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 crimes on campus and squirt guns in schools to Charity Turkey shoots and overpopulated deer, these articles should 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.

Thursday – Coshocton County 4-H shooting sports classes now offered

    Openings are still available in the 4-H Shooting Sports classes of Beginning and Advanced Archery, Shotgun, Hunting and Wildlife, Reloading, Muzzle Loading and Living History. There will be a Shotgun I Girls Only class, as well as another Shotgun I class for both boys and girls. Call the OSU Extension office at 622-2265 to register.

As spring approaches, the opportunities to introduce new people to the shooting sports increases you need to take advantage of these opportunities and support the groups sponsoring the events. Make a pledge today to take one non-shooter a month to the range or to training with you.

Thursday – Columbus 3 Students Robbed At Gunpoint Near Ohio State
    Ohio State University police issued a crime alert on Tuesday night after three students were robbed at gunpoint this week. The students were robbed at about 3:15 a.m. on Monday in the area of Indianola and East 14th Avenue, police said.

    According to police, a white man wearing black clothes and carrying a silver handgun robbed the students. The gunman then ran away, police said. The criminal is described as being 5 feet 6 inches tall.

    Anyone with information about the crime is asked to contact either the Columbus Division of Police at (614) 645-4545 or University Police at (614) 292-2121. Tips may be reported anonymously to Central Ohio Crime Stoppers at (614) 645-TIPS.

Fortunately for these three, robbery was the only motive. Two many criminals are learning that our sons and daughters are especially vunerable while on or around college campuses. Out Federal and State legislatures have chosen to disarm most college students leaving them defenseless victims at a time when they should be learning and growing in a safe environment.

Friday – Columbus Pharmacy Customers Forced To Ground By Masked Robbers
    Two of the customers who were held up inside a south Columbus CVS pharmacy said Thursday night that officers' quick action helped nab the robbers.

    Customers inside were robbed and forced to the ground at gunpoint by two men on Wednesday night. One of the men had a handgun. The other had a shotgun, police said. Wallets and drugs from the store were taken before the robbers got away.

    "The first thing I thought is this guy is going to shoot us," said Joseph Blake, who was inside the store at the time of the robbery. "If he's crazy enough to come into a CVS, he's crazy enough to pull the trigger."

If you have your Ohio CHL, do you carry everywhere or just when you will be going somewhere 'Bad'? Certainly everyone of the customers this night never planned on having their lives and their families lives threatened. Mr. Blake is correct, a criminal committing armed robbery is but a small step from murder or assult. If the criminals in this CVS had decided to take lives along with the money would you and your family have been defenseless? Get trained, get your CHL and stay safe no matter where you are going.

Friday – Zanesville Teen charged with inducing panic in squirt qun incident
    14-year-old middle school student has been charged with delinquency counts of inducing panic and disorderly conduct for bringing a squirt gun to school this week.

    The boy's mother has said he forgot he had the squirt gun in his coat pocket and put the toy in his locker. She said the incident has been blown out of proportion and that police shouldn't have been called to investigate.

    The Zanesville district has a zero tolerance policy for guns in schools and locked down the middle school after another student reported seeing what looked like a gun being put in Crosby's locker, authorities said.

Guns and schools don't mix. However Gun Education and schools do. Ohio is on the forefront of educating our children on the proper use of firearms. In 2003 Ohio became the first state to earmark funds to allow schools to teach the 'Eddie Eagle GunSafe' program to K-3 children. Currently Ohio Representative Ron Hood (R-91) of Ashville has introduced HB460. This legislation allows schools to “offer a course in firearm safety and marksmanship.” (A Good Kind of School Shooting ) Call your legislator and encourage them to support HB460, then call your school superintendent and find out why they did not take advantage of the the $40,000 Ohio offered to cover Gun Safety training for our most vunerable children during the 2004 and 2005 fiscal years.

Friday – Columbus Officials Say Crime Crackdown Is Working
    Officials said a crime crackdown meant to hit violent offenders with the stiffest possible sentences appears to be working. In federal court on Thursday, a Columbus man pleaded guilty to possession of cocaine and a firearm. The man had been in jail before for aggravated assault and domestic violence, but the repeat offender will now be back behind bars with a harsher sentence, thanks to a powerful police partnership.

    Police and prosecutors have been working with agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and federal attorneys to zero in on the most violent criminals who use weapons during their crimes. Together, their "Project Safe Neighborhood" helps to put certain offenders behind bars longer.

    Police said the effort is working. Since Columbus kicked off Project Safe Neighborhood two years ago, along with its sister program, the "Violent Crime Impact Team," 36 criminals have been convicted in federal court.

Enough laws have been written to punish most criminals for their crimes. Adding other laws that only make criminals out of otherwise law-abiding Ohioans serves no purpose. City after city are finding out that by simply using the tools currently available to them, they can make tremendous improvements in the safety of their citizens.

Sunday - Cleveland Sportsman's Show a harbinger of spring for anglers, hunters

    The 69th annual Cleveland Sport, Travel & Outdoor Show will bring angling, hunting and outdoors exhibits to town from March 11-19, as well as boats and recreational vehicles. There will be travel exhibits from across the country and throughout North America.
    Who, where
    Expositions Inc. produces the annual show and the I-X Center in Cleveland has been its home for many years. It's conveniently located next to Hopkins International Airport.

