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 intriguing news on various political candidates to three shootings in Ohio school "safety" zones this week, this article deserves 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 in Columbus: 88-Year-Old Man Tied Up During Robbery

    An 88-year-old man spent hours tied up inside his home Wednesday morning after two men broke in and robbed him. The home invasion occurred at about 8 a.m. on East Deshler Avenue, NBC 4's Holly Hollingsworth reported. Investigators said two men entered the home through a side door and confronted the homeowner, Thurman Harless, with handguns and demanded money. "They surprised him as he came down the steps with handguns," said Detective Ron Strollo, of Columbus police. The robbers then taped the victim's hands and feet together. Neighbors described Harless as small in stature and someone who wouldn't hurt a fly. "They tied him up and they ... stuck a gun to his head and said, 'We can either do this easy or we can do it hard,'" said Virginia Sturgill, a neighbor. "That man was scared to death." The robbers ripped through the house, taking an unknown amount of money and guns.

Lots of lessons here. Criminals clearly targeted a man they knew was not going to be able to defend himself. It is also highly likely they had knowledge of and were targeting the victim's cash and firearms (yes, legislators and journalists, criminals are smart enough to target victims they know have something they want). Finally, owning guns can't save you in a self-defense crisis if they are inaccessible to you when the time comes.

Thursday in Dayton: Area preserve hosts outdoors TV show

    An area hunting preserve, Mulberry Pheasantry, 6099 Ohio 725 East, Camden, will be featured on an upcoming Whitewater Trail television show. The show, taped on Saturday, will feature women hunting. One woman, who had never had a gun in her hand, was taught the art of bird shooting by starting on a trapshooting field. By the end of the show, she was shooting - and hitting -pheasants released on the preserve. "The idea was to show that hunting isn't just for men," said show host Bodie Owens. "We had five women - four professional women and a college student - and only one was an experienced hunter. "They did extremely well. By the end of the show they took 24 pheasants, three partridge and eight quail." This episode of Whitewater Trail will run in Dayton on WHIO-UPN-17 at 6:30 p.m. one of the last two Saturdays in January. It will also be picked up and run on the Outdoor Channel several times during January.

It's almost time for New Years' resolutions. Why not commit to taking a non-shooter to the range?

Thursday in Toledo: Kaptur considers run for Ohio governor

    One of Ohio's most powerful labor leaders is pushing U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur to run for governor next year, and the Toledo Democrat is considering it. Lloyd Mahaffey, the director of the United Auto Workers in Ohio, said yesterday that he and other UAW officials have told Miss Kaptur for months she'd make "a great governor." "I've been trying to urge her to run," Mr. Mahaffey said, "and I know other people have, too." His comments came after Miss Kaptur, a 12-term congressman, told the Associated Press that she's mulling the 2006 race but worries about raising campaign funds and giving up her seniority in Washington. Miss Kaptur's staff director, Steve Katich, confirmed her interest last night and said it had simmered, without change, for several months. "It would be foolish not to keep your options open in her situation," Mr. Katich said. But later he added: "Seniority is a very difficult thing to attain in the United States Congress. The congresswoman has to weigh that heavily in any thought process about a statewide race." Miss Kaptur, he said, was stuck in a committee meeting and not available to comment last night.

In the wake of 9/11, Marcy Kaptur, former mayor over the anti-gun City of Toledo, once compared our Founding Fathers to Osama bin Laden's terror network. Until now, it was hard to imagine a much worse governor for Ohio than Bob Taft, but not any more.

Thursday in Cincinnati: Girl who was shot not worth story, no hero

    Why did The Enquirer run a series of front-page stories about a 15-year-old girl who was breaking the law herself the night she was shot? It is truly unfortunate what happened to Tamika Grace ... and it's sad for her child, but what is the true reason for this detailed report? Is it supposed to help curb the violence? Are the gun-toting felons reading this series, feeling truly remorseful for being the thugs that they are? Give me a break. She's no hero, and I think the press could be used on someone more deserving.

    Heather Anderson
    Hyde Park

    Ban the criminals, not the guns
    I suspected that the main focus of any proposed reform to come from this forum on gun violence would be a charge toward tighter gun restrictions, and this was clearly stated in the letter "Time to outlaw handguns in Cincinnati" (Dec.13). Criminals have easy access to ill-gotten firearms. Are we to assume that once banned, these same criminals will eagerly walk in to City Hall to hand over their weapons? Legal gun owners are not the reason for the city's crime problem. If you want to make the city safer, just ban criminals. If you want to make the criminals safer, just ban guns.

