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.

Wednesday in Akron: 2 men hold up Akron bank

    Akron police are looking for two men who robbed FirstMerit Bank at 1060 Kenmore Blvd. Tuesday morning. The men fled in a car on Interstate 77 while a keen-eyed citizen tried to keep up. Police said the robbers entered the back door of the bank about 9:22 a.m. armed with 9 mm handguns. They wore gloves, ski masks and clothes that completely covered their bodies. Only their eyes were visible. They ordered all the employees and customers to get on the floor. About eight people were in the bank. One of the men stood by the door monitoring the cubicles and bank traffic. He was described as 5 feet 10 inches tall with a thin build, wearing gray sweat pants with a gold stripe down the leg, a gray jacket and black tennis shoes. The other man was described as 5 feet 7 inches tall with a stocky build, wearing light blue jeans and a gray hooded sweat shirt. Police said the second man jumped over the counter, shoved the teller to the side and grabbed money from three of the cash drawers. He then jumped back over the counter and landed on one of the customers. The men fled by the same door and got into a parked wine-colored 1995 or 1996 Chevy Beretta. The car reportedly was very clean looking.

First Merit Bank's "no guns" signs are doing wonders to help them keep their promise to keep their customers and employees safe, aren't they?

Friday in Cincinnati: Robber to 78 year-old victim: Money or your life

    Township and Cincinnati police are working together to catch the two men who stabbed and robbed a 78-year-old man Wednesday afternoon at a retirement village here. That attack may be part of a series of robberies across the West Side of Cincinnati. "We suspect there are ties," said Cincinnati Police Lt. Kurt Byrd. Two black males, believed to be in their late teens or early 20s, rang the doorbell at a home on Harvey Circle at Bayley Village around 4 p.m. Wednesday. When the man answered the door, the two pushed their way inside and demanded money from him and his 75-year-old wife. One of the men pushed the woman to the ground and said, "Where's the money at, before I kill you?" according to the 911 tape released by the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office. Her purse was taken, according to a Delhi police report. One of the men then stabbed the husband in the elbow and took his wallet. The victim was released from a hospital Wednesday night. "He's doing fine," said Alice Rogers Uhl, vice president of development for Bayley Place. It was unknown Thursday why the elderly couple was targeted.

Still more proof that in a violent encounter, calling 911 is often nothing more than calling for a mop-up crew...

Friday in Columbus: Democrats to blame for loss of conventions

    To the Editor:

    The financial woes of the Franklin County Veterans Memorial auditorium should be laid directly on the doorstep of the Columbus City Council, where Democrats have had their way since before 1989. The Democrats on the City Council have passed three gun bans since 1989 that have had no effect on crime or predatory criminals, but have severely affected the city and Franklin County’s ability to hold and attract conventions. The Ohio Gun Collector’s Association brought in $20 million a year in 1989 dollars. That would be $340 million in the past 17 years. Plus, the $20 million the city just lost because the Democrats on the City Council wanted to act like they were doing something to make our streets safer and passed another gun ban, forcing the National Rifle Association to move its annual convention to another city, one friendly to law-abiding citizens and firearms. I don’t know how much money the city and county would have raised through bed taxes and sales taxes and other related taxes, but it would have brought the police protective vests and would have put Veterans Memorial in the black.

    Dennis Walker

Great pro-gun analysis from Mr. Walker that the Columbus Dispatch will never ever provide for its readers on its own.

