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 Cleveland: Amherst man kills self in standoff

    A 23-year-old Amherst man, who hours earlier had walked away from a mental health facility, went on a shooting rampage at a gas station and then killed himself Wednesday during an over night standoff with police. Elvis Isken derian had a history of drug abuse and had several alterca tions with po lice in Oberlin, where he used to lived....The standoff began just before midnight when Oberlin dispatchers received a call from a clerk at the Certified Oil gas station at Ohio 58 and U.S. 20. She told the dispatcher that someone had fired numerous bullets into the station, and she and another clerk had taken refuge in a locked storage room. The clerk remained on the phone for about 10 minutes screaming frantically at customers who walked into the store, "Get down on the floor now." The bullets pierced a window and door. As officers converged on the scene, they expected to find a gunman at the gas station. But Iskenderian ambushed them from Portman's Tree Service next door to the gas station. He fired multiple shots at police vehicles, striking their side doors. The officers weren't injured and took cover behind a car wash across the street. Police said they did not return fire. Iskenderian hid in a two-story barn at the tree company, which is owned by his grandfather, Doren Portman. Authorities learned that Portman kept three guns inside the barn -- a high-powered rifle, a shotgun and a pistol.

Gun ban extremists are famous for imagining "loopholes" that need to be closed, including a mental health record loophole which they say allows mental patients to buy handguns. This incident proves that if a mental patient wants a gun, he will find one, regardless of how many gun control policies the extremists force into law.

Thursday in Cincinnati: Couple injured in home Mount Auburn home invasion; husband critical

    Four men armed with shotguns broke into a couple’s McCormick Place home early this morning, handcuffed them and demanded money before pistol whipping the wife and kidnapping and shooting the husband. The husband, who managed to escape his captors, fled on foot was picked up by a passerby on nearby Highland Avenue and driven to Good Samaritan Hospital. The shooting victim, Ricardo Brooks, was transferred to University Hospital, where he is in critical condition. Brooks and his wife, Stacey, had just returned their home in the 200 block McCormick Place about 7:30 a.m. when they were confronted by four suspects who had broken into their house, Sgt. Chris Conners said this morning at the scene. The couple apparently “interrupted a burglary,’’ Conners said. The robbers handcuffed the couple-and at some point the wife was pistol-whipped and the husband shot, he said.

You don't buy fire insurance for your home only when expecting a fire, or collision insurance only when expecting to get in an accident. Why carrying only when expecting trouble?

Thursday in Cincinnati: GOP challenger aims to unseat Sen. DeWine

    It began Wednesday evening with a small gathering of seven supporters in an upstairs room of the historic Golden Lamb Inn here. But David R. Smith of Lebanon hopes to grow those seven into a mighty army that wins him the Republican U.S. Senate nomination next May. "I want to provide people with a choice for good government, not more government," the 36-year-old financial analyst for Procter & Gamble told the small crowd that gathered to hear him declare his candidacy against Sen. Mike DeWine in the May GOP primary. The Mason man has only one political race under his belt - a candidacy for the 2nd Congressional District GOP nomination in the special primary election held in June. Smith finished ninth in an 11-candidate field, with only 374 votes out of nearly 40,000 cast. But now he has set his sights even higher - a bid to unseat a sitting U.S. senator.

Smith is not the only Republican candidate willing to take on DeWine. William Pierce and John Mitchell are two pro-gun candidates who are challenging the very anti-gun Senator Mike DeWine in next year's GOP primary. Smith's stance on your Second Amendment rights is yet to be determined...

Friday in Columbus: Fingerhut forms gubernatorial group

    State Sen. Eric D. Fingerhut, of Cleveland, who lost a U.S. Senate bid last year, has formed a committee to gauge his chances for the Democratic nomination for governor next year, he said yesterday. Fingerhut, 46, had been a supporter of Columbus Mayor Michael B. Coleman, who dropped out of the race Tuesday. He would join U.S. Rep. Ted Strickland of Lisbon as the major Democrats in the May 2 primary election. The filing deadline for candidates is Feb. 16. Fingerhut offered no timetable for a decision....His committee includes former Columbus City Council President John Kennedy, state Rep. Kathleen Chandler of Kent and Cincinnati businessman Mike Hooven. Fingerhut served in the Ohio Senate from 1991-92 and in the U.S. House from 1993-94. He returned to the Ohio Senate in 1999 and is ineligible to run for that office next year because of term limits. Last year, U.S. Sen. George Voinovich defeated Fingerhut to win a second term.

Eric Fingerhut is the Rosie O'Donnel of gun control in Ohio. If Democrats want any chance of reclaiming the governor's office, they need to stay focused on pro-gun candidate Ted Strickland.

Saturday in Columbus: Brown concentrates on incumbent, not Democratic primary

    Democratic Congressman Sherrod Brown kicked off his campaign for the U.S. Senate yesterday, vowing to focus on the record of incumbent Mike DeWine and not his likely primary opponent. "On the one hand, I will be critical of the Bush-Taft-DeWine team, critical of their incompetence and their ineptness in the way they’ve taken the direction of the country," the seven-term U.S. representative from Avon told a group of Statehouse reporters. "On the other part of my campaign, I will boldly lay out specific answers to the problems I criticize." Brown, 53, has started a fourday statewide swing that includes stops in Toledo, Dayton, Cincinnati and his hometown of Mansfield.... Before the veteran politician tries to stop DeWine from winning a third six-year term, he first must beat Paul Hackett, a rising star in Democratic circles whose eccentric style and tough talk nearly earned him an upset victory this year in a strongly Republican congressional district in southwestern Ohio. Hackett, 43, an Iraq war veteran and lawyer, got into the Senate race when Brown initially declined to run. When Brown changed his mind, Hackett refused to drop out, setting up a May primary. Brown deflected questions about Hackett.