    Robert Sheets
    Sycamore Township

Two excellent letters to the editor that came in the wake of a extensive four-day-as-a-front-page-headline-story Enquirer expose that detailed the case of a pregnant 15 year-old girl who broke the law by violated her house arrest (court punishment for a charge of misdemeanor assault for her attack on a woman earlier in the year), went to a party where underage kids were breaking the law by getting drunk, and wound up getting shot by another 15 year-old who was illegally drunk and illegally in possession of a handgun. Tamika Grace is now paralyzed from the neck down. The leadership of cities like Cincinnati, on the other hand, seem paralyzed from the neck up - ever ready to pass more feel-good laws that do nothing other than restrict law-abiding citizens' rights instead of addressing the many social problems that contributed to Tamika's tragic situation.

Thursday in Akron: Man fatally shot, found on street

    The body of a man who was shot to death was found Wednesday afternoon lying on Bell Street next to a car with its engine running. Akron police identified the man as 21-year-old Darnell Haynes. Detectives said they have not been able to locate anyone locally from Haynes' family. He lived with his girlfriend, who police also were trying to reach. Police did manage to reach Haynes' mother, who lives in North Carolina, and notified her of her son's death. A woman walking in the 400 block of Bell saw the man's body in the street shortly after 1 p.m. and called police. Lt. David Whiddon said it is believed the man was found shortly after he was shot. The Summit County Medical Examiner's Office will perform an autopsy today. The victim had been driving the Mitsubishi Diamante that was parked next to him with its engine running, Whiddon said. Detectives have no solid witness accounts, he said. ``Someone heard a bang, but no one we talked to saw anything,'' Whiddon said. Mount Calvary Baptist Church is in the same block where the man was found. As detectives stood inside yellow crime tape studying the scene Wednesday, students at the adjacent Ida B. Wells Community Academy Middle School were led out of rear doors to load onto a bus.

Strange how those 1000 foot school "safety" zones don't stop criminals from shooting defenseless victims in the street...

Friday in Columbus: Man Shot At Central Ohio Bar

    Police are searching for the person responsible for a shooting at a Columbus bar Friday morning. The shooting occurred at Jeff's Place on Joyce Avenue at about 1 a.m., NBC 4 reported. Witnesses at the bar told police they heard several gunshots. Police found shell casings, but couldn't find the victim. The victim was later found at The Ohio State University East Hospital. He was shot in the hand and leg.

Yet another shooting in a place where guns are banned...

Friday in Columbus: One student injured in shooting outside Columbus school

    A high school sophomore was shot Friday outside his school just after classes let out for the day and was taken to a hospital, police said. Justin Williams, 16, was stable Friday at Ohio State University Medical Center, police said. Hospital officials would not release information about his condition. Two groups outside Linden-McKinley High School in Columbus were arguing when someone pulled a gun and the student was hit in the back, said Lt. Brent Mull, a Columbus Police spokesman. Mull said police are trying to determine if Williams was involved in the argument. Witnesses said those involved in the argument were young, but Mull said he did not know if they were students at Linden-McKinley. No arrests had been made as of Friday evening. Williams plays on the school's junior varsity basketball team. The team's Friday night game was canceled after the shooting.

What was it we were just saying about school "safety" zones. Lesson this week - gun bans don't work.

Friday in Cincinnati: McEwen might challenge Schmidt

    Former Rep. Bob McEwen is forming an exploratory committee to decide whether to challenge Rep. Jean Schmidt next year. "I am in serious consideration," McEwen told The Enquirer in a phone interview Thursday, adding that if he decides to run, he'll make a formal announcement "soon, after the holidays." McEwen also said he would file a "statement of candidacy" with the Federal Elections Commission soon, something that is required 15 days after a candidate or potential candidate raises $5,000. An announcement on McEwen's campaign Web site says the former six-term lawmaker has been "overwhelmed with messages of support" from people across the 2nd District, urging him to challenge Schmidt in the Republican primary on May 2. McEwen, of Anderson Township, came in second behind Schmidt, R-Miami Township, in an 11-person GOP primary in June to replace Rob Portman, now the U.S. trade representative.... McEwen, who is a registered lobbyist with the Washington lobbying firm Advantage Associates, said if he were to be elected, he would sever all business ties.

