What lies ahead: There is much work still to be done for Ohio gun rights in 2012 and beyond
Editor's Note: The following article was written and submitted on December 8, just hours before yet another campus shooting occurred on the "no-guns" Virginia Tech campus.
by Tim Inwood
I had an argument with an anti-gun liberal the other day, not exactly a unique event for me. He wanted to know what I would do with myself now that changes to Ohio law concerning restaurant and car carry had come to fruition. Surely now that we had won all the battles that could be won over guns, what would I, and groups like Buckeye Firearms Association, do? He was actually serious. I was amused by the shortsighted premise of his question and his obvious lack of understanding of the gun rights issue.
I startled him as I told him I was hardly done with the gun issue as many battles on many fronts lay ahead. He was incredulous. What else could I possibly want?
Well, I said, I actually have a list. I would like to see Ohio's ridiculous ban on magazines holding more than thirty rounds overturned. I would like to lower the age to buy a handgun from 21 years old to 18, because if we can send someone into combat in the military at 18, I think it is criminal to tell them when they muster out and come home at age 19 or 20 that they are too young to own a pistol or revolver. I would like to overturn the 1989 semi-auto import ban. And overturn the Gun Control Act of 1968. I would like to see the prohibition on buying guns across state lines die. Why is it I can buy just about anything I want in another state, but not a gun? It's all put on a Form 4473 and the background check is uniform, so why can't I buy, say, a Colt Python while visiting Arkansas or Tennessee? It's silly. Also silly is the 1986 machine gun ban. Only two legally-owned registered machine guns were ever used in crimes, so why not open up the registry and allow new full auto guns to be made for the American people to own? We also need to help the families of veterans who have discovered Grandpa brought home a machine gun from whatever war he fought in and hid it away. We should let the families register this family heirloom, as this is part of their family heritage and our national history.
He seemed surprised there was so much I wanted. He scoffed that I was being ridiculous and that gun radicals like me needed to be stopped. I responded that it was the other way around and that anti-freedom radicals who do not trust their fellow Americans were the ones who needed to be stopped. I reminded him that seven years ago he was parroting the line about gunfights in the streets of Ohio if we got concealed carry and more recently that there would be shootouts in bars across the state if we got restaurant carry. I reminded him none of this had come to pass. He went silent.
I asked why, if he was such a good defender of civil liberties, he was so opposed to what I proposed. I then asked why it was that the ACLU and NAACP would raise hell over the fact people are being asked to show a picture ID when they vote to prove who they are, when voting is not an enumerated right in the Constitution, but they don't do the same over having to present an ID when filling out a 4473 to ask permission of the U.S. government to exercise the enumerated right of owning and bearing arms. At this point he walked off muttering to himself. I often do this to the opposition.
Frankly, I know my list is a lot to bite off but what I listed was indeed nothing more than righting the decades-long attack on American civil liberties and reclaiming lost ground where it comes to gun rights. Though I would love to tackle it all at once, I know that is impossible. So what I really want to focus on for the coming months is something that was not among the things I listed to him but I think is doable in the near future.
I would like to end the prohibition on citizens' ability to defend themselves with guns just because they are on a college campus. With a son in college and a daughter less than two years away from it, this is becoming a very close and personal concern of mine.
For some time BFA has told you of the problem of crime on the grounds of colleges and universities across the state of Ohio, but this is not a uniquely Buckeye issue. I was reminded of this the other day while I was listening to the Neal Boortz radio show. He was talking about the horrible crimes committed against the students going to Georgia Tech and voicing his support for the campus carry movement. It seems that with Illinois being the last state denying all their citizens the right to carry arms for defense, miscreants are getting desperate for victims. Criminals across the country, having no desire to attack a potentially armed victim, have figured out college kids are fairly safe prey for them. College students by and large are prohibited from keeping arms on campus or on their persons, and no surprise the thug class, preferring unarmed victims, are preying on college kids. All of this should not be news to our loyal readers at BFA as many articles have been written in recent months about attacks on college kids, especially at The Ohio State University.
As with the argument over concealed carry, the argument to allow college kids to carry has many of the same merit points. The record for safety among CHL holders is quite good nationwide, as it is also in those places that allow campus carry for their students. Though the schools allowing it are few, the record is not only very good, it's perfect with not so much as a negligent discharge. I cannot stress enough that no one has the moral authority to tell another human being that they do not have the right to the means to defend themselves. To tell them they do not have this right and that you will severely penalize them for carrying arms for self-defense is flatly criminal. Anyone or any institution denying someone the right to the instruments of self-defense should be held criminally liable under the law for any harm that comes to that person if they continue to deny the right to self-defense. With so many school shootings and deaths on record, how much longer can these pompous administrators continue to embrace such an outdated, illogical, reckless and frankly untenable position? How many more Virginia Tech-style massacres and deaths will it take before they see the light? How many more kids have to die?
I am stunned and nauseated by such obtuse fools. How dare they take such a position putting so many people in danger? Colleges and universities are supposed to be places of higher learning, with minds open to new ways of thinking, where ignorance and stupidity is banished and wisdom and enlightenment embraced. I look forward to the day when this illogical fear of guns ceases to cost innocent people their lives.
Tim Inwood is the current Legislative Liaison and Past President of the Clinton County Farmers and Sportsmen Association, an Endowment Member of the NRA and Life Member of the OGCA, Republican Central Committeeman for Chester Township A, in Clinton County, Ohio, and a volunteer for Buckeye Firearms Association.