This is yet another race where a pro-gun candidate (Paul Hackett) is facing off against an anti-gun one in the Democrat primary next year. Brown has earned his "F" rating from the NRA by voting against everything from prohibiting suing gunmakers & sellers for gun misuse to decreasing NICS-check waiting period from 3 days to 24 hours.

Saturday in Toledo: Police seek 3 in armed robbery of South Toledo bar

    Toledo police are seeking information through the Crime Stopper program about three men with guns who robbed a south end bar early Tuesday. The suspects ran into Panama J's, 2174 Broadway, just after midnight, told one person to get onto the floor, and put what was believed to be a gun to the back of a man's head. The third suspect went behind the bar, police said. The suspects took cash, a cell phone, and keys from the man before hitting him on the neck. They then ran out the back door. A bottle of vodka and money from the register were taken, police said. The suspects were described as black, dressed in gray sweats and hoods, and wore bandanas over their faces. One wore gloves. Prior to arriving at the bar, police tried to stop a car at the Anthony Wayne Trail and Shepler Street after it ran a red light. The car went down an alley at Dix Lane and Mozart Street and the occupants fled. Police found a gun, a bottle of vodka, a jacket, keys, cell phones, and money. The car was reported stolen in Northwood prior to the holdup, police said.

When legislators read these types of stories in their local newspapers, do they ever bother to consider that criminals just don't care about no-guns zones, no matter how illegal it is to be there? More importantly, do they ever stop to think about how their votes to make the rest of us defenseless in such places is only increasing the risk to us while doing nothing to lower crime?

Tuesday in Toledo: Resnick mum on re-election plans

    "I'm not answering," said Ohio Supreme Court Justice Alice Robie Resnick yesterday. "You'll know when I announce it." At a time when the Ohio Democratic Party must rebuild from within with the recent resignation of its chairman, the party is still waiting to learn whether its sole statewide elected official will be on the ballot next year. At least one Democrat is waiting in the wings, and five Republican appellate judges are seeking the GOP endorsement. But candidates are reluctant to commit until Justice Resnick, 66, of Ottawa Hills makes her plans known, probably after the first of the year....Justice Resnick said the delay has nothing to do with a pending disciplinary proceeding related to her Jan. 31 arrest for drunken driving. "I don't know when that's going to come," she said.

This is the anti-gun justice who was caught on video trying to use her position as a Supreme Court Justice in order to talk her way out of a DUI charge. Resnick and the Ohio Democratic Party would do well to keep in mind that pro-gun Ohioans will never forget her vote to sustain the no-defunct concealed carry ban.

Wednesday in Akron: Senator returns after year's Guard service in support of Iraq war

    The Ohio Senate on Tuesday welcomed back a colleague who has been serving constituents by e-mail for a year while helping feed and deliver care packages to troops fighting the Iraq war. State Sen. Steve Stivers, a Columbus Republican and lieutenant colonel in the Ohio Army National Guard, accepted applause and then directed more applause to Columbus-area members of his unit in the audience. He credited them with running operations smoothly. Stivers commanded a battalion of about 400 military personnel and civilian contractors that ran postal operations and logistics for food service. The unit spent most of its time in Kuwait, but also went into Iraq, Qatar and the African country of Djibouti. "We've prayed, and with God's grace he's returned you and I believe every man in your battalion," said Senate President Bill Harris, an Ashland Republican and former Marine. Stivers has kept up with bills and constituent needs through e-mail, and even listened to Gov. Bob Taft's State of the State address online until his Internet connection failed. He said his top priority is getting back to his bill to create a health care insurance pool to make premiums more affordable for small businesses. State Rep. John Boccieri, a Youngstown-area Democrat and Air Force Reserve major, returned home in April from four months of piloting a cargo plane to deliver equipment and supplies to the war zone.

This is an excellent time to send Sen. Stivers a thank you note for his service to our nation, and to ask for his help in the Senate to fix Ohio's concealed carry law.

Wednesday in Columbus: Publisher sworn in as newest member of state Senate

    Eric Kearney, a lawyer and publisher, was sworn in Tuesday as the newest member of the Ohio Senate, replacing Mark Mallory, who was elected mayor of Cincinnati. Kearney, a Democrat, is president and chief executive of Sesh Communications in Cincinnati. This is the first time he has held public office. "His talent as a citizen, civic leader and business owner will be a great addition to our caucus," said Senate Minority Leader C.J. Prentiss, a Democrat from Cleveland. Kearney represents the 9th Senate District, which includes several Cincinnati neighborhoods. The term expires in December 2006. Democrats are outnumbered 22-11 in the Senate. Kearney's company produces weekly newspapers serving the black community, including The Cincinnati Herald, The Dayton Defender and Our Week. Also a partner in a Cincinnati law firm, Kearney is a trustee in the settlement fund for workers injured at the former Fernald uranium-processing plant, 18 miles northwest of Cincinnati. He graduated from Dartmouth College and the University of Cincinnati law school.

So long as you're writing your elected officials, send Sen. Kearney a note and let him know you are hoping for stronger support for the Constitution than his predecessor gave. As a publisher he knows about the First Amendment - hopefully he is also aware of the Amendment that protects it as well.

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