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 in Akron: Gun manufacturers needed protection

    Your Oct. 24 editorial against Senate Bill 397, The Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, was seriously misguided (``Guns before justice''). This bill was necessary to protect gun manufacturers from frivolous and malicious lawsuits that would hold them responsible for the criminal actions of a third party. Your statement that ``defendants who have behaved negligently will walk'' is incorrect. Court cases against gun manufacturers and dealers for acts such as negligence, faulty products and illegal activities are suits that can and would be able to proceed. The intent of many of these lawsuits, especially those by municipalities, is not just the hope of a big payday but to financially cripple the gun industry by burying manufacturers in costly litigation. You can't have a drive-by shooting without a vehicle, but you never read about a lawsuit against General Motors because one of its vehicles was used. People have enough common sense to appreciate the ludicrousness of suing the manufacturer of a car, knife, baseball bat or hammer because its product was used in the commission of a crime or in a negligent act by a third party. Despite what the gun-control lobby would have you believe, guns are no different. Intent is in the hands of the product user, not in the product itself. You cited the clout of the National Rifle Association. Unlike the lobbies for the auto manufacturers, pharmaceuticals, construction industry and Handgun Control Inc., which are largely financed by a few very deep pockets, the NRA exists because of its 4 million members -- average, law-abiding Americans who give their hard-earned dollars to protect the Second Amendment rights of 80 million gun owners in this country. We vote, and we hold politicians accountable for that one issue. When the NRA speaks, it speaks for me because I help give it its voice. When you demean the NRA, you insult me along with the rest of our members. It is ironic that you use your First Amendment rights to attack my Second Amendment rights. We should all be concerned about protecting our entire Bill of Rights.

    Van Pedigo

What else is left to say? EXCELLENT letter from Mr. Pedigo.

Saturday in Cleveland: Teen gunman killed in store robbery attempt

    A Cleveland teenager was fatally shot Friday while attempting to rob a West Side convenience store with a sawed-off shotgun, police said. Larry Young, 17, of West 70th Street, covered his face with a ski hat or other black clothing before entering the store, police said. Young threatened Shukria "Sherry" Makkar, 59, with the shotgun. Her husband, Ramsis "Mike" Makkar, 65, who was nearby, saw the gun and pulled a handgun he kept behind the counter. He fired two shots at Young, hitting him once in the head, said Sgt. Dan Galmarini, Cleveland police spokesman. Young was pronounced dead at 1:03 p.m. at MetroHealth Medical Center. Makkar was not arrested....Violence during convenience store robberies in Cleveland is not uncommon. In separate shootings in May, deli owner Antonios "Tony" Elbkessini, 48, was killed in his store on West 47th Street and Saleem Muqdady, 28, a clerk at the Edgewater Delicatessen at Lake Avenue and West 87th Street, was fatally shot. Last December, two people were killed in a robbery at Tony's Deli on Scranton Road, and three days later the owner of George's Market on Detroit Avenue shot and killed Jessie Buchanan, 19, during a robbery attempt. [Clark Delicatessen customer David] Coleman said he was robbed earlier this year, punched and kicked in the face after leaving the Café Ridge. These crimes have people rattled. More, like Makkar, are keeping guns to protect themselves, Garver said. Coleman said he has no sympathy for the robber. But he hopes Makkar is OK. "I don't blame him one bit," Coleman said. "You have to protect yourself."

Another use of a gun saving yet another innocent life, and yet gun ban extremists would prefer Ms. Makkaer had been defenseless in the face of this violent criminal.