Buckeye Firearms Association has endorsed Congresswoman Jean Schmidt in the 2006 GOP primary.

Friday in Cincinnati: New in job, Kearney has challenger

    The battle that local Democratic party leaders hoped to avoid became a reality Thursday when state Rep. Catherine Barrett made it official - she will challenge newly appointed state Sen. Eric Kearney in the May 2 Democratic primary. "I had hoped this wouldn't happen," said Tim Burke, the Hamilton County Democratic Party chairman. "And I asked Catherine not to do it. But if this is what she wants to do, she's free to do so." Barrett, a 64-year-old College Hill resident who used to be Forest Park mayor, was angered last month when she was passed over by the Ohio Senate Democratic Caucus for the appointment to the 9th Ohio Senate District seat left vacant by Mark Mallory's election as Cincinnati mayor. She was not the only House member passed over in favor of Kearney, a lawyer and newspaper publisher from North Avondale. So, too, were colleagues Tyrone Yates and Steve Driehaus. But Driehaus and Yates accepted the Kearney appointment, leaving Barrett - who will be term-limited out of the House at the end of next year - as the only challenger to Kearney, who must run in 2006 to keep the seat. Barrett and six supporters met in the library of the Vernon Manor Hotel, where the state representative laid out her plan to buck the party leadership. "Eric is a fine individual, but he has no track record," said Barrett, citing her experience as a legislator in the lower house of the Ohio General Assembly. "There is a learning curve in Columbus. If you are a legislator and you don't know what is going on, you end up depending on your staff or lobbyists to tell you what's going on." Barrett said she is convinced that she is the candidate who has the name recognition and connections to keep the district - which includes most of Cincinnati and communities such as Norwood, Elmwood Place, and St. Bernard - in Democratic hands, particularly if Republicans field a well-known and well-funded challenger. Former Cincinnati Councilman Charlie Winburn is considering running on the GOP side.

Sen. Kearney, a publisher of three African-American newspapers, has not responded to inquiries about his support for gun rights. Rep. Barrett's pro-gun votes are clearly established.

Saturday from Washington: UAW supports Hackett over Brown in U.S. Senate race

    Paul Hackett, the U.S. Senate candidate drawing attention for his blunt talk and Iraq war record, has won an important early endorsement from labor. The United Auto Workers Union voted Friday to endorse Hackett over Sherrod Brown, the U.S. House member whose long political service and early financial advantage had been seen as advantageous. Hackett, a Cincinnati attorney and Marine Reserves major, and Brown, a seven-term congressman and former Ohio secretary of state, are vying in the May primary for the right to challenge incumbent Republican Sen. Mike DeWine in November....Lloyd Mahaffey, Ohio regional director of the UAW, said the union endorsed Hackett "because we thought he had a better chance of winning the November election." When Hackett was narrowly defeated in a special U.S. House election in southwest Ohio last summer, Mahaffey said, "he was able to get support from Republicans and Independents, and groups of people that we haven't been able to get to support our candidates in the past." Hackett and Brown have similar views on most issues, other than gun rights, which Hackett supports. But Hackett has "got some charisma. He really connects with voters," Mahaffey said.

While the average worker is more likely to be a gun-owner, their unions most often spend their dues to support candidates who are vehemently anti-gun. More and more, it appears as a storm is brewing on the horizon for the anti-gun Mike DeWine re-election campaign.

Monday in Dayton: Search Continues For Gunman In Apartment Shooting

    Authorities said a Dayton woman has been upgrade to serious condition after she was shot twice in the chest. Police said shots rang out around 3:30 p.m. Saturday in the Northcrest Garden Apartments. Police said after the 21-year-old woman was shot, she staggered to a nearby apartment for help. Investigators said the woman was taken to Good Samaritan Hospital. She was in surgery for hours as doctors tried to remove the bullets and stop the internal bleeding. At this time, it is unknown if she was the intended victim or just at the wrong place at the wrong time. Lt. John Bardun said, “We believe she was shot somewhere outside in the complex and walked to the house.” Neighbors said that violence is almost a daily occurrence at the apartment complex. They said they blame drug trafficking and racial tension and wish that their landlord would offer more protection. Police remember a time when Northcrest Gardens installed a sophisticated surveillance system in an effort to lower crime, but thieves took the cameras and they have never been replaced.

