Winds of change for gun owners in Toledo?

Two pieces of news from Toledo have some gun owners wondering if fairer weather could be on the horizon.

First, the Toledo Blade is reporting that Toledo City Council elected Republican Rob Ludeman was elected city council president.

From the story:

    Mr. Ludeman, who voted for himself, also received the support of two of council’s seven Democrats along with the other three Republicans to win.

    A motion after his election from his main rival, Democrat Wilma Brown, made his selection unanimous.

    Mr. Ludeman, 52, who has represented District 2 of South Toledo since 1994, promised to be an even-handed council president.

Ludeman earned Buckeye Firearms Association's endorsement as a candidate for mayor last year, and as the Blade story goes on to indicate, his election marks the end of an era for liberals on Toledo City Council.

Again, from the story:

    Mr. Ludeman’s election spells the end of the Democratic A-team’s dominance of council. The faction, which backed Mr. Ford, was reduced from eight to five seats in the Nov. 8 election.

    Democrats Bob McCloskey and Mark Sobczak — the only two Democrats on council endorsed by the Lucas County Democratic Party — repeatedly voted against fellow Democrat Wilma Brown to be president, instead joining Republicans Joe Birmingham, George Sarantou, and Betty Shultz on the fourth and final ballot to put Mr. Ludeman over the top.

Previous city councils have passed useless assault weapons and inexpensive gun bans, and done nothing when former Mayor Jack Ford ordered that "no-guns" signs be posted in city parks and on busses, all the while overseeing a rise in violent crime. We are eager to see if this new City Council will address Toledo's crime problem by removing gun control laws which have done nothing to reduce crime and have served only to penalize law-abiding citizens.

A second news item is also giving hope to Toledoans who are concerned about self-defense matters - (anti-self-defense) Mike Navarre is no longer that city's police chief.

From another Blade story:

    Toledo has a new police chief today, and it's former Capt. Jack L. Smith, according to Mayor Carty Finkbeiner's office.

    Former Police Chief Mike Navarre, who led the Toledo department from 1998 until 8 a.m. today, reportedly took a lesser position as assistant and deputy chief, Robert Reinbolt, the new mayor's chief of staff, said yesterday.

    Chief Navarre did not return a call seeking a comment. The agreement was reached yesterday, Mr. Reinbolt said.

    Last month, Mr. Finkbeiner, who was still just the mayor-elect, announced he would be promoting Captain Smith, a 33-year veteran of the department and commander of the Scott Park District Station.

    Chief Navarre, through an attorney, objected, saying his forced removal would violate the city charter. But an agreement eventually was reached that appears to have avoided litigation.

    "I accept and recognize [Mr. Finkbeiner's] desire to select members of his top administrative staff with whom he is most comfortable," the former chief said in a written statement.

Navarre's questionable leadership abilities came into the national spotlight last October when a counter protestors angered by a neo-Nazi march began rioting. Gun owners have known about Navarre's imperfections for far longer.

In response to a spate of bloody convenience store robberies in 2003, when questioned on what store owners should do if bullets are flying, Navarre told business owners to "take immediate cover - get away from the bullets," and added, "Pick up a baseball bat if that’s your only defense against bullets coming toward you." He has also said he "teaches small business owners not to have a gun."

Back in 2002, Navarre urged city council not to repeal a ban on inexpensive firearms that had resulted in just two convictions in three years, while at the same time preventing countless thousands of less-fortunate Toledoans their right to bear arms for self-defense.

For far too long, bureaucrats in the Toledo mayor's office, Toledo city council and the Toledo police department have been allowed to focus their anti-gun "crime fighting" policies on all the wrong people. One can only hope that these changes are signs that the winds of change are blowing in the Glass City.

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