Man accused in Toledo's Savage Park shooting arrested on gun charge week prior
In early June, as he stumped for a package of gun control proposals he's been promoting since 2019, Governor Mike DeWine (R) warned that we were on the verge of a "summer of violence" and claimed "we need to toughen our laws."
But as the summer wears on, more and more examples are proving that it isn't a lack of gun control laws that is resulting in the violence, but rather a lack of enforcement of laws already on the books.
Just weeks ago in Cincinnati, a man who had been arrested on a gun charge in April was charged with carrying out a quadruple shooting while out on bond.
And earlier this month, another man who was out on bond for a gun-related crime shot someone in the back at a Dave & Busters in suburban Cincinnati.
During coverage of the quadruple shooting, a Cincinnati Enquirer investigation discovered that people who are being arrested for gun-related crimes are quickly being put back on the streets, sometimes with deadly results.
Indeed, in their initial research, The Enquirer found that there had been two recent cases in which men who were out on bond have been charged with killing people.
Yet another example came recently in Toledo, where a man who is accused of having engaged in a shootout at a city basketball game attended by dozens of people was found to have been arrested for a gun-related crime only one week prior.
From WTVG (ABC Toledo):
On Wednesday, police issued a felonious assault warrant for Maliek Emanuel-Mitchell for the shooting that happened Sunday. One person was injured and multiple cars were shot during that incident.
A week earlier, Emanuel-Mitchell was arrested by Toledo Police and charged with carrying a concealed hand gun. He made a court appearance the next day and was released on an own-recognizance bond, with a scheduled court date of Aug. 27.
Emanuel-Mitchell is still at large. Court documents said he and two other co-defendants threw fireworks out and began firing their guns while more than 50 people were at the park for a basketball tournament. More than 15 shell casings were recovered from the scene.
This kind of lack of enforcement of existing gun laws shows exactly why passing still more laws or increasing penalties is not going to have the effect on crime that DeWine claims.
This problem has been on full display in Ohio cities for many years. In the past two decades, leaders in the cities of Cleveland, Columbus and Toledo have all claimed they just had to have new gun control laws in place in order to combat crime in their cities. Yet investigations showed that when the laws were put in place, they were rarely if ever enforced (see here and here and here).
There should be no more talk of new laws which will only punish the law-abiding. Instead, those who are truly seeking to make a difference should focus their efforts on ensuring that government entities fairly, consistently, and regularly use the crime-fighting tools they already have.
Chad D. Baus served as Buckeye Firearms Association Secretary from 2013-2019, and continues to serve on the Board of Directors. 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, and is also an NRA-certified firearms instructor.