Ohioans For Concealed Carry issues statement concerning Case Western shooting

Ohioans For Concealed Carry has issued a statement concerning the tragic events at Case Western Reserve University this past Friday, and in response to those who are attempting to exploit these victims for political gain.

Click on the "Read More..." link below for the entire statement.

May 12, 2003

It took less than 48 hours in Ohio before some began trying to use the tragic Case Western incident for political gain. On Sunday (before the criminal's victim was even laid to rest), anti-self-defense activists, including Cleveland "Million" Mom March chapter president Lori O'Neill, held
a press conference, at which they attempted to exploit this tragedy to prop up their opposition to reforming Ohio's ban on self-defense with a concealed firearm, and to support continued bans on "assault" weapons.

In times of grief, there is a tendency to react emotionally. While Ohioans For Concealed Carry wishes to avoid any appearance of impropriety, we believe the attempted exploitation by these anti-self-defense activists must not go unanswered. We believe it is important to see such an event as an opportunity to weigh the facts - not to respond hastily, and in such a way
that could compound the problem.

Based on news accounts, 62-year old Biswanath Halder intentionally violated some of Ohio's and the federal government's most stringent gun control laws, and did so with premeditation.

Fact: Ohio's ban on carrying a concealed firearm did not deter Mr. Halder from concealing his firearms on his approach to the campus.

Fact: Cleveland's assault weapons ban did not deter Mr. Halder from obtaining or using a weapon that was (reportedly) banned - nor did the Clinton Administration's 1994 federal assault weapons ban.

Fact: A university policy prohibiting firearms did not deter Mr. Halder from
bringing his weapons onto campus.

Fact: Numerous other laws, and even Ohio's death penalty, did not deter Mr.
Halder from premeditating and carrying out his crime.

The facts surrounding this multiple victim public shooting, and others in the past, indicate that existing gun control laws are simply not effective in deterring such an attack, nor would additional ones be.

Anti-self-defense activists should take caution: just as one can find examples of public shootings that appear to support the call for more gun control, there are many other examples that suggest the opposite. In 1997, an assistant principle in Pearl, MS armed himself to stop a violent assailant from causing further harm to students in his school. In 1998, an armed restaurant-owner in Edinboro, PA stopped an offender after he killed a teacher. In recent years, armed citizens practicing defensive gun-use have stopped crimes in progress in schools from Santana, CA to Appalachian Law School in Virginia. And they have also stopped crimes here in Ohio as recently as last week (despite Ohio's strict gun-control laws, which serve to deter self-defense by law-abiding citizens).

The truth (which we wish the "Million" Mom Marchers were so willing to admit) is, anecdotal evidence cannot fully answer the question whether existing or additional gun control laws will cost or save lives. There is, however, hard, statistical evidence that proves a different kind of firearms law would indeed deter attacks like these in the future:

According to results from an extensive study on 20 years-worth of national crime data, by economist Dr. John Lott Jr. and William M. Landes, the facts indicate that "states without right-to-carry laws had more deaths and injuries from multiple victim public shootings per year [both in absolute numbers and on a per capita basis] during the 1977 to 1997 period. States without right-to-carry laws account for the large majority (often around 90 percent)
of deaths and injuries." Further, evidence indicates that when a public shooting does occur, "right-to-carry laws reduce the total number of people killed or injured."

If Ohio legislators truly want to create law which will have a deterrent effect on crimes of this nature, the facts speak loudly and decisively - concealed carry reform should be passed in Ohio immediately, with as few
restrictions as possible, so that as many law-abiding citizens as possible can take advantage of their Constitutional right to self-defense.

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