Letter to the Editor: ''Gov. Taft is right!''

An anti-self-defense letter to the editor from Toby Hoover has been published by the Middletown Journal. The letter contains many of the same false statements Hoover made in Senate testimony last month.

Commentary by Chad D. Baus inserted in blue.


‘Right choice for Ohio’

Gov. Bob Taft stated, after the Columbine massacre in 1999, that he would veto concealed weapons legislation if law enforcement organizations opposed the measure to allow hidden and loaded handguns in public. Law enforcement officials in Ohio are still against a concealed weapons bill despite the efforts of the gun lobby.

Taft stated in April 1999, “If the men and women on the front lines of public safety are saying this will put their lives in danger, this will make it more difficult for them to do their jobs, then I’m opposed to the legislation.

Taft is NOT listening to the majority of law enforcement in Ohio. He continues to ignore Ohio's 88 sheriffs (represented by the Buckeye State Sheriff's Association, which helped write the bill). He ignores many local police chiefs, including Gahanna Chief Dennis Murphy, who offered Senate testimony in support of HB12. He continues to ignore Ohio's rank and file officers, who, when polled, continually express strong support for allowing law-abiding citizens to exercise their right to self-defense.

Taft is coming under fire for choosing public safety over the agenda of the gun lobby.

Wrong. Taft is coming under fire for choosing personal political cover (he plans to run for U.S. Senate in the future) over the safety offered Ohioans by a practical self-defense law.

However, Taft’s opposition to carrying hidden and loaded handguns in public is as pragmatic as it is principled. New research from scholars at Stanford and Yale law schools shows that concealed weapons laws do not reduce crime, and will in all likelihood increase crime in Ohio.

The Stanford "researcher" Hoover refers to here (John J. Donohue III) recently lied in a letter to the editor in the Columbus Dispatch when he claimed that a Loyola professor, whose work had supported the "more guns, less crime" thesis, had withdrawn his paper. He did not. Furthermore, Donohue's own research concurred that crime goes down the first year after concealed carry laws are passed. He was forced to aggregate numbers into two-year increments to try and wrangle the statistics into saying something they do not say.

The governor’s position is in alignment with his constituents since the far majority of Ohioans are against carrying a hidden and loaded handgun into day care centers, hospitals, school zones and inside cars.

Hoover does not cite a poll when she makes this claim, because there is no legitimate poll which supports her.

In short, Gov. Bob Taft is making the right choice for Ohio by opposing concealed weapons legislation.

Under Bob Taft, Ohio has remained far behind the rest of the nation when it comes to allowing protecting law-abiding citizens to protect themselves. 44 other states allow some form of concealed-carry, and they simply do not experience the problems which Hoover continues to wring her hands in worry over.

Executive director
Ohio Coalition Against Gun Violence

Click here to see how loose Hoover (and another anti-self-defense extremist) was with the truth in testimony before the Ohio Senate.

For more "Translating Toby", check out http://www.ocagv.com.

Click here to read the letter in the Middletown Journal.

UPDATE! Middletown Journal readers have had their own feedback on Hoover's editorial, and one written by the Journal's editors as well:

Sound Off, 06.25.03

Outdated opinions

Regarding the editorial June 20 paper about the concealed-carry bill: I know you are biased about it but I think you are all wrong. Your opinions really are outdated. If you look at the facts, carrying concealed weapons have reduced crime in all other states where it has been enacted. I don’t know where you are getting your figures, why it is going to cause bloodshed in the streets. This is not the Doc Holliday or Wyatt Earp days — not the Wild West. Now what if somebody came along and said you weren’t allowed to print your paper? What would you think then? Boy, you would fight tooth-and-nail for that, wouldn’t you?

Print the truth

In your editorial about the “ill-advised” gun bill, I understand that you are against the concealed carry law and that’s fine — everybody has their opinions. But how can you say that the majority of Ohioans oppose a concealed carry law? The majority doesn’t oppose it Print the truth. No one is afraid of the truth, unless it’s you.

Journal Editor’s note: The University of Cincinnati’s Institute for Policy Research’s “Ohio Poll” found in April 2001 that 69 percent of Ohioans surveyed opposed making it easier to obtain a permit to carry concealed weapons, while 27 percent favored it. Four percent were undecided.

OFCC PAC Editor's note: For the facts about the debunked Ohio Poll the Journal mentions, click here. And to read about a truly accurate measure of public opinion on the issue, check out the Buckeye State Poll, which shows that 67% of Ohioans approve of concealed carry law with training and background checks, like HB12 will provide.

Sound Off, 06.27.03

Good and bad guys

Your editorial staff, they’re a bunch of left-wing liberals. For instance, the carry and conceal law. Let me explain something to you guys. The bad guys already have guns. Carry and conceal is saying that good guys can carry guns, too. It’s very easy. Very elementary. But your editorial staff, like a lot of other people, just don’t get it.

Sound Off, 06.30.03

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