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 comment.

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

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

Thursday from Dayton: Employees, Customer Frightened During Speedway Robbery

    There were some frightening moments for two gas station employees and a customer when a man with a gun demanded cash. It happened at the Speedway gas station on West North Street in Springfield, and the crime was caught on tape. Investigators believe it is just a matter of time before they catch the individual responsible. Police said the robber is a white male in his early 20s, stands about 5 feet 8 inches tall and weighs more than 300 pounds. They also said the man was wearing a dark blue NASCAR ball cap with the number 24 on it. Police also a red bandana was worn during the robbery. Investigators said the man walked into the business around 2 a.m. and pointed a gun at the cashier behind the counter. Police said the man told the cashier twice that she had 20 seconds to get him the money and also tried to disguise his voice.

There is nothing that can change a person's perspective on the personal responsibility to have an adequate self-defense plan than to be caught in a situation like this (or to know someone who has). Why wait that long to learn the lesson? Make your plans NOW...

Thursday from Columbus: Residents of South Side fearful after 3 home invasions

    She lives 1 mile south of the area near Schiller Park where — three times in the past month — gunmen have entered unlocked homes, made their victims disrobe, then bound them and stole cars, cash and valuables.
    Having also seen drug deals in the alley behind her house in Hungarian Village, Jennifer Hemmerlein is worried, she said last night.
    "There’s a culture of fear in the neighborhood," Hemmerlein told 45 people at a South Side safety summit in a church basement. "I actually peek out my garage door first before going out."

Gun ban extremists attempted to derail concealed carry reform by saying it was a result of a "culture of violence" (ignoring the true reality that could more accurately have been described as a "response to" that culture. But as be seen from the story above, the result of Hoover's gun control laws would create more and more places where the only alternative is the "culture of fear" Columbus residents are suffering under.

Thursday from Columbus: (Armed) Man Thwarts Burglary

    A group of robbery suspects didn't have a chance Thursday morning after police say they were caught trying to break into an SUV on the west side of the city. Police say there may be much more to the break-in. Thursday's arrest could close the book on several cases involving similar robberies. Columbus police are hoping they put an end to a crime spree that is hitting the west side of the city. Police have two men in custody who they say were caught breaking into an SUV, and thanks to one man, the neighborhood is a little safer. It all started around 2 a.m. when Ken Steel heard someone breaking into his SUV. He says he immediately grabbed his gun and went after them. That's when the three men scattered. Steel saw them jumping a fence, and just a short time later, Columbus police spotted the men on Oakley. The suspects tried to run away. Two of them were arrested, but the third got away. Police say they recovered a lot of property from the suspects' car. It's property that may have come from several other break-ins in the area.

Every day in America, hundreds of armed citizens protect lives and property against lawless criminals.

Friday from Norwood: Pizza Delivery Driver Robbed At Gunpoint, Then Fired From Job

    NORWOOD, Ohio -- A pizza delivery driver was fired just two days after he was robbed at gunpoint, News 5's Juliette Vara reported. Stephen Whitis said he pulled up in his truck to deliver a pie in Roselawn earlier this week, and a man was waiting for him. "I walked up to him," Whitis said. "When I got to him, that's when he showed me the weapon." The man pointed a gun right at Whitis and demanded all of his money. "I just tossed him the pizza, reached in my pocket and threw money at him," he said. The robber got away with more than $200, Whitis said. When he went to work again, one of the owners of the Norwood Papa John's told him he no longer had a job with the company. "He made me feel like a little kid, like I did something wrong," Whitis said. He told News 5 the owner said he'd violated company policy by carrying too much money. But he said he had no choice -- in the two months he'd been employed at Papa John's, he was never given a drop box. "Managers are always so busy," he said. "Anytime you ask them for something, they say, 'Hold on, hold on.'" A store owner said he wouldn't comment and that the matter was being handled internally. Whitis, though, is not only left without a sense of safety, but without financial security as well. "They're just seeing dollar signs," he said. "They don't care about drivers."

