LTE: Assault-weapons ban won’t fix city’s many problems

August 20, 2005
Columbus Dispatch

I write in regard to the decision from the National Rifle Association to move its convention because of the assault weapons ban.

Since Mayor Michael B. Coleman was elected, Columbus has slowly but steadily been going downhill. Unemployment and job losses are at a record high, violent crime, including robbery, thefts and burglaries, are up dramatically and in some places out of control. Drugs and drug use are now a common sight when driving down the side streets of Columbus.

The city’s various offices are rocked with scandal and corruption. The police department is extremely under staffed, and the average response time is about 30 minutes to three hours, depending upon the situation or time and day of the week.

Many of our elderly residents lock themselves in their houses because they are surrounded by drug dealers, thugs and punks. Our children have become targets of drug dealers and pedophiles.

When you drive down our city’s side streets, you will see a colorful and diverse display of trash, and when you fish in one of our city’s creeks or rivers, you will most likely snag a plastic bag, a beer can or some other piece of trash instead of a bass or a catfish.
And what does our City Council do to take care of all of these problems?

Coleman continues to smile and go to ribbon-cutting ceremonies, and he attends all kinds of social events for the city’s elite. He makes sure that he’s seen in every parade, to prepare himself for his upcoming gubernatorial race.

He hosts a National Conference of Black Mayors meeting and invites a foul-mouthed anti-police rapper to perform in front of our children, and then speaks out and asks City Council to pass legislation that makes criminals out of honest citizens who might possess a magazine of a handgun that holds more than 10 rounds of ammo, or those who have a shotgun that holds more than 5 rounds of ammo.
Meanwhile, City Council passes law to oppress our nightclubs by enacting anti-smoking legislation. It also raises parking fines.

And then it vows to keep criminals off the street by passing an assault weapons ban, regardless of our constitutional right to bear arms. This will cost our city’s businesses several million dollars in lost revenue after the NRA pulled out, for fear that they, too, would become a victim of our mayor and our City Council.

In the words of former President Ronald Reagan, "Are you better off today than you were four years ago?"

My answer to that would be, "No!"

Chris Vickers

On August 11, Buckeye Firearms Association's Ken Hanson announced the formation of the Mentel Ward. This group of volunteer readers will attempt to monitor gun crime in Columbus and point out each time a gun crime happens in apparent violation of the Mentel Ban, yet is unpunished by this same absurd ban, which is the work of Columbus City Councilman, and presumptive Mayoral candidate, Mike Mentel.

This will do two things. First, it will show how the ban is failing to prevent gun crime. Second, it will show how the ban is failing to punish criminals for violating the ban. The only people impacted by any gun ban are the law-abiding.

As you can imagine, monitoring gun crime in Columbus is a monumental task, and we need your help. Click here to be admitted to the Mentel Ward.

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