Deja Vu: Senate promises action on gun bill...after election

By Chad D. Baus

As regular consumers of the mainstream media know, voting on November 7 will be but a formality. Liberals have already won the election and are busy taking their pick of Congressional office space.

While there is plenty of evidence that the conventional wisdom about a "Blue Wave" in national elections may not be all that wise, in Ohio even leading Republicans see that in Columbus, Democrats are likely to gain seats in the General Assembly.

Republican Senate President Bill Harris acknowledged to both Gongwer News Service and the Cleveland Plain Dealer Sunday that the election cycle favors Democrats.

According to Gongwer, Harris acknowledged the political winds could have some effect on the legislature but said he was confident that Democrats would not be able to completely overtake the GOP's solid majorities in both chambers.

"It is certainly a tough environment," he told the Plain Dealer. "You have to work harder on getting your message out on why your incumbents are doing such a great job."

With Harris having blocked a much-needed concealed carry reform bill for most of the year, it's no doubt why he has trouble convincing gun owners that he and his Senate incumbents are "doing such a great job."

The Gongwer story indicates that Harris is going back to the same playbook his two predecessors used to placate gun owners angry about a lack of action on a supposedly plank issue for the GOP.

Click on 'Read More' for the entire commentary.

From the Gongwer News Service:

    The legislative frenzy that marks the end of a two-year General Assembly session is expected to rise to a new level this year with what is likely to be the biggest political power shift the state has seen in more than a decade.

    With Democrat Ted Strickland maintaining a commanding lead over Republican Ken Blackwell, it's looking more and more like next January will bring the first party change to the governor's mansion in 16 years.

    Given the inherent uncertainties in such a development - along with an anticipated erosion of the GOP's House majority due to a strong anti-incumbent climate among the electorate - Republicans who have controlled both chambers of the General Assembly since 1994 will probably view policy changes in the pipeline with a greater sense of urgency.

    Statehouse insiders are predicting the November-December lame duck session will be among the most harried in recent memory.

The story goes on to report that, among other planned projects for lawmakers in the post-election lame duck session, Senator Harris is promising that the concealed handgun bill he has stalled for months will finally see action.

    Sen. Harris said his chamber has been working with law enforcement groups on changes that he hopes will be acceptable to Gov. Taft. The governor has been reluctant to endorse any wholesale amendments to the statute and expressed concerns with the House-passed version of the bill.

Gun owners will likely have no trouble recalling these same words uttered by the two previous Republican Senate Presidents - words which in 2002 were followed by a gun bill so laden with poison pill amendments that the legislation was allowed to die. And words, which in 2004 were followed by passage of one of the most restrictive concealed carry laws in the nation, containing provisions no anti-gun extremist had even thought to request.

Again, from Gongwer:

    Regardless of which party takes the governor's office, [Senate President Harris] added, "We're going to do what's right for the state" in lame duck.

    Signaling there are long days and evenings to come around Capitol Square following the Nov. 7 elections, Sen. Harris raised eyebrows this week with a memorandum to members that included a little advice with a list of the upcoming full sessions.

    "In the event that additional session dates may be needed, I am encouraging members to not purchase non-refundable plane tickets for travel the last two weeks of December," he wrote.

    Speaker Jon Husted (R-Kettering) was similarly non-committal about sticking with the planned schedule. "We're going to stay until our work is finished," he said Friday through spokeswoman Karen Tabor.

    Full legislative session days are currently scheduled for November 14-16, 28-30 and December 5-7, 12-14 and 19-21.

No matter what happens in the final weeks of this session, the bottom line is that when they go to the ballot box in November, Ohio gun owners will be left guessing as to whether the Senate President will include gun owners in his promise to “do what’s right for the state”.

It remains a mystery as to why Senate President Harris is so concerned about the wishes of a lame-duck Governor Taft, the very man who can be blamed for much of the Republican party's ills.

For those concerned about yet another gun bill being stalled past yet another election, followed by yet another lame duck Senate pushing to pass potentially yet another poison-pill laden gun bill, we offer the Buckeye Firearms Association 2006 Pro-Gun Voter Guide.

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Voters can now download all our 2006 General Election endorsements on one page. To aid in determining the different districts voters live in, a map is also provided to help locate the applicable U.S. Congressional district, Ohio House district, Ohio Senate district, and Ohio Appeals Court district.

Download and print all Buckeye Firearms Association 2006 endorsements NOW!

****Please download and forward this guide via email to at least 20 people.****

We want to reach 200,000+ gun owners in Ohio and need YOU to help us. Forward this guide to 20 people...urge them to send it to 20 people...and so on. And urge your family and friends to get out and VOTE PRO-GUN on November 7.

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