It is hard to understand a group of people who "wish that their landlord would offer more protection", and who still don't understand that self-defense is their job. Yes, the landlord should play a role. But note that the security cameras were stolen! Only you can protect you.

Tuesday in Springfield: News-Sun news editor severely beaten

    Three unknown men attacked the Springfield New-Sun's news editor outside Meijer early Tuesday, leaving him in serious condition. Paul Profeta, 49, of Springfield, was near the store's north doors about 12:15 a.m. when three men, likely in their late teens to early 20s, in dark clothing charged him, according to a police report. One of the men struck Profeta repeatedly over the head with a bottle, according to the report. The two other men encouraged the attacker, according to a witness. Another witness called police, and Profeta was taken to Mercy Medical Center. He had multiple injuries to his head and could not talk to officers at the scene or at the hospital. Profeta was taken by CareFlight to Miami Valley Hospital and remained in the intensive care unit Tuesday morning. Springfield Police Division officers are working to obtain surveillance tapes from the store, at 1500 Hillcrest Ave. A store manager told police he saw a mid-size, dark-colored car with tinted windows, possibly a Pontiac Grand Am, speed out of the parking lot just after the attack, but he could not describe who was in the car.

For people who are familiar with self-defense issues, stories like these are always painful to read. Gun ban extremists, many of whom work at newspapers like Mr. Profeta does, want people to believe that our world would be a safe and happy place if guns were banned. Mr. Profeta's terrible experience shows just how wrong they are, and just how important it is that Ohioans continue to have the ability to choose to exercise their right to bear arms for self-defense.

Wednesday in Lorain: One student injured in shooting outside Columbus school

    Two high school students were shot Tuesday night in what police believe was retaliation for a fight before a boys basketball game. A freshman and sophomore at Lorain Admiral King High School were shot a few blocks from their school and then ran back to the building for help, said Dean Schnurr, spokesman for Lorain City Schools. One was shot in the face and the other in the hand. They were flown by helicopter to Cleveland MetroHealth Medical Center. Their conditions were not available Wednesday. A fight broke out by the main doors to the gym before the game between Admiral King and rival Lorain Southview, police Lt. Jim McCann said. Several people were kicked out of the school and spectators were prevented from leaving the gym until halftime. Admiral King won 58-48. Extra officers were on the scene because tensions are often high when the two schools play, McCann said. Arthur Smith, who lives near the school and left the game early, said he heard the shots from his driveway and saw people scatter.

This is the third shooting in an Ohio school "safety" zone this week. What more proof does one need that gun bans don't work to stop criminal behavior?

Wednesday in Akron: Norton couple beaten, robbed

    Clubview Drive couple remained in separate hospitals Tuesday while their 18-year-old son and another man appeared in Barberton Municipal Court, accused of trying to kill them. Ryan Carter, who police say has been estranged from his parents for several months, and Jeremy M. Lance, 18, both of Akron, face two counts each of attempted murder and aggravated robbery and one count each of aggravated burglary. Norton Police Lt. Thad Hete said the two broke into the couple's home Monday and waited for Michael Carter, 54, and his wife, Linda Carter, 58, to return. When the couple arrived home around 6 p.m., Lance attacked them with an aluminum baseball bat while Ryan Carter hid in another room, Hete said. The couple suffered head injuries, and Linda Carter's arm was broken, police said. ``(Linda Carter) managed to get away and ran next door to a neighbor's house, where she called 911,'' Hete said. Once she left, the attackers fled the home and Michael Carter was also able to call for help. During the initial call, a hysterical Linda Carter can be heard on a tape released by police. ``Some man hit us with a ball bat,'' she told dispatchers. ``He's killing my husband. He's just killed my husband.... I'm at the neighbor's. There's blood everywhere.... Please, please.'' A subsequent call to a second dispatcher was made by Michael Carter. ``We've been assaulted in our house,'' he says. ``I need somebody right away. I'm bleeding like crazy. I was hit with a bat. I'm looking for my wife.'' Neither realized at the time that their son might be involved, Hete said.

Should we expect the Ohio Coalition Against Baseball Bat Violence to be staging a press conference soon?

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