Pro-Gun Punditry: Wednesday's Buckeye State Roundabout

There are more stories pertaining to our gun rights in Ohio then we can possibly draw attention to with individual daily commentary. But they are worthy of mention.

What follows is our weekly review of headlines from around the state though a pro-gun rights lens.

From movement in several gun rights-related political races to still more victims in "no-guns" zones, this article deserves be a part of your required reading!

Click on the "Read More..." link below for seven days of headlines accompanied by short, concise pro-gun analysis.

Wednesday in Cincinnati: Police officer shot in Bond Hill

    A Cincinnati police officer was shot in the face early today when she and her partner were fired on during a traffic stop. Officer Kristina Holtman received stitches after the bullet grazed her cheek. The suspect, 18-year-old Dante Person, was wounded by return fire from Holtman’s partner, Officer Lauren Smith, police said. Person underwent surgery for a severed artery in his right thigh and a shattered femur. The shooting happened after Holtman and Smith stopped a vehicle shortly before 2 a.m. in a driveway in the 4900 block of Corinth Avenue, near California Avenue. Police Chief Thomas Streicher said the officers had placed the driver, who was wanted by police, in the cruiser when Person, a passenger, got out of the car and started shooting. A bullet grazed the side of Holtman’s face, from the middle of her cheek to just below her eye, and passed through the bill of her hat, Streicher said. Stitches were needed to close the 2 ½-inch slice across her face, police said. “She’s a very, very lucky person,” Streicher said.... It was the third shooting of a Cincinnati police officer in six weeks. “This is crazy stuff. This is just horrible,” Streicher said at 4:30 a.m. as he was walking into University Hospital to check on his officers after leaving Bond Hill. Streicher said Cincinnatians should be outraged over the increasing violence on city streets. Police said Person has had weapon-involved run-ins with the police several times. Person is known on the streets as “Baby” and “Pretty Boy.”

As you read the inevitable stories about testimony from John Gilcrest of the Ohio Chiefs of Police Association, about how horrible HB347 would be for law enforcement, ask yourself if "Pretty Boy" had a CHL, and if he was carrying in plain sight in the motor vehicle...

Wednesday in Columbus: Police Arrest Man After Armed Robbery

    Police are investigating an attempted abduction and robbery outside a restaurant on the city's north side Wednesday afternoon. The incident occurred at Yanni's Greek Grill on Cleveland Avenue at about 1 p.m., NBC 4's David Wayne reported. Police said a masked man approached a woman in the parking lot, showed a gun and ordered her to get into her car and drive him to her bank to withdraw cash. The victim refused and offered him all the cash she was carrying. Police said the man took the money and fled the scene in his vehicle. The victim called police and an officer in the area followed the suspect. The suspect then crashed into an apartment at Cooper Road and Blendon Woods Boulevard. Police used a Taser gun on the suspect before he was taken into police custody. Officials credit the victim's quick thinking for helping catch the suspect. "I screamed instinctively when I first saw him and realized the gun was there and I was trying to hopefully get somebody's attention," said Kristen McKinley, the victim. "I kept my hands up in the air. I screamed again and he became more forceful about the screaming, so I finally stopped because I really just didn't want shot. I looked and saw some men walking behind a car and I went, 'Help me! Help me!' I turned back and looked back at him. ... He said, 'Get down.'" "Some people called in, notified the police about this. She had screamed, some customers and other people in the area noticed the altercation," said Sgt. Mike Woods, of Columbus police. Police say the man may be responsible for four similar incidents in the area.

Criminals who commit armed robberies are likely very aware that parking lots around bars and restaurants are excellent places to find unarmed victims. This woman is extremely lucky not to have been shot, and fortunate that there were witnesses nearby. Tell your friends and family that unless they are willing to bet on the same fortunes, they should make preparations in advance of such an attack ever happening to them.

Thursday in Columbus: House Democrats name Beatty minority leader

    Democrats in the Ohio House on Wednesday elected Rep. Joyce Beatty of Columbus to lead their 39-member caucus until the current session ends in December. Beatty had been the No. 2 Democrat in the House since 2003. Chris Redfern, minority leader since 2003, is stepping down to focus on his new job as chairman of the Ohio Democratic Party. He will keep his seat representing the Sandusky area, which he has held since 1999. Beatty joined the legislature in 1999, replacing her husband, Otto, after his 18-year tenure. She holds seats on the House Finance, Health and Rules committees. She also runs a management training company.

