Letter to the Editor: Religious group urges concealed-carry veto

The topic of religion has been injected into the debate over self-defense throughout history, so it should come as no surprise that both sides have raised the question here in Ohio.

But when gun control groups co-opt religion to support their political agenda, we must protest.

Click on the "Read More..." link below to read a letter to the Garfield Sun News editor from Dr. Ali Alhaddad, Religion of Peace, with OFCC commentary.

OFCC Commentary inserted in blue.

Religious group urges concealed-carry veto
Garfield Sun News

We recently traveled to Columbus to meet with two of Gov. Taft's staff because we fear for the safety of our communities.

We're glad the author made clear his motivation from the outset: FEAR. Many gun control extremists cannot admit that what drives them is their fear of guns, and the projection of their own anger, and their fear of not being able to control it, onto law-abiding citizens who wish to carry a firearm for self-defense.

On Nov. 12, a conference commitee of the Ohio General Assembly considered a bill that would let Ohioians carry loaded, concealed weapons in the street. We members of Catholic, Episcopal, Jewish, Methodist, Muslim, and Unitarian Universalist Faith communities are concerned citizens.

There are members from many faiths on both sides of this issue. This persons should refrain from suggesting he speaks for them all - the people at Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership (www.jpfo.org) just might have a few words for him.

One OFCC steering committee member had this to say in response: "As a Catholic, I too have concerns about HB12. My concerns are that it prevents parents from protecting their children. Forty-six states allow citizens to carry a gun in a car to protect themselves. We now know that
concealed carry saves lives. My faith teaches me that life is sacred. I
fight for concealed carry because I too value life."

This bill would allow the concealed-carry of an assault-type pistol like that used in the Case Western Reserve shooting, in which one person was killed and two (including the daughter of one of us) wounded.

It is interesting to note that 90% of multiple victim public shootings happen in places where victims are prohibited from defending their life with the same tool the criminal uses. Of course the killers don't follow that law either, so only the law abiding die. Biswanath Halder was undeterred by Ohio's concealed carry ban, undeterred from laws prohibiting him from owning the firearm he used, and undeterred by the host of gun control laws he violated the day he shot up CWRU. Your laws will not stop those who intend to commit evil acts. And it is an evil act in itself to prevent the innocent from the choice to protect themselves.

Ready access to guns raises the specter of hate crimes, a prospect of deep concern to our interracial, inter-religious community.

According to the latest FBI Uniform Crime Report, so-called "hate crimes" were down 23% last year. Other research proves the number of firearms in possession of Americans is at an all-time high, as are the number of concealed carry license-holders.

Since the number of states allowing their citizens the legal right to bear arms for self-defense continues to grow, there can be no logical reason for gun control extremists to claim a correlation between the two.

This legislation strips local law enforcement''s ability to keep guns out of the wrong hands.

It does nothing of the sort. Does your Religion of Peace have any doctrines against lying? Please read the law, it available on our web site.

It could increase the number of loaded guns on Ohio streets.

Only in the hands of the victims who die without them today. You argue that is bad?

The majority of Ohio's law enforcement groups do not support this legislation.

This is patently false. Law enforcement officers support CCW because it will save lives, including police officers' lives. Some vocal bureaucrats are
against it because of political agendas.

Ready access to loaded firearms increases the likelyhood of tragedy.

And according to the National Center of Disease, childproof medicine bottles lead to a dramatic INCREASE of children poisoning themselves. Ever heard of the law of unintended consequences?

We encourage you to check the statistics on this. Compare Ohio to Pennsylvania, Indiana, or any other state with a shall issue concealed carry bill. Numbers of accidental deaths with firearms among children are higher in Ohio than in many shall-issue states.

Gun injuries are preventable.

Yes they are. OFCC's steering team is entirely coomprised of NRA-certified firearms instructors. We are fully supportive of firearms training. Children should be taught basic firearm rules. (Stop. Don't touch. Leave the area. Tell an adult.) The NRA uses the "Eddie the
Eagle" program. Use any program you want, but convey the message.

Gov. Taft now must set aside politics, act upon his conscience for the saftey of all Ohioians and veto H.B. 12.

Unfortunately, his conscience and safety are at odds. We do agree with the safety part. The problem is most "gun safety" groups know less about gun safety than the Amish know about highway safety, or most non-Amish know about plowing a field with a team of horses. At OFCC, we don't just talk firearms safety, we live it.

If increased firearms safety is truly what you want, you should be encouraging the Governor to sign it as soon as possible.

Ohioans For Concealed Carry is against gun violence. We have studied firearms, laws, crimes and people. It's ironic that groups with "gun violence" in their name are the
ones advocating laws that make it more possible.


Dr. Ali Alhaddad - Religion of Peace

Rosetta Craig - Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence

Catherine Donnelly - Interact Cleveland

Brian Fry - Justice Staff for the Congregation of St. Joseph

Eleanor Helper - Member of First Unitarian Universalist Church of Columbus

Rabbi Stephen Weiss - B'nai Jeshurun Congregation Cleveland

For a little balance on the subject of race, religion and self-defense, check out:

Preach It, Pastor!

Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership

Researcher: Ohio's concealed carry ban founded in racism

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