‘Saddam Hussein’ and ‘Osama Bin Ladin’ among those who signed anti-self-defense rights petition opposing HB 203

by David Codrea

A public records request by Gun Rights Examiner to review 10,000 signatures opposing adoption of a "Stand Your Ground" bill (H.B. No. 203) -- reportedly submitted by the Ohio Black Legislative Council to Gov. John Kasich -- was answered when a compact disc containing the information arrived in Thursday's mail.

"Is the complete and unredacted petition with all 10,000 names a public record that we as citizens have a right to see?" this correspondent publicly asked the governor on Oct. 3. "Will you make it available for public scrutiny?"

The request was partially answered.

"Please find the records responsive to your request," the Assistant Chief Counsel for the Office of the Governor advised in his cover letter. "Please note, there are items, clearly indicated in black, that have been redacted. These items represent personal information that does not fall within the statutory definition of record."

What is included is nonetheless revealing, and the 13 files received have been consolidated into one file and posted to this correspondent's account at the Scribd online document archive for wider review.

Of the concerns and reasons for requesting a copy of the petition, first and foremost was to determine if claims by the OBLC, that 10,000 signatures had been submitted to the governor, were reliable. That number was widely parroted by the media, but there is no indication anyone actually did a fact check. With the petition now made public, it can be seen that they certainly submitted several thousand names, but there are reasons why the numbers and the individual signatures merit further scrutiny.

...A quick tally of 12 of the 13 files received, which are combinations of the OBLC petition, a form letter posted online by the Ohio House Democrats, and cards with the heading "Ohio Student Association & Columbus Community," yields under 3,300 signatures.

The remaining file was a combination of signatures followed by 26 pages containing a printed list of names, perhaps gleaned from the Ohio House Democrats' online petition, which currently indicates it has gathered 1,271 electronic "signatures" with "229 needed." A brief comparison verifies there are some matches between the online names and the names on the printed list. Whether that indicates the file list submitted to the governor used the online petition as a source, or if the same names appear on more than one petition, will not be clear without further analysis.

That's not the only disconnect from being able to assess the integrity of the numbers being represented. Within the physically signed petition copies, there are instances where it appears the same hand signed for different names. There are sections where names are crossed out. There are first names without last names. One woman signed "In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ," and it's pretty certain He neither personally OK'd that nor is a registered Ohio voter. And, particularly with the printed list, many names indicate they are from other states.

Two who definitely aren't Buckeyes are "Saddam Hussein" and "Osama Bin Ladin," which brings to mind the fiasco of Michael Bloomberg's "No More Names" tour reading off the names of the Boston bomber and other criminals "killed by guns." It's safe to assume here that someone was having some fun throwing the left's Alinsky Rule 5 ridicule tactic right back in their faces.

Click here to read the entire report by Gun Rights Examiner's David Codrea.

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