Success marks 2nd anniversary of Castle Doctrine in Ohio; More work to be done
by Gerard Valentino
Two years ago Ohio enacted Castle Doctrine self-defense reform despite the opposition of nearly all the mainstream media outlets and anti-gun forces statewide. The law returned the presumption of innocence to law-abiding citizens if they use deadly force after someone unlawfully enters their home, car or place of business.
Once again the anti-gun coalitions predicted that law-abiding Ohioans lack the self-control and judgment to obey a more permissive self-defense law. They also predicted that criminals would use the new law to get away with murder.
Pointing out the lies and bad predictions promoted by the anti-gun crowd is becoming tiresome, even though their phony statistics and crazed ravings make it easy to do.
The bigger issue facing the pro-gun community at this point is dealing with the emotional attachment many people still have to gun control. Logically, nearly everyone realizes that gun control has failed, and that it isn't a viable answer to dealing with Ohio's crime related issues. Unfortunately, years of emotional blackmail by anti-gun media outlets, politicians and celebrities still keeps people from accepting the logical outcome.
Millions of Americans still believe a gun in the home is a precursor to the death of a family member or a child. They believe it because for years the anti-gun crowd tied their message to human tragedy and a complicit establishment media let that message go unchallenged.
Now that the pro-gun viewpoint is dominant in the legislature, at the ballot box and in the court of public opinion we need to turn our attention to changing the emotional attachment people have to gun control.
Merely pointing out that the anti-gun side was wrong about Castle Doctrine just as they were wrong about concealed carry, the so-called assault weapons ban and countless other gun control laws isn’t enough. The fact remains that right now, somewhere in Ohio, a citizen is being victimized by an armed assailant without the option of using a personally owned firearm for self-defense.
Chances are the very same citizen didn't choose a gun because of the social ramifications foisted on society by anti-gun lies. That is a problem the pro-gun community needs to deal with, and soon, if we are to truly change Ohio's culture.
Until our message resonates not only logically, but also emotionally, we are leaving an opening the anti-gun side can exploit.
Unfortunately, the emotional playing field is stacked in favor of the anti-gun side due to their head start.
Right now, the pro-gun message wins due to overwhelming evidence that gun control doesn't work, and hasn't ever been effective in stopping gun related crime. Unless that message changes and we challenge the emotional blackmail used by enemies of gun rights, people will keep choosing to go unarmed, and continue to die because of it.
When the anti-gun side prevails in the legislature, the courts, or in the court of public opinion the problem is compounded further because criminals get what they truly want – unarmed victims. Castle Doctrine reform was a step in the right direction and tied the pro-gun message to the emotional attachment people have to their homes.
Two years after Castle Doctrine reform became law in Ohio we don't have a single case of a criminal hiding behind the protections it afforded. We also don't have a case of an otherwise law-abiding citizen using the law to murder a cheating spouse or a neighbor during a dispute.
We do have several law-abiding Ohioans who were backed into a corner by a home invader and had to defend their homes and were afforded protection. Logically, that means Castle Doctrine is a success. Emotionally, however, there are still Ohioans who are scared to keep a gun in their homes.
Until that is no longer the case we are obligated to challenge the anti-gun emotional extortion at every turn.
Gerard Valentino is a member of the Buckeye Firearms Foundation Board of Directors and the author of "The Valentino Chronicles – Observations of a Middle Class Conservative," available through the Buckeye Firearms Association store..
September 3, 2008 - SB184, Ohio's Castle Doctrine law, takes effect