. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) to expand background checks to cover private gun sales, according to Senate sources.
by Jim Shepherd
For everyone who's celebrating California Senator Dianne Feinstein's "2013 Assault Weapons Ban" being omitted in the package of legislation being considered in the Senate, a word of warning: not so fast.
Sure, Sen. Feinstein's had a public come-apart over Majority Leader Harry Reid's decision to omit her signature piece of legislation from the Democrat's comprehensive gun bill, but that's only a skirmish. It is too-early to put this one into the record books as a win.
After all, it wasn't booted because anti-gun pols didn't want to pass it. It was bounced because plenty of Democratic Senate seats are going to be contested - in relatively conservative states - in 2014.
And Speaker Reid's decision wasn't to bolster his NRA rating, it was to protect his majority leader position. He'd sell out the NRA rating just as quickly as he pulled the proverbial rug out from under Sen. Feinstein. With her extreme measures off the board, he's still hoping to get some gun controls passed. As he'll undoubtedly say in the not-too-distant future, "hey, I got the extreme stuff out of the bills, we need to pass something here."