Clearing up confusion: 4 common misunderstandings about Issue 1

I've talked to a lot of family and friends on both sides of the political spectrum about Issue 1, and the most common theme among them all is confusion.

It's understandable, considering the misleading messages coming from the opposition.

Here are four common points of confusion and the real facts on each one:

Is a 60% majority undemocratic?

Even though the U.S. Constitution and constitutions and bylaws of many organizations opposing Issue 1 require much more than a simple majority to approve amendments, the idea of the Ohio Constitution requiring a 60% majority is somehow considered unacceptable.

What's unacceptable and truly undemocratic is the current framework of not requiring all 88 counties to have a voice. Targeting the major metropolitan cities like Cincinnati, Cleveland, and Columbus and leaving the small towns out of signature requirements is as undemocratic as it gets. Issue 1 would require signatures from all 88 counties, giving everyone a voice.

Should constitutions be easy to amend?

No, they shouldn't. Laws and constitutions are not the same. Laws are to be passed through state legislatures whose lawmakers are elected by a simple majority in their districts. Disliking the political leanings of a legislative body is not a valid reason for circumventing it by way of constitutional amendments. Such an approach could backfire, too.

Constitutions are designed to be more concrete unless a supermajority of its citizens agree they should be changed. Ohio Revised Code currently has more than 30 titles broken into multitudes of chapters, with each chapter further divided into nearly countless sections and subsections. The Ohio Constitution already has 19 articles, each with a handful of sections.

Would keeping it 50% plus 1 lead to lost freedoms?

We've already heard from Cleveland Mayor Justin Bibb that he wants Issue 1 to fail so that gun grabbers, with financial help from outsiders like Mike Bloomberg, could pour millions into advertising — primarily in big cities — to get gun control into the constitution. Constitutions are intended to spell out the limits of government, not provide for their advancement.

Some say any such attempt would be struck down by the Supreme Court of the United States. Keep in mind that progressives all over the country have been pushing to pad SCOTUS to as many as 15 justices. And you can be sure those add-ons aren't going to be fans of firearms. Further, SCOTUS hasn't kept other states and cities from enacting intrusive gun control measures, such as California, Hawaii, and Illinois, for example. This is why knowing reciprocity laws is so vital.

Moreover, outside gun-grabbing groups, which contributed millions to the opposition's campaign, would have a much greater ability to get anti-gun amendments on the ballot and passed because they could focus their efforts on big cities, purposely ignoring small towns. Grassroots organizations like Buckeye Firearms Association don't have the same financial means.

Is out-of-state money fueling Issue 1?

The opposition has misled many people on this one. Campaign finance reports, which are public record, show where the real money is coming from. So much focus has been put on Chicago billionaire Richard Uihlein and his financial support of Issue 1. But here are the facts, according to multiple media outlets:

  • Issue 1 opposition group One Person One Vote reported raising $14.8 million and spending $10.4 million — outraising pro-Issue 1 group Protect Our Constitution by nearly $10 million and outspending it by nearly $9 million. And its out-of-state contributions far outpace the pro-Issue 1 side.
  • The opposition group's largest fundraisers were San Francisco-based Tides Foundation (a George Soros beneficiary and large proponent of gun control measures) and Washington-based Sixteen Thirty Fund (a Giffords benefactor and advocate for gun control). Why would those groups care about Issue 1 if they didn't have motives and plans?

Please closely read the articles we have done on Issue 1 so that you have the real facts. This is such an important election, and we need those in favor of liberty and limited government to support it by voting YES on Issue 1 on or before Aug. 8.

Joe D. "Buck" Ruth is a longtime small-game hunter and gun owner who spent nearly three decades in the news industry.

Additional information on Issue 1

Issue 1: Cleveland mayor admits they're coming after your guns next (Watch this video)

The REAL reason big-city liberals oppose Issue 1

Hat tip to columnist Ted Diadiun for going against MSM grain, supporting Issue 1

Keep and Bear Radio podcast: The Nefarious New Scheme to Track Credit Card Sales at Gun Stores

Issue 1: If it's really about big money and 'democracy,' opposition again showing its hypocrisy

Early in-person voting started July 11

How Issue 1 will appear on the Aug. 8 ballot

Sportsmen's Alliance says vote YES on Issue 1

For these 8 organizations, Issue 1 is about more than that one issue

4 big lies opponents are spreading about Issue 1

Why hunters and sportsmen should vote YES on Issue 1

Issue 1: Why Ohio's constitution should be hard to amend

Get a free 'Vote YES on Issue 1' banner

Ohio Farm Bureau backs Issue 1

Why YES vote on Issue 1 is essential to gun rights

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