Ohio's law enforcement bureaucrats: time for a little soul searching
Do a few bad apples truly ruin the bunch? Do people truly deserve to be judged by the very worst among them?
That's exactly what anti-gun extremists do when they exploit despicable acts of violence, or point to a random example of illegal firearms misuse to support their effort to ban firearms ownership and defensive use.
Governor Taft's Ohio Highway Patrol, the Ohio Association of Chiefs of Police and the Fraternal Order of Police labor union treat the law-abiding citizens of this state no differently when they claim Ohioans can't be trusted to carry firearms in defense of themselves or their families. They do Ohio's law-abiding citizens no better than the anti-gun activists when they claim only officers with many, many hours of training can safely carry a firearm in their personal vehicle, or can be trusted not to elevate an everyday confrontation into a deadly shootout.
So what would these OHP and FOP bureaucrats do if the same principle was applied to them? How would they act if they were told they were no longer allowed to carry a firearm off-duty, due to the actions of some (no matter how small the fraction) of their own?
It has become a national story. On Saturday, April 26, Tacoma, Washington, Police Chief David Brame shot and killed himself moments after critically injuring his estranged wife with a gunshot to the head, ending a bitter three-month divorce process.
Brame's wife Crystal, who had accused him of pointing his gun at her, choking her on several occasions and threatening to kill her, was in "extremely critical condition" at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle on Sunday.
Brame passed off her claims, saying his wife had a fierce temper and had threatened to ruin his police career.
He became Tacoma's top cop 15 months ago and had drawn praise from community leaders and the head of the city's police union.
As Dr. John Lott Jr. pointed out in a recent editorial, in "the 15 years after Florida's concealed-carry law took effect in October 1987, about 800,000 licenses were issued. Only 143 of these (two-hundredths of 1 percent) were revoked due to firearms-related violations."
"But even this statistic overstates the risks, as almost all of these cases apparently resulted from people accidentally carrying a gun into a restricted area, such as an airport. No one claims that these unintentional violations posed any harm. In general, permit-holders were model law-abiders. Even off-duty police officers in Florida were convicted of violent crimes at a higher rate than permit-holders." (emphasis added)
So do Ohio's law enforcement bureaucrats really want the same test applied to themselves they enforce on Ohioans? Do they really want to be measured by the worst example of themselves?
If not, they'd better start listening more to their rank and file membership, who, time and again, have been proven to support concealed carry laws in our state, and across the nation. Why do they offer such support? Consider again the Lott editorial:
"Some law-enforcement officers fear that right-to-carry laws would make their jobs more dangerous by increasing their likelihood of being shot. But research has shown that the laws make police safer. Prof. David Mustard of the University of Georgia's Terry College of Business found that right-to-carry laws reduced the rate that officers were killed by about 2 percent per year for each additional year the laws were in effect."
"Other research, by David Olson at Loyola University and Michael Maltz at the University of Illinois, found that when law-abiding citizens carried concealed handguns, criminals were much less likely to carry guns. In fact, they found gun murders fell by 20 percent. With fewer criminals carrying guns, police work is less dangerous. By contrast, while law-abiding permit-holders have come to the aid of police, they have never killed a police officer."