Bloomberg crony on H.B. 203: Horribly misinformed, or intentionally lying?

The Gongwer News Service reported last week on the latest round of attacks on H.B. 203 (Concealed Carry & Self-Defense Law Reform), coordinated by billionaire Michael Bloomberg, a hypocrite who enjoys his own private armed security but insists that everyone else's right to bear arms be severely limited or abolished.

From the article:

Opponents of wide-ranging legislation that has sparked tensions over so-called "stand your ground" language, called on Gov. John Kasich and Senate lawmakers Thursday to "kill the kill bill."

Supporters of the measure maintain, however, that the bill is not like legislation seen in other states, and argue while the bill removes the duty to retreat, Ohioans would still need to meet other legal thresholds in justifying the use of force.

Although the bill (HB 203), which seeks to update concealed handgun license requirements and related laws, has yet to see further legislative consideration since passing the House in November, opponents expressed concerns over potential action in the upper chamber.

Moms Demand Action For Gun Sense in America spokeswoman Lucia McBath, who said her son Jordan Davis's alleged shooter is using Florida's stand your ground law as an immunity, joined Ohio NAACP President Sybil McNabb, Cincinnati Councilman Wendell Young, Ohio Legislative Black Caucus President Rep. Alicia Reece (D-Cincinnati) and others to urge against action on the bill.

Pointing to the impact Florida's self-defense laws have had on her life, Ms. McBath said she knows firsthand "how critical the stand your ground legislation is."

"I understand completely that it gives immunity to criminals, it broadens the scope in which they're able to use their gun on innocent victims. It gives them complete authority to shoot first and ask questions later," she said. "I'm here today because I am imploring your legislators, but more importantly your governor, to kill this bill.

"The ramifications, the implications, should you enact this bill, you will forever be haunted by."

Ms. McBath said if passed, she believes Ohio will see a rise in the number of "justifiable homicides" due to the bill's language.

She told reporters that her organization and other groups in opposition to the bill are working ensure that the Senate doesn't take up consideration of the legislation, which Ms. McBath said is "very similar" to the Florida law.

"Stand your ground, whatever aspects there are of it, it's just not a good piece of legislation," she said. "There's so many different components in different states, it really doesn't even matter.

"The fact that you could use that immunity to walk away free, that you would take no accountability even if you are the individual that is creating the conflict ... the fact that you have no accountability to step back without escalating the confrontation: no duty to doesn't matter what's added or what's taken away, overall, the bill is a very bad piece of legislation."

The claims made by Bloomberg crony Lucia McBath in this article are patently false.

  • "I understand completely that it gives immunity to criminals."
  • "It broadens the scope in which they're able to use their gun on innocent victims."
  • "It gives them complete authority to shoot first and ask questions later."
  • "[Y}ou would take no accountability even if you are the individual that is creating the conflict."
  • "[Y]ou have no accountability to step back without escalating the confrontation."

False. False. False. False. False. I hereby publicly challenge McBath to do what the media at this press event should have done - ask her to quote the section of H.B. 203 that she believes does the things she claims.

McBath will not be able to point to any section of H.B. 203 that proposes to do the things she claims - not just because it is likely she has never read it - but also because the section of Ohio law which opponents claim is going to turn Ohio into a racist "shoot first" state is exceedingly simple:

Sec. 2901.09 (B) For purposes of any section of the Revised Code that sets forth a criminal offense, a person who lawfully is in that person's residence has no duty to retreat before using force in self-defense, defense of another, or defense of that person's residence, and a person who lawfully is an occupant of that person's vehicle or who lawfully is an occupant in a vehicle owned by an immediate family member of the person has no duty to retreat before using force in self-defense or defense of another if that person is in a place that the person lawfully has a right to be.

Even with this change, Ohio law will continue to require that a person claiming self-defense must still be able to prove both that he or she was not at fault in creating the situation, that they had reasonable grounds to believe (objective facts) and an honest belief (a subjective belief that the objective facts amounted to) an imminent danger of serious bodily harm or death, and that the only way to escape this imminent danger was using lethal/deadly force. Period.

Bloomberg crony Lucia McBath is either intentionally lying about this legislation, or horribly uninformed.

Again, from the article:

Buckeye Firearms Association Legislative Chair Ken Hanson took issue with comparisons to Florida law, as well as the characterization of the measure as "stand your ground" legislation.

"I have no idea what 'stand your ground' means because Ohio's the only state that treats this as an affirmative defense," he said. "Everyone loves to throw Trayvon Martin out, if you read Trayvon Martin jury instructions, stand your ground appears in three words out of 50 pages and it can never appear in Ohio law because in Ohio law it will still be an affirmative defense."

Mr. Hanson added that the bill is very clear that the only thing removed is the duty to physically retreat. Ohioans would still have to prove they didn't prolong or escalate the situation, they had reasonable grounds and an honest belief there was imminent danger of serious harm or death and that lethal force as used as a last resort.

Ohio is currently the only state where individuals have to prove to the court that they were acting in self-defense, he said. "In every other state and every other territory the prosecution must prove I wasn't."

Mr. Hanson called allegations that the bill will lead individuals to shoot those that they are threatened by "nonsense" and urged Ohioans to "read the bill." He added that "duty to retreat" language makes up just one part of this wide-ranging measure, which he said would bring Ohio's gun laws more in line with surrounding states.

"Every surrounding state has what we're trying to do. Ohio has always trailed the nation on gun laws. We've always been behind, we've always been in the last seven or eight states to do something," Mr. Hanson said, in reference to the legislation's provisions regarding training, reciprocity and background checks, among others.

"The surrounding states have had these same laws for 10 to 15 years, none of the surrounding states said 'oh we made a mistake we need to go back,' instead, what they say is 'okay, this is a good idea and we need to further loosen our law."

Mr. Hanson said BFA is continuing to push lawmakers to take up the legislation before lame duck so that they can be "held accountable."

The simple, incontrovertible fact about H.B. 203 is that it simply removes the so-called "duty to retreat," it would not otherwise change the threshold to legally use lethal force in defending one's life.

And that is a very good thing. The law should not impose specific 'duties' on people whose lives are in jeopardy. It should protect the innocent and their right to defend their own life from criminal attack. That is what H.B. 203 seeks to do when it comes to Ohio law on self-defense - nothing more.

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

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