Ohio lawmakers: Better to slowly burn a child to death than to shoot her with a gun

By Gerard Valentino

Senate Bill 348, designed to add an additional 10 years to a prison sentence if a gun is used to cause injury to or death of a child, was introduced recently by Senator Eric Kearney (D-9). Senators Sue Morano (D-13), Teresa Fedor (D-11), and Capri Cafaro (D-32) have signed on as co-sponsors.

The bill, which Buckeye Firearms Association strongly opposes, is another example of the legislature trying to make an existing crime more illegal.

Killing someone with a baseball bat, hammer or even a car leaves the victim dead. The person committing the crime is still a murderer and the family of the victim will still grieve. Just because a gun might be involved in the crime is irrelevant.

Laws enacted that vilify guns are used to desensitize people to blaming guns for the crimes committed by an individual. The same can be said for all gun control bills that make citizens accept the government’s ability to infringe on the right to bear arms.

This bill is objectionable on both levels and leaves Buckeye Firearms Association no choice but to oppose the measure. To allow the legislature to punish one method of murder more strictly than another is also an insult to the victims and families who are killed by other means.

Equality under the law is supposed to be a hallmark of the American legal system. Imagine if your son or daughter’s murderer got less time than another criminal only because a gun wasn’t used in the crime. It would be impossible for most families to accept their child’s murder was somehow less heinous because a knife or other method was used.

There is no public safety issue, real or imaged, that would be addressed if this bill becomes law. Inflicting violent injury and murder is illegal now, and criminals should be punished based on the results of their actions.

The Supreme Court recently ruled that crack cocaine dealers couldn’t be punished with more prison time than powdered cocaine dealers since the crime was ultimately the same. Although written before the introduction of SB384, their decision is an indictment of punishing criminals who commit the same crime in a different manner.

Please write your Senator today and tell them to oppose SB384. Remind them that murder is already illegal and that making it more illegal depending on the method used to kill is an irrational and illogical reaction to a non-existent public safety problem.

Gerard Valentino is the Buckeye Firearms Association Central Ohio Chair, writes for the ValentinoChronicle.com and teaches the Ohio concealed carry class through CenterMass LTD.

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