Another Ohio editorial board member hopes to rescind the Second Amendment

By Chad D. Baus

In case anyone missed it (and I wouldn't be surprised, given the newspaper it was published in), another editorial board member in Ohio recently exercised his First Amendment rights to call for the revocation of your Second Amendment rights.

Commentary by Buckeye Firearms Association's Chad Baus is in crimson.

Solving the gun-control dilemma

Richard Foreman
Port Clinton News Herald editorial board

The violent, incomprehensible massacre at Virginia Tech keeps surfacing in my thoughts. Newspapers reported widespread, deep sorrow over the incident, and I still cringe when I think about it. Yet it seems that time heals. Few people surveyed are willing to change their present attitudes. Why are we willing to accept these tragedies so stoically?

Indeed, why does America continue to allow businesses, universities and public institutions to disarm law-abiding citizens, given evidence that "the states with the fewest gun free zones have the greatest reductions killings, injuries, and attacks"?

Closely on the heels of that event followed the double slaying in Toledo. A young couple abruptly ended their lives in what police called an accidental shooting. How does one load a gun, point it at another and pull the trigger accidentally? Did these young adults not understand the deadly nature of this act? Where was the gun's owner at the time?

The vast majority of accidental shootings occur due to either ignorance (general unawareness of basic gun safety rules and the proper way to handle a firearm) or carelessness (failing to put into practice the safety rules one is aware of). It isn't too easy to understand how a father drives over his four year-old child with a lawnmower either, yet it happens. It's tough to understand how a grandfather (who happens to be a Wisconsin state senator) drives over his granddaughter in his driveway, yet it happens. But why do I suspect we won't be seeing Mr. Foreman jump on the "ban-the-lawnmowers" or "ban-the-cars" bandwagons any time soon?

A previous writer promoted the Utah statute, which allows students to carry guns. I do hope they have more sense than the Toledo couple. Thinking about these tragedies rationally, I don't think that is a workable solution. There are hundreds of thousands of high school and college classrooms and very few aberrant psyches like Seung-Hui Cho. On the same day, there was a report about a confident 11-year-old who courageously tracked and killed a large wild boar. The second is an example of responsible, competent shooting, the first a puzzling example of foolishness. How many gun-toting students would it take to cover all U.S. classrooms since we can't predict when or where another incident will occur?

Actually, it wouldn't take all that many armed teachers, professors, faculty members, or college students. That's because research has proven that right-to-carry laws achieve a significant deterrent effect - reducing the number of people killed or wounded from multiple victim public shootings - because many attackers are either deterred from attacking or when attacks do occur they are stopped before the police can arrive. And given that half the attackers in these multiple victim public shootings have had formal diagnoses of mental illness, as the researchers responsible for this study point out, the fact that some results indicate concealed handgun laws reduce these attacks by almost 70 percent is remarkable.

I have no desire to restrict our constitutional right to bear arms or to ignore our inalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. I wonder if these rights were intended to apply to criminals, terrorists and unstable personalities?

Again, I can't help but wonder if Mr. Foreman would be asking this same question about the First Amendment, and who it pertains to, for example, war protestors or abortionists?

Can we as democratic citizens agree on an equitable accommodation that preserves our rights while protecting the innocent? Recreational gun enthusiasts find satisfaction and adventure in skeet, target and game shooting and develop refined hand-eye coordination.

There is no rational motive to restrict responsible use of firearms.

Sounds nice, perhaps. But as we're about to see, Mr. Foreman's definition of "responsible use of firearms" doesn't include any of the uses for which the Second Amendment was actually written, which has nothing whatsoever to do with developing hand-eye coordination through skeet, target and game shooting.

I am deeply concerned that Cho was able to purchase ammunition on the Internet. Isn't that extremely dangerous to allow unrestricted access to materials that are specifically designed to cause injury and death? Can fireworks, grenades, dynamite, C4, and sarin be bought in the same manner? If so, we're in serious trouble. It it isn't the gun that kills but the ammunition. Unloaded guns are no more dangerous than baseball bats, tire irons or hammers.

