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 details on several self-defense shootings to more victims in "no-guns" zones, 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 Akron: Police warn elderly of home invasions

    A series of home invasions involving older victims have occurred in recent weeks, and Akron police are cautioning residents so they don't become victims, too. The latest incident occurred Tuesday on Berghoff Street, where an intruder forced a 63-year-old man into his basement and struck him several times in the head with a snow shovel, police said. The robber took the man's wallet containing $200. Similar incidents have occurred in the last three weeks: An 84-year-old woman was confronted in her Clinton Avenue kitchen on Dec. 16 by a robber wielding a screwdriver. An 88-year-old woman on Evergreen Avenue opened her door Dec. 14 to a man who asked to borrow money, then pushed his way into her home and stole her purse. ``People are so trusting at that age,'' said James Conley, a crime prevention officer with the Akron Police Department. ``They want to be helpful. They'll be very open and accepting, and that's the problem.'' The incident on Berghoff is the only one in which a victim was assaulted. Lt. Rick Edwards said only two incidents are believed to be connected: the robbery of the woman on Evergreen and an incident on the same street in early December, when an 82-year-old man was scammed for money. Police have made one arrest: A 29-year-old Akron man was charged with robbing the woman on Clinton. Conley offered tips for older residents to prevent being robbed at home:
    • When answering the door, have the person identify himself or herself first.
    • Lock doors and windows.
    • Install a peephole in the front door.
    • Keep a pen and pad near the front door so you can write down information if you see a suspicious person or vehicle on your street.
    ``We have to caution elderly citizens to be aware that these type of things happen,'' Conley said of the home invasions. ``They shouldn't just open up their doors to someone.''

In other states, when violent criminals are making headlines, officials have encouraged residents to get training and obtain their concealed handgun licenses. Why is it that public officials in Ohio are so much less willing to offer advice that would truly offer protection to our most vulnerable citizens?

Thursday in Cleveland: Fingerhut filing is sign he's in governor's race

    In the most visible sign so far that he will run for governor, State Sen. Eric Fingerhut, a Shaker Heights Democrat, filed paperwork Wednesday that allows him to legally raise money for a primary campaign. Fingerhut formed an exploratory committee last month but filed a "designation of treasurer form" Wednesday that states his intention to formally run for governor. He is planning a fund-raiser Jan. 18. Also seeking the Democratic nomination for governor are U.S. Rep. Ted Strickland of Lisbon and former State Rep. Bryan Flannery of Strongsville. Fingerhut's expected entry injects new competition into the contest and poses a dilemma for House Minority Leader Chris Redfern, the newly elected chairman of the Ohio Democratic Party: Does the party remain neutral or does it endorse Strickland, Redfern's preferred candidate? Redfern said he is "ambivalent" about an early endorsement.

Looking like Fingerhut may ruin what is for Democrats an excellent chance for an early rally behind a strong, pro-gun candidate in Ted Strickland.

Thursday in Toledo: Police look for suspect in robbery

    Toledo police are looking for a city man charged with robbery in a holdup last week in which a store clerk fired a shot at the suspect as he fled. Kevin Barnhill, 37, of 914 Division St. is accused of robbing the Citgo gas station, 1708 East Manhattan Blvd., on Dec. 28 in an arrest warrant filed in Toledo Municipal Court. The clerk took out the store's 45-caliber pistol and fired at the suspect as he ran out of the store. The shot missed the robber. Investigators believe Barnhill committed two similar store robberies after the gas station holdup. In November, he was released from a state prison after serving six years for robbery convictions. He is described as black, 6 feet, 3 inches tall, and 210 pounds.

While all the details are not explained here, the lack of charges indicates police believe this clerk was justified in using a firearm to protect from this career criminal, who is now off the streets.

Thursday in Reynoldsburg: Boy Accused Of Bringing Loaded Gun To School

    A teenage boy was arrested Thursday at Reynoldsburg High School after officials found a loaded handgun in his possession. The incident occurred at about 2:30 p.m. at the school, NBC 4 reported. A student had informed administrators that the student had the gun. The principal said the informer student is an example to other students and their parents. "By notifying adults in the building of a safety precaution and that's what we encourage our parents and kids to do all the time. So it was really an opportunity of a kid doing the right thing at the right time to ensure safety for everybody," said Dianna Mankins, principal. The student was taken to the Franklin County Juvenile Detention Center on felony handgun possession charges.

