Asked and Answered. Tracking the Taft "invasion of privacy" conspiracy
We first learned of Taft's new "concern" with HB12 in early November. His attempts to insert yet another poison pill into the bill were dashed by committee leadership, who told him they would stick to Article 19 of the rules, which authorizes conferees only to address differences between the two versions of the bill.
Taft realized he hit a dead-end in asking the committee to break the rules. So he went to his liberal media accomplices, who were more than willing to carry the torch.
Taft's Double-Cross Timeline
November 9: Columbus Dispatch published an editorial entitled: "Open Government - Courts get it right, but concealed-carry bill is a step backward ".
• Cleveland Plain Dealer ran their first opinion piece (only they didn't bother to put it on the editorial page) - "Proposed law may hide more than just guns". The Associated Press picked up the Plain Dealer story, and gave it far more attention than they did the Statehouse open carry 'Defense' Walk which also occurred that day.
NOTE: The Plain Dealer misquoted OFCC's Jeff Garvas in this story, and issued this correction.
• NBC4Columbus publishes a story that highlights EXACTLY why the destruction of records provision in HB12 is so important.
• Our first report on the subject of open records: "Taft's willing media are accomplices at it again".
November 16: Plain Dealer prints another editorial - this time they do put it on the right page: More legislative hide and seek
November 18: Conference Committee Chairman and all five committee members publicly acknowledge that Article 19 of the Committee Rules forbids them from addressing anything outside of differences between the two versions of the bill.
November 19: Akron Beacon-Journal editorial: Hidden agenda: Worse than a concealed-carry law? Keeping gun records secret
November 20: Bob Taft announces that he will go back on his promise to sign Senate's version of HB12, after "several news organizations have brought to my attention their concern about the public records provisions in the legislation." Frank Deaner, executive director of the Ohio Newspaper Association, praised Taft's action, saying, "He's taking the legislation in the right direction."
As usual, the question has already been answered in other states
At the same time as Taft orchestrates this issue in Ohio, Florida legislators are working to make these types of records even more difficult to obtain, even for law enforcement. They say the records are not legitimate law-enforcement tools and are instead part of "a phony excuse to harass and abuse American citizens.''
Rep. Dennis Baxley, an Ocala Republican, said he's troubled by the idea that police agencies across the state are tracking people who are exercising a right enshrined in the state and U.S. constitutions.
''We're at a point in our history where the government is trying to slowly take away our rights, piece by piece, and I'm trying to stop that,'' Baxley said. ``By accumulating all this data, it could fall into the wrong hands. And that could be a treacherous thing.''
In 1994, Federal law was changed to make it illegal for states to disclose automobile registration information to the public. Prior to that, anyone could send a request to a state Bureau of Motor Vehicles, pay a small fee, provide a license plate number, and learn the name and address of the vehicle's owner.
The law was changed after a stalker used this method to track down and kill an actress in California.
Ohioans who obtain concealed carry licenses deserve no less than the same right to privacy that Federal law guarantees to everyone who owns a vehicle.
Recently enacted CCW laws, including ones in Colorado, Missouri, Minnesota and New Mexico, bar the public identification of permit holders. Gun grabbers and the Associated Press tried to make issue of the privacy clause in Missouri at the eleventh hour, but the legislature wasn't fooled. They voted to override their liberal Democrat governor's veto.
Ohio Republican legislators must now finally realize that to pass a viable concealed carry reform bill, they be committed to doing the same here in Ohio.