Sunday from Buffalo (NY): Democrats to blame for loss of conventions

    More than two years ago, teenager Daniel Williams survived a drive-by shooting near his Girard Place home. Now, his attorneys are hoping that his lawsuit survives a new law that insulates gun makers and sellers from many legal actions. Attorneys for Williams on Oct. 17 filed an amended version of a lawsuit that blames an Ohio gun manufacturer, an Ohio gun dealer, a gun show operator and others for the shooting that severely wounded Williams as he played basketball on his street in August 2003. The Hi-Point handgun used to shoot the high school basketball star was one of about 250 weapons that Buffalo gun runner James Nigel Bostic purchased illegally at gun shows in Dayton, Ohio, in 2000. Police said many of the guns were sold by Bostic to criminals and used in crimes throughout the city. Before Bostic bought the weapons, the federal government had notified the manufacturer and the national distributor of Hi-Points that more than 10,000 of the guns had been used in crimes over the previous 12 years, the lawsuit alleges. "[The] defendants persisted in making these guns available to criminals who the defendants knew or should have known were using them in crimes," the lawsuit charges. Terrence M. Connors, Williams' attorney, does not want the lawsuit dismissed before it ever reaches a jury because of a sweeping new law recently passed by Congress and signed by President Bush. The new law - strongly supported by the National Rifle Association and reviled by anti-gun violence groups - protects the gun industry from many negligence claims. Connors said the law does not protect the gun industry from all lawsuits, and said he was convinced that the amended version of the Williams claim, which replaces a similar one filed in July, will not be dismissed. "Our lawsuit withstands even the draconian gun-immunity bill," Connors said. "The Williams family will have its day in court. This is a case that needs to be heard." But John F. Renzulli, a New York City attorney who represents the maker of Hi-Points, couldn't disagree more. He said the gun maker never intended criminals to get the firearms, adding that Williams' lawsuit and many like it should be dismissed. The shooting was a tragedy, Renzulli said, but only the criminal who pulled the trigger should be blamed. "It's not fair [to blame the gun industry], and it's something that was not well-grounded in the law, even before the immunity bill was passed," Renzulli said. "And now, the immunity bill makes it perfectly clear that gun manufacturers should not be blamed for those who criminally misuse their guns. The person who fires the gun creates the mayhem."

No word on why the Brady Campaign lawyers who pushed this ridiculous suit are not suing General Motors because of the car the drive-by criminals used. Certainly the car manufacturer "knew or should have known" the vehicle would be used in a crime, right?

Sunday in Columbus: GOP chief fears primary fight - Civil war likely among 3 candidates for governor

    After dining separately with his party’s "Big Three" in the past several weeks, Ohio GOP Chairman Robert T. Bennett developed heartburn. Internecine warfare is in the offing, he fretted, doubting that "I can sort this thing out" before Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell, Auditor Betty D. Montgomery and Attorney General Jim Petro destroy one another in their quest to become the Republican nominee for governor in the May 2 primary election. Bennett’s three stars, all of whom will turn 58 next year, have spent at least a decade biding their time in lower statewide offices and won’t be easily dissuaded from the governor’s race. "I think they each recognize this is probably their last opportunity to achieve Ohio’s top executive office," Bennett said. With Tuesday’s election rapidly fading into memory late last week, he looked ahead in an interview to a coming election year that could be the most difficult of his record 17-year run as state chairman. Before the showdown on Nov. 7, 2006, against the Democratic nominee — probably either Columbus Mayor Michael B. Coleman or U.S. Rep. Ted Strickland, of Lisbon — Bennett doesn’t like what he sees in his own party’s battle for governor. "This could be a $12 million primary," he lamented. "Whoever the winner is will emerge broke, severely damaged and starting probably, at the very best, even with the Democrat nominee, and that’s only if the Coleman-Strickland race gets nasty, too." Some time before the Feb. 16 candidate filing deadline, Bennett said, the party will commission a poll, show the results to the three candidates and hope that they persuade at least one to quit the race. Petro and Montgomery could run for reelection; Blackwell is blocked by term limits.

If the OhioGOP chairman was at all concerned about its conservative principles instead of just holding on to power, he would see that at least one-third of his problem could be solved by calling out the anti-gun, pro-tax increase candidate, Betty Montgomery, for what she is - a Republican In Name Only.

