No real reason: Toledo Blade opposes firearms law reform bill

When one first learned of some of the sweeping changes proposed in Rep. Jim Aslanides' firearms law reform bill, House bill 347, it would have been logical to predict that establishment media opposition would come on language which would make all firearms laws in the state uniform, or language which would redefine what constitutes a "loaded" firearm in a motor vehicle. On the other hand, the logical person might have predicted that newspapers would have a hard time opposing language which would modify the media access loophole to allow a battered woman the chance to prevent the release of her personally identifying information to the media, or a family who has moved 3 times in 5 years in fear of a stalker.

But these predictions have all been wrong, because logic rarely makes it onto the editorial pages of Ohio's major newspapers.

Thus far, newspapers have entirely ignored the aspect of statewide preemption of local gun control laws, ignored provisions inserted at the request of law-enforcement, and ignored changes to ease red tape and make getting a concealed handgun easier.

In fact, to read their editorials, one would think that newspaper editors seem opposed to the legislation for no other reason than because it exists.

In the case of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, the editorial page editor admitted to Buckeye Firearms Association that he had not read the bill before his newspaper wrote an erroneous editorial calling for it to be killed in committee or vetoed.

The latest editorial comes from the Toledo Blade. While achieving something their Plain Dealer cousins could not (accurately describing the language in HB347 with regard to modifications to the media access loophole), the Blade offers no real reasons for opposing this legislation, aside from attacking the original idea to recognize citizens' right to bear arms for self-defense as "warped thinking"...

From the editorial:

    ...Pro-gun lawmakers and lobbyists are flexing their legislative muscles to eliminate some of the most reasonable elements of an eminently unreasonable law. First to be tinkered with is the media provision insisted upon by Governor Taft.

    It requires sheriffs to release the list of concealed-carry permit-holders to members of the media upon request. The section was particularly vexing to gun rights advocates and allies in the Statehouse. So they aim to gut it.

    Rep. Jim Aslanides sponsored a new bill with revisions to let permit-holders keep their names from the media. Under the proposed changes, an applicant for a concealed weapon can sign a sworn statement saying the release of personal information could lead to a criminal attack which would prohibit authorities from releasing their name.

When the media access loophole was shoved into HB12 at the 11th hour, it was done after promises from the media that the data was needed to "safeguard the public". But this editorial contains no information indicating that it has been used for anything of the kind (they also make no attempt to explain why none of the dire warnings they made before this "eminently unreasonable law" was passed have not come true).

Furthermore, since they apparently can't think of a good reason to oppose it, the editorial makes no attempt to explain how the media access loophole would be "gutted" by a provision which would simply protect a battered wife hiding from an abusive spouse from the ravages of an anti-gun media establishment who want to punish her for the simple act of carrying a gun to protect herself.

The editorial labors on:

    The revised legislation also ignores the objections of the Ohio Highway Patrol to the way a gun is carried in a car. Under the law passed and reluctantly accepted by law enforcement, motorists with guns are required to display their weapons in plain sight or keep them locked up in, say, a glove compartment.

    The Coshocton Republican's measure would scrap that provision, allowing no difference in the way a person carries a weapon inside or outside a car. After all, what's the point of having a concealed-carry law if permit-holders can't conceal their guns or have them at the ready to maintain law and order?

No other state contains this ridiculous "plain sight" provision. And contrary to the Blade's assertion, anyone who has carried in their car knows that in many cases concealment will make a firearm less "at the ready" than carrying a firearm in a holster in plain sight on the person's person. Having the option of concealment would, on the other hand, make the firearm less accessible to minors in the vehicle, something the Blade should be all for if they were thinking it through.

But instead of thinking it through, yet another Ohio newspaper has opposed sensible legislation simply because it exists. And that is the only warped thinking going on when it comes to this subject.

Related Story:
Public accountability needed...over the rabid anti-gun media

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