Kasich veto statement on H.B. 228 rings as hollow as his word

The House and Senate passed Substitute H.B. 228 and the Act was sent to the Governor's desk. Governor John Kasich (R) vetoed the bill and issued a press release explaining his decision. The statement is as twisted as his record on firearms.

He starts by stating that, "Since first being elected to the Ohio Senate in 1976, I have consistently supported Ohioans' constitutional right to bear arms and to defend themselves and their families.”

"Consistent?" Sure, I guess if by that you mean "flip-flops more than John Kerry working as a short order cook at IHOP."

Yes, he voted for many good bills, but he also had the "dirty dozen” votes against the NRA, the most noteworthy being the deciding vote for President Bill Clinton's "Assault Weapon" ban.

Kasich was upset coming into office because Buckeye Firearms Association, along with the NRA, endorsed incumbent-Governor Ted Strickland, a Democrat who was by far the best governor on our issue in the past 20 years. Kasich vowed he would be better, and claims that his administration is "one of the most consistently pro-Second Amendment administrations in the history of our state.”

The truth is that he didn't help pass a single bill, pettily refused to allow NRA and BFA representatives t attoend early bill singings, and worked behind the scenes to kill or weaken other bills moving through the legislature.

In his press release, he has the audacity to cite the late U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia in D.C. v Heller that it's OK to prohibit "felons and the mentally ill” from possessing firearms. Ironically, the bll he vetoed, H.B. 228, would put teeth into that goal by enacting severe penalties for "straw purchasers” who buy guns for such prohibited persons.

The release then goes on to cite multiple mass killings, none of which were committed by license-holders or the other people H.B. 228 would help. Such ramblings have nothing to do with H.B. 228. Rather, these statements are all about Kasich's continued hissy fit about the fact that legislators refused to pass his horribly flawed "red flag” bill, known as H.B. 585.

Here we finally find some consistency in the Governor's thinking. He vetoed H.B. 228, an act that would require the state to prove a person had committed a crime to deny them their civil rights, seize their property and imprison them. In other words, the bill would put Ohio on the same legal page as the federal government, every other state, and with what we were all taught in school, that people are "innocent until proven guilty." Being "innocent until proven guilty” is one of the pillars of our nation's legal system, but it is this concept that Kasich, by his actions, proves he hates.

His "red flag” law would allow the state to seize a person's property without any due process. Like the movie "Minority Report,” the government could treat people as guilty because they thought one might commit a crime sometime in the future. Kasich specifically condemns the idea of innocent until proven guilty and the strengthening of preemption laws which will force local governments to follow the law.

So, in Kasich's twisted logic, there is nothing wrong with government breaking the law, and further, the same government that violates state law should be able to seize your property without any due process, even in cases where everyone agrees you have not broken any laws! That is so whacky that even George Orwell could not have conceived such an idea.

Kasich concludes by stating that H.B. 228 "would be detrimental to the safety of all our citizens.” I'm not sure how he missed using the "blood will run in the street” line, but hey, everyone makes mistakes.

For such a horrible bill, one would think he would have vetoed it quickly, but he didn't. He waited until Day 11, making his veto meaningless in the eyes of many.

Why would he wait so long to veto a bill he so strongly opposes? Power and ego. He is hoping that by delaying his action, the House and Senate will be unable to override his veto. His actions will result in law-makers being called back to Columbus over their Christmas break instead of spending time with their families. Such is the respect Kasich has for the members of the legislature that he intentionally sought to disrupt the plans of 132 members, plus many aids and various staff over the Christmas season for political posturing. This from a person who considers himself a Christian.

In the end, Kasich is exactly what we expected him to be when we graded him a C- in 2010, okay on some things, but opposed to key goals.

We join members of the legislature, both Republican and Democrat, millions of Ohioans and even members of his staff who are wistfully counting the remaining days of this administration like a child counting the days before Christmas.

We call on every member of the House and Senate to override this veto and enact good legislation.

Jim Irvine is the Buckeye Firearms Association President, BFA PAC Chairman and recipient of the NRA-ILA's 2011 "Jay M. Littlefield Volunteer of the Year Award," the CCRKBA's 2012 "Gun Rights Defender of the Year Award," and the SAF's 2015 "Defender of Freedom Award."

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