The futility of gun control: Another Plain Dealer columnist "gets it"

By Chad D. Baus

When it comes to the futility of addressing the epidemic of inner-city violence with impotent gun control laws, it would seem there are at least a two people at the Cleveland Plain Dealer who "get it."

Last year Plain Dealer columnist Regina Brett's series on the thug culture earned her title as a top-three finalist for the 2008 Pulitzer Prize in Commentary, and since then she has written articles that prove she "gets it."

Plain Dealer editorial writer Phillip Morris, on the other hand, has a more spotty history of support for armed citizens. But his latest op-ed indicates that he is now prepared to join Brett in the effort to lead the newspaper into becoming a positive force for change in the city of Cleveland.

In 2003, Morris penned op-eds in favor of lifting Ohio's ban on concealed carry.

In 2004, he expressed agreement with the idea that concealed handgun license-holders' information should not be public, yet defended his newspaper for having published the names of license-holders, and then called on the state legislature to make license-holders' private information available to the general public - all in the same editorial!

In 2005, the Plain Dealer was forced to publish a correction after Buckeye Firearms Association pointed out that a Morris editorial had mischaracterized the change a particular piece of legislation would have made to Ohio law.

In 2006, Buckeye Firearms Association revealed that Morris was the writer of two editorials, written just a few months apart, that took opposing positions on the same piece of legislation. In the first, the Plain Dealer took a pro-gun position in favor of statewide preemtion of local gun laws. In the second, written four months later, the Plain Dealer took the opposite position, without even bothering to address the disparity.

In 2008, Morris published a supportive story detailing State Rep. Michael DeBose's mugging and subsequent conversion experience to a pro-gun point of view.

This year, in an April 9 op-ed addressing the aftermath of yet another cold-blooded murder on the streets of Cleveland, Morris takes perhaps his most forceful position in favor of gun rights.

The city has tried periodic gun sweeps and gang patrols to stifle the terrorists who feed on those who remain trapped or loyal to the neighborhood.

But it's not enough.

Glenville, like so many neighborhoods in this crime-ridden city, needs a militia - a militia of committed, responsible citizens willing to reclaim the streets.

It starts with turning in Jason's killer.

It also starts with more people exercising their rights to obtain permits to carry concealed weapons and embarking on street patrols. I'm not advocating vigilantism. But if criminals know that armed, law-abiding people are walking the streets, maybe the criminals will stand down.

I couldn't have said it any better.

Chad D. Baus is the Buckeye Firearms Association Vice Chairman.

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