Sunday in Columbus: Daylight convenience-store robbery turns into Old West shootout

    Chaudhry Najeeb said he never thought someone would try to rob the Kimberly Parkway Dairy Mart during the middle of the day. And he never imagined he’d exchange gunfire with the robber. "He was 10 feet away from me and shooting at me straight," said Najeeb, 28, who has worked at the East Side store the past eight years. No one was hurt, though police estimate the two fired at least nine shots. "God must have put something in front of me," he said. Najeeb said he was working in the store about 1:15 p.m. when a man walked up behind him and put a gun to his head. The robber ordered him to empty the register, Najeeb said. The bandit then took money from the store’s safe, he added. After grabbing the money, the robber walked into the store’s back room searching for a video surveillance tape. Najeeb said he thought the man had left the store, so he grabbed a semiautomatic pistol he kept nearby and went outside. When he turned around, Najeeb said, he discovered the robber was still inside, and that’s when the shooting began. "He started shooting at me. I had to defend myself," Najeeb said. "I was very scared. I didn’t know what to do." A Columbus police report states at least one other suspect was outside the store while the robbery was under way, telling customers the power was out and they couldn’t go inside. Police said the robber fled south toward MacSway Avenue, with Najeeb chasing him. One of the suspects might have escaped in a green sport-utility vehicle, police said. Neither police nor Najeeb would say how much money was taken. Najeeb said one of the bullets hit his car, but he wasn’t complaining. "I have never seen someone shooting at me," he said. "It still seems like a dream. Not real."

Thankfully, just like those who purchase fire insurance on their home and collision insurance for their car, Mr. Najeeb made plans for something he "never thought" and "never imagined" would happen. He has his own life as a reward for such wise preparations.

Sunday in Dayton: Woman 'critical' after being shot in alley near her home; two held

    A 22-year-old woman was in critical condition Sunday night and two men were in custody, police said. A man shot the woman in the forehead after attempting to rob her in an alley alongside a Burwood Avenue home, Dayton police Lt. Robert Mannix said. The woman was in Miami Valley Hospital, police said. Her name was not released pending notification of relatives. The woman walking home from a nearby store when the males, at least one thought to be in his 20s, confronted her. She attempted to get in a car that drove down the alley, but the driver, fearing for his own safety, rebuffed her and sped off, Mannix said. The woman was shot at close range with a handgun shortly afterward, Mannix said. A short time later, the driver and other witnesses helped lead police to the suspects who were standing with three other men outside of a store near Germantown Street, Mannix said. Police are expected to confer with prosecutors today about charges against the men.

A follow-up story Wednesday announced that the woman, a college student who would have graduated next spring, did not survive her injuries, and that neither of theperpetrators were legally allowed to be in possession of a firearm. This victim learned the hard way that you can't count on gun control laws to keep you safe, you can't count on a passerby to come to your aide, and you certainly can't expect the police to be able to be there in time to stop a violent attack. Only YOU can protect you.

Monday in Dayton: Masked robber shoots fleeing teen

    A teen was shot in the buttocks Sunday after he was robbed in an alley while walking home from the store, according to Dayton police. Tracy Crumb Jr., 17, was taking the alley shortcut just west of Swisher and South Broadway to get to his home at 1313 Swisher Road when a man wearing dark clothes and a ski mask robbed him with a revolver. Crumb told police he was running away when the man shot him. Crumb fled home to his mother, who drove him to Miami Valley Hospital. Dayton police have not arrested any suspects.

What is it with Dayton alleys and defenseless victims this weekend?

Tuesday in Columbus: Latinos urged to stay wary despite arrest of 2 men in recent robberies

    Columbus police are warning the Latino community to remain alert, despite the arrests of two men after the latest of 24 robberies of Latinos on the North Side. "There might be others involved or operating on their own," said Officer Betty Schwab, a Police Division spokeswoman. "We want the community to continue being very cautious about their movements and very careful with their money." Police said criminals prey on Latinos because they know that recent immigrants, especially those in the country illegally, often are paid in cash, don’t use banks and are reluctant to call police because of language barriers and concerns about being deported.

Skeptics have often answered concerns about criminals using newspaper lists of concealed handgun license-holders as shopping lists by mocking the idea that criminals could be so smart as to plot their crimes like this. Yet here again is an example of how criminals are indeed smart enough to target certain individuals based on data they have gathered about them in advance.

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