The downside to having the pro-CCW Redfern step down as minority leader to take a post as head of the Ohio Democrat Party has just revealed itself. Anti-self-defense Rep. Joyce Beatty now leads the Democrat caucus.

Thursday in Columbus: Lynch added to Blackwell's short list for running mate

    Secretary of State Ken Blackwell, a Republican gubernatorial candidate, has added former Euclid Mayor David Lynch to his "short list" of potential running mates. Blackwell's list, however, earlier included about 10 people. But Blackwell spokesman Gene Pierce insists the list is now truly short - about four or five people - and includes Lynch. Pierce said Lynch's roots in vote-rich Northeast Ohio is not a major factor; his conservative ideology is. Lynch, who ran a lackluster campaign for Cleveland mayor last fall, is a pro-life Catholic and a fiscal conservative.

Candidates for Lt. Gov are not typically all that influential on the outcome of gubernatorial races, but can bring a candidates' hometown network to bear for the ticket. Like Lynch, Blackwell opponent Jim Petro is from the Cleveland area.

Thursday in Columbus: Franklin County Republicans back Petro for governor

    Attorney General Jim Petro won a coveted endorsement for governor last night from the Franklin County Republican Party, giving him a leg up in Ohio’s second-largest county against two strong primaryelection opponents. Petro defeated state Auditor Betty D. Montgomery in a runoff, 61-50, after Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell narrowly finished third on a first round of balloting. The original vote tally was Petro 43, Montgomery 37 and Blackwell 36. Petro hailed the county party’s blessing as "probably the most important endorsement made by a Republican Party organization around the state," because it will mean strong organizational support for his candidacy in the May 2 primary election. "It’s an important point in the campaign and an important signal that we’ve built considerable momentum," Petro said. Blackwell and Montgomery downplayed the endorsement, saying that Petro had been lobbying party central-committee members for several years and the vote was closer than anticipated.

It really does seem to be getting as ugly as many predicted it would become. Choosing among friends is never an easy thing. For gun owners, the choice on the GOP side is at least slightly easier since Betty Montgomery has made it clear she is no friend to our right to carry.

Thursday in Columbus: Teen Accused in Shooting Has Record

    Police say a man accused of shooting a Cincinnati police officer has a juvenile record that includes eight convictions. Police say 18-year-old Dante Person was in a car that two officers pulled over because it had dark tinted windows and no license plate light. Officer Kristina Holtman called out after she was shot in the face at point-blank range. Holtman and her partner, Officer Lauren Smith, fired at Person, hitting him in the right leg. Police admit if his gun hadn't jammed, both officers could have died. They say the officers' training and bravery pulled them through the incident. Cincinnati Police Chief Tom Streicher says, "For the preliminary results of our investigation indicates to us that the officer clearly came under fire, that the officer was clearly shot in the face and the officer was very much justified in defending themselves and defending each other." Officer Holtman is recovering in the hospital.

No, the shooter didn't have a license to carry. No, he wasn't allowed to own a handgun. Yes, gun ban extremists will tell you the only way to prevent these types of crimes is to pass laws which do nothing but penalize law-abiding citizens.

Friday in Cleveland: Senator ready to say he'll run

    State Sen. Eric Fingerhut will make his plan to run for Ohio governor official with an announcement Wednesday in Columbus. ``We're still finalizing all the details, but the expectation is that I'll make a formal announcement at the Statehouse and then come back up to Cleveland, which is my home, and repeat the announcement there,'' Fingerhut said Thursday. Fingerhut's supporters are having a fund-raiser for him in Cleveland on Wednesday evening to kick off the campaign, after which he'll depart on a tour of the rest of the state. Fingerhut, a Democrat from Shaker Heights, formed an exploratory committee for the governor's race on Dec. 1, two days after Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman folded his campaign. Fingerhut had been supporting Coleman for governor. The announcement gives U.S. Rep. Ted Strickland of Lisbon serious competition in the May 2 Democratic primary. State Rep. Bryan Flannery of Strongsville also is running but is not considered a strong challenger.

In choosing between the NRA A-rated Ted Strickland and the vehemently anti-gun Eric Fingerhut, Democrats are going to have to decide if they want to have a chance in the general election at gaining votes from the grassroots gun movement or not. If they chose Fingerhut int he May primary, they can expect to have the same grassroots opposition from gun owners that has sunk so many of their other candidates in the past decade.

