To the Editor: OACP's "sky is falling" rhetoric hasn't proven true before, so why listen to them now?
The following letter to the editor of the Akron Beacon-Journal was written in response to that newspaper's editorial calling on legislators to support HB 203 (Concealed Carry & Self-Defense Law Reform) because of opposition from John Gilchrist, representing the Ohio Association of Chiefs of Police.
The editorial board noted that Gilchrist "emphasized that changing current Ohio law would be an invitation to trouble."
Following is the response written by Buckeye Firearms Association's Chad Baus, as published on November 26:
A Nov. 15 editorial ("Advice to retreat") cited testimony by John Gilchrist, legislative counsel to the Ohio Association of Chiefs of Police, in its reasons for encouraging legislators not to support House Bill 203, which would eliminate Ohio's "duty to retreat" from a life-threatening encounter.
Gilchrist claimed that "repealing the duty to retreat will result in more violence, including gun violence particularly by those who are hot-headed or violently aggressive." What the editorial did not mention is that Gilchrist made similar testimony five years ago about Ohio's Castle Doctrine law.
When asked by committee member Rep. Andy Brenner for proof that his predictions about that legislation have come to pass, Gilchrist could not provide any. Opponents of good firearms-related legislation have always filled their testimony with 'sky is falling" rhetoric, but it never comes true.
When such wild claims of pending mayhem are made, a responsible journalistic organization should follow up. The claims didn't come true about concealed carry, they didn't come true about the Castle Doctrine, they didn't come true about carrying a gun into a restaurant and they won't come true if the "duty to retreat" is removed under H.B. 203.
Chad D. Baus
Editor's note: The writer is vice chairman of the Buckeye Firearms Association.