Op-Ed: Once again, the anti-gunners in Ohio target the wrong people

The anti-gun people are, uh, up in arms again over the latest effort by the Ohio legislature to instill fairness and sanity in the state's gun laws.

Better make that the Republicans in the Ohio legislature, because any time a Second Amendment issue comes up, you can be sure that most of the state's Democrats will be on the wrong side of the Constitution.

At issue this time is a bill that has arrived in the Senate after passing muster in the House by a party-line vote. The bill would vacate the existing punishment for anyone with a concealed-carry license who takes his or her weapon into a gun-free area, including courthouses, churches, police stations or school safety areas.

Currently, anyone found with a concealed weapon in any of those places is criminally liable on a fifth-degree felony, punishable by up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $2,500. Under the proposed law, such a person would not be charged or punished the first time, but would be subject to a 30-day jail sentence and a $250 fine if found carrying a weapon into the same gun-free zone again within the next 30 days.

As happens so often in Second Amendment debates, misdirection is the name of the game for the anti-gunners. 

Their arguments break down into two consistent and completely predictable responses.

First, and you can already hear the screaming: "Ohio Republicans want to allow guns in schools!"

No. They don't. (Although some guns in the hands of experienced and responsible adults might have prevented or at least mitigated several of the school tragedies the nation has experienced in recent years.) 

The purpose of the current proposal is simply to protect law-abiding citizens, who might inadvertently carry a weapon onto school grounds or some other gun-free place, from a felony charge and the potential of a year behind bars.

The proponents of the law are not "allowing" guns in school. Anyone who wants to take a gun into a school or a church or a "gun-free" business will do so, law or no law, and with no fear of armed opposition -- as we have seen many times, to our horror. All this proposal does is to reduce a draconian punishment for what often is sheer oversight by people who pose no threat. 


The second predictable -- and just as specious -- anti-gun reaction goes like this:  "The (pick-your-adjective), cowardly legislators are once again running scared from the NRA, bought and paid for by the gun lobby."

As if the National Rifle Association was some all-powerful monolith, able to control politicians and force them act against the public interest.

The hilarious thing about that argument is this: The only power the NRA has comes from the public ... from its membership and the will of the people.

If millions of people didn't support the NRA and the freedoms it tries to protect, the NRA would have no power at all.

Click here to read the entire article at Cleveland.com

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