Early GOP primary discussion of 2A issues continues with Kasich statement

By Chad D. Baus

Earlier this month, Republican State Senator Kevin Coughlin, who declared his candidacy for the 2010 governor's race in January, began circulating an email designed to bring the Second Amendment to the front and center of early GOP primary discussions.

This week, former Congressman John Kasich, who declared his own candidacy for the Republican nomination at the beginning of June, issued with his campaign's first official statement on the subject of gun rights.

Following is the text of the statement from John Kasich:

After talking with many gun enthusiasts at the Ohio Trapshooting Association's State Shoot in Morrow County on Friday, I wanted to get a message out to those with whom I haven't yet spoken to clear up some of the misconceptions about my stance on the right of citizens to bear arms. I would like to take this opportunity to put an end to the speculation, and tell you precisely where I stand on this issue.

  • I am a gun owner.
  • I support the second amendment.
  • Based on my experience, I know that passing all these laws against guns isn't going to rid our nation of violence and crime.

Regarding the assault weapons ban, State Representative and gun rights activist Ron Maag rightly pointed out last week that during a 2005 nationally televised interview about gang violence, I stated, "banning all these guns and passing all these laws isn't going to fix [violent crime]." Additionally, during that same interview, I noted that guns are not the problem – it's the bad people who abuse guns. The facts bear this out: FBI statistics show that violent crime rates started to go down three years before the assault weapon ban was put in place, and violent crime rates are lower now than before the ban was lifted.

My driving mission in entering this race for Governor is to create jobs, restore economic vitality, and put an end to a decade of failed leadership in Ohio. I want to create a business environment that rewards investment, increases wages and keeps our precious jobs and brightest minds from fleeing to other states in search of economic opportunity.

Having said that, I know that the right of our citizens to keep and bear arms is a fundamental part of the freedoms afforded by our Constitution. It is bad policy for the government to infringe on the constitutional rights of gun owners. Instead of more regulation, our focus needs to be on personal responsibility and holding people accountable for their actions.

So, as I work to pull Ohio's economy out of the ditch and make our state a model for growth and prosperity, know that I will stand with you, and protect your second amendment rights.

John R. Kasich
Candidate for Ohio Governor

As I observed when Coughlin letter was released, both candidate's official campaign websites are silent on Second Amendment-related issues.

The Kasich campaign has not yet posted the text of the letter on the campaign website, www.KasichForOhio.com, nor does the website have any other mention of Second Amendment-related issues.

Likewise, the Coughlin campaign has still not published its Second Amendment fundraising letter at www.kevincoughlin.com.

Neither website mention of phrases such as "second amendment," "gun rights," "firearm," "hunting rights," "shooting rights," "concealed carry," or "self-defense."

Nor, for that matter, does either candidate's website mention "assault weapon," "gun control," "gun ban," "gun show loophole," or "gun registration."

Although their websites are currently quiet on the issue, Sen. Coughlin's email and Congressman Kasich's response provide strong indication that Second Amendment issues are going to be front and center in the GOP primary - exactly where they belong.

Chad Baus is a Member of the Fulton County, OH Republican Central Committee and the Buckeye Firearms Association Vice Chairman.

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