Papa John's also has a history of firing drivers who take steps to defend themselves from attackers.

Saturday from Dayton: Gun crimes dip for fourth year

    The number of gun crimes reported in Dayton plunged nearly 17 percent this summer — 75, down from 90 in 2004 — and the area's federal prosecutor credited tough enforcement linked with community efforts to prevent violence. It was the fourth straight year of fewer gun crimes in Dayton between Memorial Day and Labor Day, Dayton police said. Montgomery County prosecutors sent 44 new gun cases to federal court, where select offenders with violent-crime histories draw longer sentences than under state gun laws. U.S. Attorney Gregory G. Lockhart, who reported the reduced gun crime, also credited Project Safe Summer, an umbrella program of community actions. "Committing a crime with a gun creates hard time for everyone involved," Lockhart said. "The criminal does 'hard time' in a federal prison. The criminal's family will suffer a hard time because their loved one is behind bars. The victim will struggle with a harder life because of the physical and emotional injuries. The community will experience a hard time because of increased fear of violent crime and the impact it has on a neighborhood." Project Safe Summer was a stepped-up effort to reduce gun crimes committed in Dayton between June and August 2005, compared with the summer of 2004. "Project Safe Summer is in recognition of some of the efforts that had already been taking place," Fred Alverson, law enforcement coordinator for the U.S. Attorney's Office, said. "We wanted to be the lens to focus some of the efforts."

It will be tempting by some to give immediate credit to Ohio's concealed carry law for this downturn, but we should all be careful to make such arguments only when weighing all the variables, and taking into account the fact that the City of Cleveland has seen an violence go up nearly 10% this year. The overall statewide numbers in Ohio will provide a much greater barometer of whether or not the gun ban extremists dire predictions came true or not. Also - there can be NO doubt that variations on Project Safe Neighborhoods deserve credit when implemented in individual cities. These programs, which some gun groups actually opposed back when first developed, have no doubt turned the focus where it belongs - on criminals with guns - and way from law-abiding citizens.

Saturday from Columbus: City Council challengers take aim at one-party rule

    Whether one-party control is good for Columbus depends on which party you ask. The three Democratic City Council members seeking to retain their seats on Nov. 8 met their Republican challengers yesterday in a debate sponsored by the Columbus Metropolitan Club. In a civil exchange devoid of personal attacks, the Republicans went out of their way to compliment the Democratic incumbents. But the Republicans — Phil Harmon, Alisia Clark and Eddie Pauline — argued that the city needs two-party representation. Columbus needs "two minds" talking at the table, Clark said. Democratic domination in campaign fundraising for council members limits debate, Pauline said. Harmon said the Democratic council has drifted "too far to the left" on many issues. Democrats Kevin Boyce, Maryellen O’Shaughnessy and Mary Jo Hudson defended their performance.

Why is it diversity is only a desire of anti-gun liberals when they are out of power?

Monday from Youngstown: Man shoots apparent attacker

    An elderly man shot a man who jumped him from behind as he was entering his house on the South Side, police report. The suspect is in critical condition at St. Elizabeth Health Center. Walter Swita, 83, told police he was entering his house at about 10:30 p.m. Friday after having parked his car across the street from the residence at 3003 South Ave. He told police he has been parking across the street instead of around the back of his house since he was assaulted and robbed six weeks ago, the report said. He also told police he had been carrying a gun since that time. The report said that as he unlocked his door and went in, the suspect grabbed him from behind. As Swita was falling to the floor, he took his gun from his pocket and shot his attacker once in the chest and once in the head, the report said. A witness reported hearing two shots and seeing two men running across South Avenue to East Philadelphia. When police got to Swita's house, they found him next to the phone where he'd called 911, and his attacker was lying on the floor in a pool of blood, the report said. Swita had a bump and a gash on his head and was taken to Beeghly Medical Center, where he was treated. The 44-year-old suspect, who listed an East Philadelphia Avenue address, remained in critical condition late Saturday night, the hospital said.

