Ignore the hoplophobes and pass Castle Doctrine reform now!
By Tim Inwood
I was delighted to attend the Gun Rights Policy Conference in early October. The list of speakers was fantastic and it was truly a joy to meet with people whose work I have read and studied for years. Talking with Don Kates, Dave Kopel, John Lott, Alan Gottlieb, Larry Pratt and other notables in the battle to defend our Second Amendment rights was truly one of those moments in my life I will never forget.
One of the many high points was getting to talk with my personal heroes Bob Levy and Alan Gura. These two gentlemen are on their way to overturning one of the most heinous laws every made in the United States, the ban on the ownership and use of handguns in Washington D.C. Having lived there, I can tell you that idiotic law has caused thousands of the good citizens of our Nation’s Capitol to die at the hands of criminals without any means of defense. It is utter madness that this statute has stood for three decades. The Parker case has now been appealed to the US Supreme Court, and while Alan and Bob will be explaining why this foolish law should be repealed before United States Supreme Court, you can hear another argument made against such silliness waged elsewhere via the Internet .
For some time Kenn Blanchard has attacked the anti-gun crowd with humor and logic in books and a podcast that I recommend highly.
I had to honor of speaking with Kenn at the GRPC and telling him how much I enjoyed his work. The characters he comes up with to make his points are hysterical. Humor needs an element of truth to be funny, and Kenn nails it every time. He will leave you in stitches. While chuckling at one of his bits I thought of a couple new characters Kenn could use if he ever does a piece on Ohio. I would call the first “Baffled Buckeye”, and base her on the hapless Toby Hoover.
Why “Baffled Buckeye” you ask? It is quite simple. Having predicted, prior to the passage of Ohio’s concealed carry law, that if we ever got our right to carry arms restored, there would be constant gun battles. She told us that there would be nightly gun fights in the streets of Ohio, just like in the old Western movies. She must truly be puzzled that is has not come to be. Nobody is getting shot over fender benders. Bored housewives in shopping malls are not drawing their Lady Smith revolvers and hurling .38 special rounds at one another over the last size 14 dress in the style they both want. She must be baffled by how wrong she was. Even more baffling, is why the press in Ohio continues to run to her as a news source on the issue of guns and CCW. Why is this discredited woman, funded by an out-of-state group of leftists at the Joyce Foundation, given any credence at all? When has she ever been right? Never, so I think this woman who truly deserves some derision should be one of Kenn’s characters.
Another figure worthy of some derision in one of Kenn’s podcasts would be our Lt. Governor Lee Fisher. I would call him “Clueless in Columbus”. The scary thing is this man may well become our next Governor if rumors come to fruition that Hillary Clinton plans to tap Governor Ted Strickland as her running mate in 2008. A Clinton/Strickland ticket victory would leave Fisher, who is a hoplophobe of the first order, as our new chief executive for the State. The result would be a disaster for Ohio gun owners. Lord knows Fisher would try to turn back the progress we have made over the past four years. There still are plenty of problems entwined into the concealed carry law we got in 2004; we managed to make some fixes with HB347, but I have no doubt a Fisher administration would add new regulations making things worse. The law as written still has too much silliness in it and we don’t need more regulation making things worse.
Silliness in Ohio CCW law, you ask? Of course we in Ohio are still putting up with silliness. Sadly, when Ohio adopted its concealed carry law, our vapid former Governor Robert Taft and some in the State Legislature took the stance Ohio was breaking new ground, and in our brave new horizon of letting citizens defend themselves, we must take careful baby steps. These baby steps meant our law allowed us to carry, but only in a finite number of places. Predictably the places we cannot carry have become what we at Buckeye Firearms call “Criminal Protection Zones” (CPZs). The criminals were indeed quick to pick up on this and have used the CPZ to their advantage. Knowing their victims to be disarmed in UDF and 5/3rd banks, these are among their favorite places to operate. And then there are the rest areas along the interstate. These government-owned rest facilities are prominently posted “no guns” and, as a result, rapes and robberies have occurred in them since the passage of our law. As we have said many times, criminals prefer unarmed victims and will seek them in these zones where they know their prey will not be able to fight back with arms.