If you are not able to get to national shows like the 'Shot Show', local events like these are a great way to see all of the new products available to hunters and shooters. There are items and activities for everyone whether you are a hunter, shooter, boater, hiker or just simply want to get the maximum enjoyment out of your own backyard. Also as the spring primary elections heat up, make sure you plan to attend any candidate forums or receptions like these March 14th USSA Candidates Reception or March 18: Buckeye Firearms Assoc. Gun Owners Political Forum so you can meet and talk with the candidates you will be voting for in May.

Monday – Columbus Man Sentenced In Gun Storeowner's Slaying

    After two mistrials, a man connected to the murder of a gun storeowner was sentenced Monday.
    Jason Hayes, the fourth and final defendant was sent to prison in connection with the 2004 death of Zane Wilson.
    Hayes was convicted of murder, aggravated robbery and kidnapping. He was sentenced to 28 years to life in prison.
    Prosecutors said Hayes helped plan the robbery and was in the shop at the time Wilson was bound with duct taped, robbed and shot to death.

Ohio wrestled with the arguments against concealed carry reform for over a decade before finally passing HB 12. Criminals took a pillar of the community just one month prior to licenses finally becoming available in Ohio. When criminals attempted to rob Zane Wilson’s gun store in Clintonville, Zane, 78, a longtime proponent of firearm rights and a military veteran, managed to untie himself, grab a gun and return fire, wounding one of his assailants. Zane’s family asked that memorial donations be directed to Ohioans for Concealed Carry Inc. in recognition of their work to get Ohio’s CHL law passed at long last. The criminal’s motivation for the robbery was to obtain firearms. No concealed carry proponent was surprised that the criminals had not waited the extra month to obtain a CHL when the licenses became available, nor that the criminals did not want to bother with a background check or training. Sometimes things can be debated to death.

Monday – Columbus OSU Looks to Combat Crime
    The Ohio State University campus police issue two crime alerts in same weekend after a female student was forcibly robbed. It happened early Sunday morning, as she and two friends walked through a lit Wendy's parking lot.
    Just hours before this robbery, police issued a similar alert as a suspect matching the same description snatched the purse off the shoulder of another OSU student on campus. Just one week ago, yet another alert went out when three students got robbed at gunpoint near Indianola and 14th Avenues.

    Community Crime Patrol Executive Director Ellen Moore says, "A lot of these crimes happen in a split second, and there's no way we can be everywhere." Moore hopes that will change. The Columbus City Council is expected to approve $350,000 for Community Crime Patrol, a group that walks the streets in five Columbus neighborhoods.

Looks like the criminals at OSU did not stop after three victims last week. In addition to the Community Crime Patrol, which the Executive Director states can't be everywhere, all students and parents can benefit from crime prevention training such as that offered by the NRA's “Refuse to be a Victim” program. This program is perfect for college students who are forced to be disarmed while on campus because it focuses primarily on other ways to protect yourself while at home, school or work without a firearm.

Monday – Akron Turkey shoot raises money for burned student

    About 150 people were out on a northeast Ohio shooting range yesterday, trying to help a 15-year-old girl severely burned in a fire in her chemistry class.

    The weekly Sunday turkey shoot at the Greensburg Lions Club in Green, near Akron, doubled as a fundraiser for Calais Weber. Weber is one of six students injured in a January flash fire during a lab experiment at Western Reserve Academy in Hudson. She has been in the burn unit of Akron Children's Hospital since the fire and will not come home for at least another month. She has undergone five skin grafts for burns on her face, hands, arms and legs.

Tuesday – Cincinnati Two Shootings at UC raise concern over violence

    Students and officials at the University of Cincinnati are once again raising concerns over the issue of violence on campus. Two shootings took place the weekend. One followed a fight at an off-campus bar; the second involved a drive-by shooting on the western edge of campus two hours later. Officials say this was unusual for UC. Even though most crimes on campus are usually nonviolent, students are still urged to use common sense. Student Government President Andrew Burke says, "I would never walk around by myself at two o'clock in the morning because I'm realistic about where we are."

Maybe there is a pattern starting here? Let see, campuses full of unarmed victims, criminals who more then willing to destroy innocent lives and we should just be “realistic about where we are”. We should be realistic about protecting our students while they are at college. Students should be able to focus on learning and growing, not on staying alive while doing laundry.

Tuesday – Oakwood Deer Controversy Pits Neighbor Against Neighbor

    On Monday night, Oakwood city leaders heard comments from people against a proposal to allow licensed homeowners to hunt and kill deer with bows and arrows. Those opposed to the proposal said the plan does not address the reality of hunting. They said thinning out the deer population should not be done in Oakwood and should be done in the Metro park where the deer are coming from. Residents who suppor the proposed plan said deer are destroying their property.

As residences expand further out 'into the county', problems with abundant populations or wildlife increase. Ohio is blessed with a fantastic herd of whitetail deer throughout all parts of the state. When the population of deer increases too much in an area, the animals are forced to seek food supplies elsewhere. Unfortunately, the most readily available supply in the safest area happens to be landscaping and other plants on homeowners property. The ODNR has done a fantastic job of ensuring a healthy and robust deer population. Part of this job is the harvesting of deer so their numbers stay at a sustainable level.

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