Another among the estimated 2 million defensive uses of a firearm by American citizens in our country each year. For more on this World War II veteran's experience, click here.

Tuesday from Columbus: Gubernatorial candidate says she’s sticking with the race

    State Auditor Betty D. Montgomery couldn’t have made it any clearer last night: She’s in the governor’s race to stay. Montgomery told more than 200 central Ohio Republicans — and her two GOP gubernatorial rivals, Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell and Attorney General Jim Petro — to gird for a primary election battle in May. "I’m asking everyone in this room to pick a side," she said at the Villa Milano Banquet and Conference Center on the North Side, where Republicans from eight counties gathered for a $100 per person party fundraiser. "My fellow Republicans, we should get comfortable with the fact that we’re going to have a primary fight," Montgomery said. "Stop hoping for a backroom deal at the 11th hour to avoid it." Montgomery said the party needs the three candidates to stay in the race and fight for the nomination, because the party "needs a gut check" on where it stands on taxes and spending, health-care costs, and education. "Make no mistake about it — don’t let any of my opponents fool you — I’m in this race," Montgomery said. Afterward, Montgomery said she felt it necessary to state with certainty that she is running for governor because her two opponents were spreading rumors that she planned to drop out as part of "a tactic to suppress my fundraising."

In the wake of Bob Taft's opposition to concealed carry reform, what about a GOP "gut check" on firearms and self-defense rights, Betty? Or didn't you recall your website is filled with keywords such as "Second Amendment", "2nd Amendment" and "tough on crime", while masking your history of opposition to concealed carry reform?

Tuesday from Toledo: Misguided stance on concealed-carry law

    The Blade's stance against allowing concealed-carry goes back well before the law was passed. The Blade is against any form of letting everyday citizens protect their own lives with concealed firearms. The Oct. 24 editorial, "Tinkering with concealed-carry," was no exception. You refer to requiring open carry in a vehicle and the release of permit holders' names as "safeguards." Exactly what are they safeguards from?

    The open-carry in a vehicle provision only makes the permit holder go through a holster change every time he or she enters/exits the vehicle. It also potentially makes those parking in the next parking spot a little nervous as they see someone handling a weapon to comply with the law.

    Eliminating the open-carry requirement in a vehicle does not endanger police officers. Any person planning to shoot an officer is not going to openly show an officer than he has a weapon. And as statistics show, the likelihood that such a person has a CCW permit is very unlikely.

    Identifying permit holders does nothing but help criminals identify homes with handguns or become more informed about their potential victim.

    Ty Henry

Common sense that is all too uncommon around the editorial offices at the Toledo Blade.

Wednesday from Youngstown: 3 sought in robbery of city BMV office

    Three men robbed the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles office, 3623 Market St. on the city's South Side, of about $615 around 5:30 Tuesday afternoon. One of the robbers, wearing a gray nylon mask, pointed a black handgun at the manager and demanded money while the other two jumped the counter and ordered about eight patrons to lie face down on the floor, a police report shows. The manager gave the gunman the money from a register before the three fled through the back door, the report continues. The employee told police the business had received several hang-up calls before the robbery. The robbers were described as black men all around age 20. The man wearing the mask was described as 5 feet 4 inches, 130 pounds and wearing a white sweat shirt. The other two robbers were between 5 feet 7 inches and 5 feet 10 inches and 160 pounds. One wore a gray sweat shirt and the third man had on a red shirt and blue coat, the report says. Members of the police crime lab were called to collect evidence.

Not only are all state-run BMVs listed among places where bearing arms for self-defense is banned (lot of good the signs do), but The Ohio Department of Public Safety and the Bureau of Motor Vehicles went even further than the law requires in 2004 by sending letters to its independent contractors (Deputy Registrars) telling them that they were required to ban CCW on their private property. No doubt the criminals didn't get word of the ban...or then again perhaps they did.

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