Lame-duck Kasich renews calls for gun control; promises veto of bill that would restore presumption of innocence
If it wasn't that he was a liar and backstabber who is threatening to veto a bill that would restore the presumption of innocence to people who act in self-defense in the State of Ohio, it would be hard not to either laugh at or feel sorry for the increasingly pathetic lame-duck Governor John Kasich.
Consider the facts:
John Kasich, the man who once worked hard for passage of the 1994 Clinton "assault weapons" ban in a Republican-led U.S. House of Representatives, had to lie about having had a change of heart to get elected as governor. He knew he couldn't get elected without the votes of law-abiding gun owners.
During his first term as governor, Kasich had keep pretending, even to the point of signing pro-gun legislation, knowing that he would have to face Ohio's pro-gun voters yet again in just a few short years.
Even as his second term commenced, his primary campaign for president forced him to keep up the pro-gun act to chase the Republican base, and he signed still more pro-gun legislation (after working behind the scenes to get it watered down).
Imagine being so weak that you have to pretend you're something you're not in order to pursue success in life.
John Kasich's pathetic game of pretend finally came to an end, after he was absolutely klobbered by Donald Trump in the Republican primary. You see, it's now clear to Kasich that if he wants a third shot at the presidency, and to challenge a sitting president of his own party, he has to give up the act. He knows he can't run to the right of Donald Trump on the Second Amendment (or on much of anything else). As such, he is currently running a shadow campaign as a centrist alternative to Trump, and his newly-minted platform includes support for gun control.
Reasons for laughing at or feeling sorry for John Kasich don't stop there. You see, Kasich doesn't even have any new gun control ideas to campaign on. Instead, he's circling back to the same old failed ideas that have already been tried.
He wants to ban so-called "assault weapons" and rate-increasing devices to prevent mass shootings, but can't explain how such bans would help, especially since even he was forced to admit in 2009 that his 1994 - 2004 ban on the rifles themselves didn't.
He wants the Ohio legislature to pass a so-called "red flag" law which would destroy Ohioans' right to due process under the law to prevent mass shootings, but can't explain how such a law would help, since attacks have still happened recently in Florida and California - states that already have "red-flags" laws.
John Kasich is entering the 2020 presidential "gun fight" with a perverbial empty holster - nothing but old, worn out ideas from a guy who has already tried and failed twice to win his party's nomination for president.
But before the 2020 anti-Trump campaign can really begin, Kasich wants to show the mushy middle that he really isn't an A-rated candidate after all. And to do that, he needs to veto a pro-gun bill, and he has his eyes set on SB 180 (Fix Burden of Proof/Concealed Carry Modernization), sponsored by Sen. Joe Uecker (R).
Uecker's bill received veto-proof majority votes in both the House and Senate, setting up a possible veto-override vote during the current lame-duck session.
Last spring, Senate President Larry Obhof, R-Medina said of Uecker's vetoed bill:
“I think that would easily pass the Legislature," Obhof said. "I don’t think there would be any problem with that, no. Now whether we choose to go that route or not remains to be seen.”
And again in August, Obhof was quoted as saying:
“I am confident that the Senate has the votes for an override if that is the path we choose."
There has also been talk of a veto-override on pro-gun legislation in the House. In June, House Speaker Ryan Smith, R-Bidwell gave the anti-gun media heart palpitations when he said he thinks the House could get the 60 votes needed to override a veto on SB 180's companion legislation in the House (HB 228).
In 2006, another anti-gun Republican governor, Bob Taft, vetoed HB 347, a sweeping firearms law reform bill that included the statewide preemption of local gun control laws provision that is now protecting Ohio gun owners from oppressive city governments in Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati and beyond. Under the leadership of then-Speaker Jon Husted, who was just elected to be Lt. Governor of the State of Ohio, the House overrode Taft's veto. The Senate, led by President Bill Harris, followed suit, and HB 347 became law.
If Speaker Smith and President Obhof want to be remembered and revered (and voted for) in the future, they'll repeat the heroic work of Husted and Harris, moving to pass HB 228/SB180 and overriding the veto Kasich has promised will come.
A veto-override party will be a fitting end to the Kasich administration. It is high time we send John Kasich to whatever dust bin Bob Taft exists in today.
Chad D. Baus is the Buckeye Firearms Association Secretary and an NRA-certified firearms instructor. He is co-founder of BFA-PAC, and served as its Vice Chairman for 15 years. He is the editor of BuckeyeFirearms.org, which received the Outdoor Writers of Ohio 2013 Supporting Member Award for Best Website.