Another gun in a "no guns" victim zone. Gun bans are not a deterrent against a person bent on doing harm.

Saturday in Trotwood Police: Business Owner Takes Action During Attempted Robbery

    Police said four people tried to rob a local drive-through and the owner took action, shooting one of the suspects.
    The robbery happened at the Cork and Brew on Salem Avenue around 11 p.m. Friday night. Trotwood police said a clerk was taking out the trash when four robbers appeared. They said at least one had a gun. The robbers forced the clerk back into business and owner saw it all happen on security video. Police said the owner fired a shot at the robbers, hitting one who was a juvenile. Authorities said the other suspects took off running, but police caught up with three of them.
    The juvenile who was shot in the arm was taken to a local hospital. The other two were arrested. Police continue to search for the fourth person.

Second time in two days - let it be known among the bad guys - good people are fighting back.

Monday in Toledo: Kaptur won't run for statewide office

    U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur will pass on the Ohio governor's race and seek re-election instead. Miss Kaptur, a Toledo Democrat, told The Blade yesterday that she will pull the papers necessary to run for a 13th term sometime today, ending her latest exploration of a statewide run. She said the decision turned on distaste for the massive fund-raising she'd need to replace term-limited Gov. Bob Taft and worries about giving up two decades of congressional seniority. "I just think it's too great a risk for too little a reward," she said.

Too much risk? In other words, Kaptur, who once compared our Founding Fathers to Osama bin Laden's terror network, did some research and saw the writing on the wall - she didn't have a chance in hell of getting elected Governor of Ohio.

Tuesday in Oxford: Home invader rapes Miami student

    The voices on the 911 call to police painted a terrifying picture. A Miami University student was tied up, raped and robbed by a ski-masked man who invaded the home of five Miami students on North Campus Avenue on Monday, Oxford police said. A student's voice trembled as she frantically described the horrors that befell her housemate about 4 a.m.
    "Someone's got in the house," she told a 911 operator. "My housemate just got raped. He's got a gun. He told her he'd kill her." As she continued with dispatchers, she implored police to "hurry." "He's right outside," she said. "He left like two minutes ago." The housemates could be heard sobbing as police arrived. The 21-year-old victim had been asleep when the intruder entered through an unlocked door, Sgt. Jim Squance said. The suspect, who the victim said she did not know, also took money. He was described as wearing dark clothing and having light hair and light skin. He appeared to be in his mid-20s. The victim was taken to McCullough-Hyde Hospital. Police have no suspects.

Having made the mistake of listening to gun ban extremists whose predictions have (of course) failed to come to pass, Ohio legislators allowed the creation of many victim zones across the state of Ohio, including college campuses. When she recovers, and even if she takes future precautions to protect herself in her home, this woman is going to be forced to travel to and from campus every day while defenseless.

Tuesday in Cincinnati: Robbery unsettles neighborhood pharmacy

    Carol Pfetzing walked into DeSales Pharmacy on Tuesday afternoon, saying “Howdy.” That’s the kind of pharmacy Muhammad Shafqat owns, a family-run neighborhood store where customers’ names are known. A big-city crime tarnished the pharmacy’s small-town feel Monday evening when an armed robber shot a customer inside the store during a scuffle. “I was just shocked,” said Shafqat, 35. “It’s kind of shocking and scary that somebody got shot in my store.” Shafqat could hardly finish a sentence Tuesday because loyal customers and fellow business owners called to check on him. A masked man toting a shotgun walked into the Madison Road pharmacy around 5:30 p.m. – just 30 minutes before closing. He demanded money and began to leave. A contractor, who had been hired to place new Plexiglas on the countertop at the check-out counter, tried to stop him. The contractor, in his 80s, scuffled with the man. The shotgun went off and hit customer Maynard Bilton, 45, in the arm and chest. Bilton was taken to University Hospital with serious injuries. His condition remained unchanged Tuesday. The gunman ran off without the money.

We began the week by highlighting two robberies that ended with the bad guys getting chased off or shot because the good guys had guns, and end it with two robberies where the bad guys got away because the good guys were defenseless. There is only one way to ensure more happy endings - make preparations now to protect thyself!

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