Bible in front pocket saves bus driver from gunshots, but why does Dayton RTA still ban CCW?

The recent shooting of a Dayton city bus driver is the latest in a long string of violent incidents that draw attention to the illegal ban on guns in city busses in Dayton and other Ohio cities.

From WCPO (ABC Dayton):

Authorities say a Bible may have saved the life of a Dayton bus driver Monday morning.

A New Testament Bible was in the front pocket of Regional Transit Authority bus driver Rickey Waggoner's shirt when he took two bullets to the chest during an early morning shooting.

The bullets struck the Bible and did not penetrate his body, authorities told WHIO-TV.

Waggoner spent Monday night at Miami Valley Hospital, recovering from a gunshot to his leg and stab wounds to his left arm. Three shots were fired, police said, and the Bible blocked two of them.

"I had a book in my pocket," Waggoner said in the 911 call. "At first I thought it went through. It just feels like I've been hit with a sledgehammer in the chest. And I've been cut on the arm."

Officers at the scene called the life-saving event an “intervention.”

"There was obviously some kind of intervention involved in this incident because (Waggoner) should probably not be here," Dayton Police Sgt. Michael Pauley said.

According to WHIO, Waggoner, 49, parked his bus on Lakeview Avenue in Dayton after it stopped running. While outside of the bus assessing the problem, Waggoner was approached by three teens who said they had to "shoot a polar bear," police said. The teens also mentioned "getting into the club."

Waggoner fought for his life, wrestling a gun and knife away from the teens, who then ran away.

"They started to run. I shot at them with their gun. I got their gun and knife in the bus with me," he said in the 911 call.

Waggoner told the 911 operator that he stabbed one of his attackers with his pen, but that he was unsure if any of the shots he fired hit them.

Police said the three suspects are about 15 to 18 years old.

Paramedics rushed Waggoner to Miami Valley after the incident. Officials said he was shaken up but is now in good condition.

According to the a criminal justice professor quoted in the article, the attack was likely motivated by race and is being investigated as a hate crime.

According to Dr. Art Jipson, criminal justice Professor at the University of Dayton, the term "polar Bear" is often used by gangs. He said "polar Bear" refers to a white individual, and "black bear" refers to a black individual.

"Club is in essence a reference for a gang," Jipson said. "To say it's time to get into a club means this is my entrance fee, this is how I get in. This is how I prove myself."

Buckeye Firearms Association has been reporting on violent incidents that have occurred on Dayton RTA busses, as well as others around the state, for nearly a decade. Despite the continued violence, the Greater Dayton Regional Transit Autority (GDRTA) continues its practice of posting "no-guns" signs on busses. This is frustrating, not only because the signs are clearly doing nothing to curb the violence, but also because the signs are being posted illegally.

While Ohio Revised Code prohibits concealed carry in buildings owned by the state or a political subdivision (such as the GDRTA), the ORC does NOT prohibit license-holders on property outside the building itself, nor does it prohibit license-holders from traveling on city busses.

Indeed, when Ohio's concealed carry law was first passed in 2004, then-Senator Randy Gardner inquired with the Ohio Attorney General's office on the subject of city busses, and stated as follows:

"The AG's office is under the belief that public busses are not exempted and that local ordinances can't override state law."

"No-guns" signs posted on city busses are a violation of the intent of the General Assembly, and put innocent people at risk.

In 2011, the Toledo Area Regional Transportation Agency (TARTA), which had also placed 'no-guns' signs on its busses upon passage of Ohio's concealed carry law years earlier, agreed to modify TARTA's policy, and change TARTA's "passenger code of conduct" to allow lawful concealed carry on its busses. It is high time GDRTA and the rest of the state transit authorities do the same.

Chad D. Baus is the Buckeye Firearms Association Secretary, and BFA PAC Vice Chairman.

Related Articles:

Man shot at Dayton bus stop

''Near riot'' at ''no-guns'' Dayton RTA hub

Dayton RTA psgr. shoots self in leg

Dayton bus stop crime highlights ongoing violations by Ohio RTAs

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