Cleveland lawmakers continue to seek solutions to problems they don’t understand

by Ken Hanson, Esq.

WKSU is reporting that Cleveland's elected officials are once again calling for the repeal of statewide firearm preemption in order to, in their words, address the problem of "gun violence."

As Cleveland City Councilman Jeffrey Johnson stated, "We don't want to just focus in on the legislation point of it. We want to be able to address why these individuals are able to get these guns. Ultimately, we do want to sit down with the governor and the legislature to seek some type of redress when it comes to whatever state rules limit our ability to fight gun violence."

The problem, of course, is that there is no such thing as "gun violence," just as there is no such thing as baseball bat violence or knife violence. There is only one category – violence. Violence is violence without regard to where it occurs or the color, age, sex or sexual orientation of the actors or victims. No one category of violence is more or less heinous than another.

Councilman Johnson, repeat after me: Violence is Violence. The number one cause of violence is violent people. While semantically there is an argument that some people aren’t violent until provoked, drunk and/or stoned, exposed to constant violence in entertainment media, video games etc., the fact remains that violence always, 100% of the time, involves at least one violent person. Blaming guns for violence is like blaming hammers for shoddy home construction.

Without violent people, violence practically disappears overnight. Without guns, violence continues with little to no reduction. (Exhibit A – Britain.) Society pays little care to the tools associated with their victimization. To the person being victimized, whether they are facing a gun, a knife, or a Big Gulp cup of kerosene thrown on them while the bad guy lights a match, is immaterial. The one consistent material fact is that the victim is facing a violent person, one who is operating well outside the bounds of the social contract. Without the violent person, our victim's day would be normal without regard to how many guns, knives or gallons of Kerosene were sold that week.

No matter how many times actual, real-life case studies are laid out for Cleveland's elected officials, they refuse to recognize that the only PROVEN method of reducing violence is removing violent persons from circulation, either through imprisonment or by vibrantly empowering the potential victims to remove the violent person when confronted by one.

Ken Hanson is a gun rights attorney in Ohio. He serves as the Legislative Chair for Buckeye Firearms Association, and is the attorney of record for Buckeye Firearms Foundation, which filed friend-of-the-court briefs in the Heller and McDonald Supreme Court cases. The National Rifle Association's Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA) has awarded him with its 2008 Defender of Justice Award and 2009 Jay M. Littlefield Volunteer of the Year Award. He is the author of The Ohio Guide to Firearm Laws, a certified firearms instructor and holds a Type 01 Federal Firearms License.

Related Articles:
The truth about Cleveland's "Assault Weapon Ban" - Part I

The truth about Cleveland's "Assault Weapon Ban" - Part II

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