Recent school shootings have reminded us that these incidents are only stopped when an authority figure with a gun arrives to save the day. The problem is, by the time the authority figure with a gun arrives, the loon has killed several people. How many people have died in school shootings since last May when I told you the story of Jeff May?
'Too many' is the answer. Well, before the story of Jeff May was brought to my attention by Nationally syndicated talk show host Neal Boortz, hundreds too many had already died by insane policies disarming school employees who could stop deranged people intent on mayhem. Sometimes the schools answer to these dangers is to hire security guards-- unarmed security guards. This was the case at Red Lake High School as the shooter passed through a metal detector and killed the unarmed security guard at the school. Jeff May stopped the killer by stabbing him with a pencil. May was badly wounded in the process. It is utter madness that the security guard was unarmed.
Even as I write this, the battle for Medford Oregon school teacher Shirley Katz goes on. She, like 25 other teachers in her county, holds a CCW license. She is suing to be able to carry her gun for defense as she fears her ex-husband may come to the school and attack. Nevertheless the school is fighting this woman in court over her ability to carry. God forbid her ex-husband actually comes to the school and shoots it up in the mean time. How stupid will those administrators fighting this in court look if this actually comes to pass as Ms. Katz fears? I hope she prevails and the common sense of allowing trained armed teachers comes to pass.
Moving from the security problems of K-12 institutions is the very real issue of College campus safety. We were reminded with the shootings at Virginia Tech in April that these institutions of higher learning are also very vulnerable to attacks by the deranged among us.
On October 22-26th the “Empty Holster Protest” aroused national attention as college students protested this requirement that they be “sheep” unarmed and vulnerable to attack by wearing empty holsters in the open. Fox News gave this very good coverage with a debate between Larry Pratt of Gun Owners of America and a representative of the Brady Center. As usual the Brady Bunch sounded like the deluded alarmist Toby Hoover. We will have shootouts on campus and all the other dire predictions they make when any state adopted a concealed carry law. Pratt even noted this tired old argument has not come to pass in none of the places predicted. But Brady talking heads would not be dissuaded of this failed line of thinking. Logic seems to elude them.
Clearly the Criminal Protection Zones are absurd and to be ridiculed as a stupid thing. It is well past time to eliminate them as other states around us have.
Another moronic law that needs to be repealed immediately is this idiocy that we have to do our best to abandon our homes in the event of a home invasion. As Ohio law stands right now the homeowner is operating under a severe disadvantage. The bad guy knows that if he kicks in our door and he leaves us a way out, we must take it rather than shoot him. If we don’t take the escape route we will face prosecution for doing battle with someone who invades our home. This is insanity of the highest order. It is almost as insane as imprisoning a man for legally running his business…Don’t laugh at that thought, as it happens all too often--as it happened to my pal Terry Hammond down in Texas.
It is time to make our homes what they should be, our castles. A place where we and our families are safe from criminal attack and if some miscreant does kick in our door then by golly we should be allowed to use what ever force is necessary to defend our home and families. I urge you to contact your State Representative and ask them to co-sponsor and vote for final passage on HB264 the Castle Doctrine Bill. Then call your State Senator and demand the same for SB 184. Passage will discourage the criminal from these all too common home invasions and take the burden off the homeowner if he or she does what anyone would naturally do in the face of such an attack--fight back. So that we all can be a little safer in our homes, I urge you to contact your legislators today.
Tim Inwood is the current Legislative Liaison and Past President of the Clinton County Farmers and Sportsmen Association, an Endowment Member of the NRA, Life Member of OGCA, and a volunteer for Buckeye Firearms Association.