Ohio's lone gun ban lobbyist says "this whole fear thing" is to blame for record increase in CCW licenses

By Gerard Valentino & Chad D. Baus

Despite suffering legislative loss after legislative loss over the past several years, Toby Hoover, seemingly the lone voice of Ohio's anti-gun movement, continues her crusade to destroy gun rights in Ohio.

In her most recent comments, published by the Mansfield News, Hoover accused the pro-gun movement of using a culture of fear to foist concealed carry on Ohioans. She also singled out Buckeye Firearms Association as having attacked her unfairly.

From the story:

"Things are a little hard for everybody right now and people do stupid and dumb stuff," he [Rick Wolf, co-owner of Poland True Value Hardware in Galion] said. "It seems like the CCW is the buzz around the store."

That buzz isn't lost on Hoover, of the gun control group. As an often-outnumbered spokeswoman for tightening restrictions in the state, she said she is no stranger to insults or threats and the routine scorn of state gun lobbies, such as the Buckeye Firearms Association.

"That's what this is all about, this whole fear thing. Carrying is based on a fear thing anyway: The bad guys are all around you all the time," Hoover said, adding that the required training isn't sufficient. "Shooting at a target and shooting at a real person are two very different things. They truly believe that they will be able to defend themselves."

Rush Limbaugh often says something to the effect that if you want to know what liberals are doing, look at what they're accusing conservatives of. That same thing can now be said of Hoover and Buckeye Firearms Association.

And so, at the risk of being accused once again of unfairly attacking Ms. Hoover, it must be said that her attempts at revising history are simply pathetic.

Over the years, few media personalities have done more with an agenda of fear than Hoover, whose "Ohio Coalition Against Gun Violence" once sent a press release entitled "OHIO'S KIDS AT RISK OF BEING SHOT". Clearly, such a title has only one purpose – to scare people into continuing to read the press release and spread her anti-gun message.

During testimony over Ohio's Castle Doctrine Bill, Toby Hoover used the image of Girl Scouts being shot to push her misguided agenda when she asked, "what if a 12-year-old Girl Scout and her mother go up to someone's door, and the homeowner shoots them?"

Yet another attempt at fear mongering took place in a letter published in the Dayton Daily News where she stated, "The bill would allow gun carriers to shoot first, claiming self-defense anywhere they are (they already have the right to defend themselves when their homes are invaded). Be careful how you appear to others, as you might be perceived as a threat."

Those are three specific examples of Toby Hoover using fear as the basis to oppose pro-gun reform in Ohio. Her sad attempts at revising history are easy to expose, especially since most Ohioans remember the shrill cries made by Hoover and her allies, claiming that legal concealed carry in the Buckeye State would lead to a return of the Wild West.

During her testimony opposing HB347, legislation that ultimately reformed how licensed Ohioans could legally carry a gun in a car, Hoover stated that "the only difference between a law-abiding citizen and a criminal is one bad decision."

There are plenty of other examples of her fear-based attack on Ohio's gun rights. In fact, there are too many examples to cover here. Anyone can do a quick Google search and uncover a limitless number of examples where she tried to scare Ohioans into believing that guns are the cause of all evil.

When Hoover decided to accuse Buckeye Firearms Association of a fear-based campaign as a means of explaining the record number of Ohioans who obtained concealed handgun licenses in 2009, could she have possibly believed that her own lengthy record of making emotional, fear-based statements in the press wouldn't be exposed?

If you want to know what the gun ban lobby is up to, look at what they are accusing the gun lobby of doing. The anti-gun movement is nothing without fear, and is nothing without pushing an agenda of helplessness.

As we enter the next phase of considerations of improvements to this law, legislators who will be lobbied by Toby Hoover must ask themselves a very important question:

"Should I give my time, my attention, and my vote to a person who is so completely unwilling to consider the facts, but instead clings ever so more tightly to her false beliefs? Should I listen to a person who is wrong on the facts concerning kids and guns, and wrong about her predictions about concealed carry? Do I really want to listen to a person who would rather try to convince me I should fear my law-abiding neighbor rather than a rapist, pedophile, or robber?"

If legislators are willing to ask that question of themselves honestly, Ohioans should have no problems getting concealed-carry law improvements passed.

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