I'm guessing Mr. Foreman has more than a few readers who are all too aware of just how dangerous baseball bats, tire irons or hammers can truly be. And as for his assertions about what ammunition was "specifically designed" for...it seems he has already forgotten that cute little comment about "skeet, target and game shooting", doesn't it?

Although it's not a perfect solution, I suggest we control ammunition, not guns. Let's keep control in the hands of citizens, not the government. We don't need a new state or national department to increase tax liabilities and bureaucratic red tape. Gun clubs could be exclusively established and licensed to sell ammunition.

Mr. Jekyll: "Let's keep control in the hands of citizens, not the government." Mr. Hyde: "Gun clubs could be exclusively established and licensed to sell ammunition." For goodness sakes, who else would do the licensing but the government? Mr. Foreman himself? Ahh, but his admittedly imperfect "solution" gets even more absurd...

By limiting the sources of ammunition, we can place accessibility in the hands of those who know best how to use it responsibly and rationally. Anyone who wishes to fire a weapon would apply for membership in a recognized group. They could be organized as multipurpose or as single-purpose associations.

Members would conduct proficiency tests for applicants to ensure they had the knowledge necessary to safely use a firearm. A probationary period would be required while members could ascertain if the necessary maturity was present or a background check could be instigated if some abnormal behavior surfaced. The social aspects of club membership might help to reveal unstable personality traits.

Can anyone imagine the kind of jihad that would be waged by the media if Congress proposed doing this same thing to journalists? To wit:

    By limiting the sources of ammunition [computers, typewriters, ink and printing presses], we can place accessibility in the hands of those who know best how to use it responsibly and rationally. Anyone who wishes to fire a weapon [write an op-ed] would apply for membership in a recognized group. They could be organized as multipurpose or as single-purpose associations.

    Members would conduct proficiency tests for applicants to ensure they had the knowledge necessary to safely use a firearm [publish their opinion]. A probationary period would be required while members could ascertain if the necessary maturity was present or a background check could be instigated if some abnormal behavior surfaced. The social aspects of club membership might help to reveal unstable personality traits.

    This will probably not prevent crimes of [opinions written in] heated passion. As I said, it's not a perfect solution, but it could help to avoid multiple slayings [editors like the Sandusky Register's Matt Westerhold from publishing the private information] of innocent strangers. It might also help to identify [character] assassins like John Wilkes Booth, Lee Harvey Oswald, Sirhan Sirhan, John Hinckley Jr. and Cho [Dan Rather, Jason Blair, and Matt Westerhold] to prevent them from carrying out their obsessive compulsions.

Yes, I'm certain that would go over quite well with Mr. Foreman's cocktail party buddies.

Participation by the Bureau of Firearms will be necessary to investigate club certifications. Organized crime groups, freelance assassins, terrorists and racial supremacy groups may try to form clubs to further their illegal activities. The NRA would be a good starting point for setting up these associations. They have organizational experience and legislative influence already available to guide growth in a national effort to stem the disastrous incidents of mayhem and murder.

I've read this over and over. On the first several reads, this poorly written paragraph appears to suggest that if his asinine idea ever became law, the NRA would be the group working to set up "clubs to further their illegal activities." On the final read, I was able to determine that IF, by the "associations" the NRA would be organizing, Foreman is referring to the places where Americans could go to ask permission to exercise their Constitutional rights, then he is simply a careless writer in addition to being ignorant about the problems we truly face in this country.

Richard Foreman is a community member of The News-Messenger and Port Clinton News Herald editorial board. His commentary represents his opinion. E-mail him at [email protected].

He probably hasn't heard much about this yet - his community newspaper is quite small, and no doubt growing smaller by the day. But I've a feeling he'll be hearing a bit more now...and not from his cocktail buddies.

Related Stories:
Toledo Blade editorial board member tirade: This explains everything

Yet another op-ed writer fantasizes gun control could prevent massacre

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