Op-Ed: Predictions by anti-gun crowd rarely come true

by Mike McCoy

Law-abiding citizens are likely to soon see several improvements to Ohio’s concealed carry law. In a bipartisan vote Tuesday, the Policy and Legislative Oversight Committee of the Ohio House of Representatives voted to send House Bill 203 to the full House. This was an important step in moving this legislation to passage.

...What the misnamed stand your ground provision actually does is expand the number of locations at which a law-abiding citizen has no duty to retreat before using force in self-defense. Obviously, this increases safety for the law-abiding citizen, who no longer is trying to run from a dangerous criminal before being able to defend himself or herself.

As always, opponents of freedom are predicting doom and gloom if stand your ground is enacted in Ohio. They claim it will be open season on innocent teenagers like Martin (who turned out not to be so innocent at all). They claim criminals will use stand your ground to kill other criminals and get away with it, when the law clearly says anyone claiming stand your ground still has to prove they were entitled to self-defense. In other words, the anti-gun, anti-freedom crowd is doing what they always do — predicting catastrophe.

Perhaps we should go back in time and examine the past predictions of the anti-gun crowd.

When concealed carry was first being considered in Ohio more than 10 years ago, the anti-gun crowd predicted Ohio would become the Wild West. Needless to say, that didn't happen. When changes were made to how guns could be carried in vehicles, the anti-gun crowd predicted concealed carry licensees would begin shooting police officers during traffic stops. Obviously, that didn't happen either.

More recently, when legislation was passed that allowed concealed carry in establishments that serve alcohol, the nearly hysterical anti-gun crowd shouted "guns and alcohol don't mix" and predicted there would be shootouts in bars and restaurants that serve alcohol. That didn't happen either, because law-abiding citizens follow the law and don't drink when they are carrying their guns.

So what are the facts? The fact is gun ownership is at an all-time high and violent crime is at a 35-year low. The fact is concealed carry laws have expanded to all 50 states and murder has fallen to a 45-year low. The fact is the centerpiece of the anti-gun crowd’s gun control agenda, the federal handgun waiting period, expired in 1998 and the murder rate has decreased 21 percent since. Finally, although the assault weapons ban expired in 2004 and ownership of "assault weapons" has exploded since then, the murder rate has dropped 10 percent. In short, the truth is more guns mean a safer country. The truth is more and better concealed carry laws mean less violent crime.

H.B. 203 won't solve all our problems in Ohio, but it's a step in the right direction.

Click here to read the entire op-ed published in various Ohio Gannett-owned newspapers.

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