Media cheer as pro-gun bills with strong legislative support die at the hand of one man

by Gerard Valentino

The editorial boards of The Columbus Dispatch, Toledo Blade, Dayton Daily News and Cleveland Plain Dealer have become little more than glorified television weatherman – they all seem to get everything wrong and still have the blind arrogance to tell Ohioans what is coming next. Then again, perhaps it isn't fair to put the weatherman in the same category as Ohio’s leftist media elites, since the weatherman get it right once in a while.

In a recent article, The Plain Dealer, proved they will push a gun control agenda despite the overwhelming success of legal concealed carry by choosing to praise Ohio Speaker of the House Armond Budish for breaking a promise to gun owners and blocking passage of SB239. It is as if the consistent predictions of mayhem promised by the establishment media whenever a pro-gun bill is introduced never happened.

From the article:

Budish also stared down the insatiable Statehouse handgun lobby by blocking House action on a lunatic bill (backed by lame-duck Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland) to let people with concealed-weapon permits carry their handguns inside businesses that have state liquor permits.

Sadly, The Plain Dealer is congratulating one of Ohio's most powerful elected officials for lying to his constituents by reneging on a promise to allow a floor vote on SB239. They are also congratulating Budish for using administrative trickery to block the passage of a bill that had the votes to pass the Ohio House and that Governor Strickland promised to sign.

Somehow The Plain Dealer believes allowing one man to derail a bill with widespread support is acceptable to Ohioans. But such tactics and arrogance is to be expected from the Ohio establishment media elite who are more concerned with pushing their own ideology than upholding a semblance of journalistic integrity.

Unfortunately, Speaker Budish fell into the same misguided trap that destroyed former Ohio Senate President Doug White and Governor Bob Taft who also used administrative trickery to bottle up HB12, the bill that eventually became Ohio’s concealed carry law. Both left office in disgrace and both were openly attacked by fellow Republicans for their treachery.

Now, the pro-gun community was stabbed in the back by a Democrat and is left to wonder if the Democratic caucus will punish Budish for his outright lies.

Speaker Budish leads because the Democratic caucus wants it that way. After Speaker Pelosi coerced needed votes from "pro-life" Democrats for the Obama heath care bill, many questioned if there are really any pro-life Democrats. As Speaker Budish has retained his leadership position in the caucus, it seems fair to wonder if there are any pro-gun Democrats. One thing is clear, there are certainly not enough - and that is reason enough for gun owners to be glad the Republicans now control the entire state legislature.

There isn't a more politically correct way to describe the actions taken by Speaker Budish to block passage of SB239. By giving his word to allow a vote on the bill Speaker Budish was able to use the favor of the pro-gun community prior to the November election, and then simply refused to honor his word after the Democratic losses.

Only Bob Taft's campaign promise to pass concealed carry and then his active stance against passage of HB12 are comparable to the treacherous actions of Speaker Budish. Saying that he sold his personal and political integrity for a few votes is an accurate description. It is also proof that Ohio's pro-gun community needs to take any promise by an elected official with a grain of salt.

Unlike Speaker Budish, The Cleveland Plain Dealer's position on the gun issue was clear years ago and we expect a continued attack on gun rights to come from the media elite. For years they have sat upon their self-appointed perch as society’s protectors and tried to determine what freedoms common Ohio folk should enjoy. At this point, the media's anti-gun viewpoint is largely seen as the misguided ravings of the leftist elite desperately trying to hang on to relevance while the Internet based media passes them by.

Patting an elected official on the back after a blatant lie is just another example of how the establishment media will throw away their journalistic integrity to push an agenda. Oddly enough, that very agenda is speeding along their demise as Ohioans turn to non-traditional media in an effort to find objectivity.

In this case, we have a near perfect example of why the establishment media lost their following and why traditional political gamesmanship caused the backlash that evolved into the Tea Party movement. Both the media elite and political elite simply refuse to acknowledge that the People determine the law, and that the People have expectations that freedom will be upheld.

Regardless of whether the Ohio elitist media wants to claim that "packing heat" is dangerous, or use other inflammatory language to stir up their readership, the fact remains that their predictions of death and destruction were proven wrong.

Like the weatherman, however, they keep making one wrong predication after another. Regardless, the course for the near future is set and the pro-gun community once again needs to fight to regain the rights supposedly protected from government intrusion by the Constitution.

Luckily, there are politicians with more integrity than Speaker Budish that we can count on and news outlets that tell the truth we can rely on.

The fight begins immediately. So start preparing.

Gerard Valentino is a member of the Buckeye Firearms Foundation Board of Directors and the author of "The Valentino Chronicles – Observations of a Middle Class Conservative," available through the Buckeye Firearms Association store.

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