Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson refuses to answer questions about gun control enforcement in live Internet chat
By Chad D. Baus
On March 24, 2009, Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson took part in a live Internet chat hosted by NewsNet5.com (Cleveland's ABC affiliate, WEWS).
It was clear from many of the questions that Cleveland's crime problem in general, and the city's continued enforcement of illegal gun control laws in particular, were of major concern to chat participants.
But Mayor Jackson largely avoided these issues, and by the end of the chat participants were expressing their frustrations.
Five of the first twelve questions (42%) approved by the moderator were focused on crime or gun control. (Note: the transcript [.pdf format] provided by NewsNet5 omits portions of lengthy questions or answers, so those truncated below are due to that problem at their end)
One of the first questions about the crime issue was asked by 'cjsamson', and turned out to be one of the only questions answered by the mayor on this subject in the entire event.
cjsamson: "Is anything going to be done about the park where Jory Aebly and Jeremy Pachanec were shot execution style on 2/24 in the heart of cleveland?"
MAYOR_1: "cjsmason - Downtown is statistacally one of the safest neighborhoods in the City of Cleveland. Suspects in the crime were identified, arre..."
To that, another chatter, 'charliboi', responded "now I'm cocerned anout the entire city!!! Not just 'downtown'!!!!!!!!"[sic]
BioTech0296' also chimed in, noting that "i see people being run down by cars in the theater district, i see people being shot in chester and 12th...that my friend is crime."
'charliboi' also posed a question on crime, asking if foot patrols could be increased, "since so many crimes are committed by the bad guys on foot".
Mayor_2 responded: "Charliboi- Foot patrols have value, especially in buissness districts and at special event. The cost however is extremely high and their range of o..."
To that, 'charliboi' retorted: "give me a break!"
The mayor answered just three questions (one was the downtown crime question above, as well as one question each on the protection of historical buildings and the Housing Choice Voucher Program) before he essentially turned the chat over to other city officials.
Some officials who were credited as providing answers asked of the mayor were officials named in Buckeye Firearms Foundation's lawsuit (Law Director Robert Triozzi and Public Safety Director Martin Flask). These men also could have answered the crime and gun control questions. But they didn't.
In fact, the mayor was asked about the city's policy of enforcing illegal gun control laws no less than seven times, yet neither he, nor his law director or public safety director responded.
'porkchop': "Mayor Jackson why are you enforcing illegal gun control laws! Do you think you are above the law?"
'glenn_gudz': "Mr mayor when is the city going to end its ridiculous gun laws and comply with the state laws?"
'ed': "i want to know why the mayor is wasting tax payer money to fight the state of ohio on the pre-emption issue about gun control?"
'glockfanjohn': "Mr Mayor...why is it that you are currently enforcing illegal gun control laws and that you were order by the Ohio Supreme court to stop and you h..."
'ed': "taxpayer money is being wasted on a fight with the state to retain home rule on the gun issue in cleveland,which the state superceeds any home..."
'glockfanjohn': 'Is it your belief that you are above the second ammendment rights of the people of cleveland'
'ed': "as i asked before ,why is the mayor wasting money to fight the state pre-emption law on guns????"
To be fair, it wasn't just the crime and gun control questions that got ignored. In fact, at the conclusion of the chat, questions turned to comments from frustrated chat participants.
'ed' wrote "these questions must be hard to answer because all i see is questions and no answers."
And perhaps this comment from 'mark.cleve' summed up the chat the best:
"well I can see this was a waste of time just like the time I spent campaigning for you"
When the chat ended, a note from the Producer stated "IF YOU DIDN'T GET YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED PLEASE CALL 216-664-2900."
Let us know how those calls go, won't you please?
Chad D. Baus is the Buckeye Firearms Association Vice Chairman.