Monday in Columbus: Justice Resnick forgoes election

    Ohio Supreme Court Justice Alice Robie Resnick, the lone Democrat holding a statewide elected office, said Saturday that she will not run this year for a fourth term. Resnick, 66, whose term expires at the end of the year, said in a statement she is confident she could win re-election but wants to spend more time with family and friends. ``I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to play a part in deciding a great many issues concerning Ohioans,'' she said in the statement. ``I will miss the daily challenges of the position.'' A panel of state appellate judges publicly reprimanded Resnick last month, saying her drunken driving conviction last year violated the state's judicial code of conduct. Resnick pleaded guilty to drunken driving in February, paid a $600 fine and had her driver's license suspended for six months. She apologized at her sentencing hearing and said that she had suffered a relapse of a drinking problem.

In upholding the constitutionality of the (now defunct) concealed carry ban in 2003, Resnick and the majority found that the restriction on the right to bear arms for self-defense was necessary because it served "a compelling government interest'' - that of protecting the "public safety." Ironic, isn't it, that drunk drivers truly DO present a documented threat to public safety, while concealed handgun licenseholders have been proven to be some of the most law-abiding citizens in our society?

Monday in Cincinnati: Resident, thieves in shootout

    George Jones Jr. saw two people breaking into cars Thursday near Pedretti Avenue and West Eighth Street. "He was going to stop the thefts from the cars," said Cincinnati police Capt. Drew Raabe. Instead, he sparked a gunfight around 10:30 p.m., police say. Police say residents should call them if they see something suspicious. In other words, pick up the phone and not a pistol. The car burglars shot at Jones, who was also armed and shot back. "He fired three shots back at them," Raabe said. Jones, 53, was not hit - neither were the burglars. Police are looking for the two burglars and witnesses who may have seen the gun battle, Raabe said. They are also investigating Jones' account of the shooting. Efforts to reach Jones Friday were unsuccessful. "We would rather they call the police," Raabe said. "I understand everyone has the right to protect their property ... but we would rather they call police." A person who shoots a burglar can face criminal charges, regardless of whether it was self-defense. The person must prove to a jury he didn't provoke the incident, believed he was in danger of death or great harm and attempted to leave the situation, said Mark Piepmeier, assistant Hamilton County prosecutor.

Will the resident face charges while the burglars run free? Keep an eye on this one, and keep in mind that in many cases Ohio law protects criminals much more than it does their victims.

Tuesday in Oxford: Student at Miami reports attack

    A Miami University student told police a man tried to force his way into her off-campus apartment -- the fourth crime against a student at the southwestern Ohio school in a week. The woman told police her attacker fled after she was able to get the door shut. Police said they don't believe the cases are linked, but urged students to use extra caution. Earlier Sunday, police arrested the third of three suspects in the Friday morning kidnapping, beating and robbery of a 19-year-old male student. Seth Jett, 21, of Richmond, Ind., was charged with kidnapping, aggravated robbery and felonious assault. He was being held in lieu of a $300,000 bond in Wayne County, Ind. Police previously arrested Katrina Jones, 18, of Oxford, and her cousin, Sydney Jones, 24, also of Richmond, on the same charges. The victim was beaten, robbed and dumped just across the state line in Indiana. A 21-year-old woman was raped and robbed Jan. 9 by a man wearing a ski mask, and a male student said he was awakened Wednesday morning by an armed intruder who then fled, according to police.

Having made the mistake of listening to gun ban extremists whose predictions have (of course) failed to come to pass, Ohio legislators allowed the creation of many victim zones across the state of Ohio, including college campuses. Criminals seem to have gotten the message that there are multitudes of defenseless young people on and near campus who are ripe for attack.

Tuesday in Columbus: Culture of crime targeted

    Sad and stark statistics of black male homicides in Columbus prompted leaders to create a coalition to save a generation from prisons and graveyards. About 60 black leaders, including Mayor Michael B. Coleman, police Chief James G. Jackson and school Superintendent Gene Harris met yesterday, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, to discuss growing problems of black-on-black crime and the alienation of black men from society. Coleman described his African American Male Summit as a call to action to recommit leaders to reversing the homicide numbers among black men. "A disturbing trend is occurring in the city of Columbus," Coleman said. "As a black man and a black mayor, I felt it was absolutely essential to lay it on the line." Last year, blacks were 77 percent of the homicide victims in the city and 72 percent of the homicide suspects. But they make up 24.5 percent of the population. Statewide, blacks are 50 percent of the prison population and just 11.5 percent of the state population.

As Toby Hoover and other gun ban extremists continue to assault law-abiding gun owners as being a part of a "culture of violence" because they choose to make preparations to protect their families, bear in mind the REAL problem - the culture of crime mentioned in this article, and not the tools the perpetrators use to commit their acts of violence.

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