Sunday in Cincinnati: Aspiring Dems jump lively for Mallory's seat

    The Democratic Party often complains it doesn't have enough good candidates for state office. After Tuesday's election of state Sen. Mark Mallory as Cincinnati's next mayor, however, several seasoned politicians immediately jumped into the fray to become his Statehouse successor. The Senate Democratic caucus asked Tim Burke, Hamilton County's Democratic Party chairman, for the names of two potential appointees. "They want me to sort it out?" he said, laughing. "It probably will not be limited to two." Burke said he's thrilled to have at least four strong candidates to fill Mallory's 9th District seat, which includes most of Cincinnati, Norwood, Elmwood Place and St. Bernard. Three of the four people seeking the appointment are members of the Ohio House of Representatives, which means his or her seat could open up, too.

From one anti-gun senator to another? The early list of interested parties suggests as much.

Monday in Mansfield: Strickland visits Mansfield in quest for Taft's job

    U.S. Rep. Ted Strickland swung through Mansfield on Sunday evening to gather local Democratic support for his campaign for governor in 2006. Strickland spoke first to area Democrats at the United Steelworkers of America Local 169, then stopped by party headquarters where he met with local party officials. The Congressman from Lucasville told Democrats the party has an opportunity next year that doesn't occur often, because of Republican problems ranging from Gov. Bob Taft's misdemeanor conviction to the "Coingate" scandal. "We can in Ohio, in 2006 I believe, have pretty much of a sweep," he said....Strickland said he'd call people together to focus more on important issues and less on divisive matters such as stem cell research or whether citizens may carry concealed weapons. "There have been all sorts of issues that have been consuming our energies while important issues are neglected," he said.

Does this previously NRA A-graded candidate really believe discounting the importance of concealed carry reform is the way to win votes in the Buckeye state? Or is this the typical run to the left in the primaries, run to the center in the election strategy often employed by Democrats?

Tuesday in Columbus: Residents Feel They're Targeted By Armed Burglars

    Police are investigating nearly 30 robberies in the last two weeks in which two armed people approached residents and demanded cash. Adib Pualnio is a friend of one of the victims who asked not to be identified. The victim doesn't speak English, so Pualnio is helping him spread the word about the neighborhood dangers, NBC 4's Karin Hirschey reported. "He's saying he doesn't feel safe to leave the house anymore at night and he's scared," Pualnio said. On Friday, two men broke into the victim's apartment off Kingshill Drive and held six people at gunpoint for money. "What he was worried about was the gun pointed at his friend's head and he thought he was going to shoot," Pualnio said. Police believe a total of 29 robberies are connected to the same people. The robbers are breaking into homes or confronting people in parking lots. Now, police are encouraging more victims to come forward. "We're interested in getting the most accurate description of the suspects and what their actions were," said Sgt. Shaun Laird, of Columbus police. Police said the suspects are targeting the area between state Route 161 and Morse Road. Pualnio said his neighbors feel they're being targeted.
    "The Brazilian community is tough workers that try to provide for their family and for people to violate their home and take their money, it's wrong," he said.

Brazilians in their own country recently voted NO on a proposal that would have banned the domestic sale of small arms and ammunition in their country by a whopping 63%. Those voters clearly understood what these Columbus-area immigrants also now are experiencing, which is the reality that a defenseless people are all the more vulnerable to criminal attack.

Wednesday in Columbus: Senators support governor hopeful

    Twenty-seven Democratic lawmakers gathered Tuesday morning in the Statehouse to officially throw their support behind the gubernatorial candidacy of U.S. Rep. Ted Strickland. "After reviewing the candidates, I am happy to announce that my candidate of choice is Ted Strickland, said Senate Minority Leader C.J. Prentiss of Cleveland. ``I think he has the vision and the leadership to get this state moving in the right direction again.'' Four other Democratic state senators along with 22 Democratic state representatives, including House Minority Leader Chris Redfern and Akron's Brian Williams, flanked Strickland in making the announcement. "I'm so proud to have received the endorsement of so many House and Senate members of the Ohio legislature,'' said Strickland, of Lisbon.

It is interesting to see so many anti-gun state officials join in supporting Strickland's candidacy for Governor, since he has a history of supporting gun rights in Washington. Will he continue that respect for the Constitution here if elected? Can Ohio gun owners afford to take the risk?

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