Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Ohio Legislature's Answer For Everything: Guns

Ohio's Republican-dominated legislature is pretty much the most batshit insane legislative body in the U.S., if not the world, preferring the persecution of gays and the handing out of guns to anybody who wants them over actually getting anything done (the Ohio GOP has also never passed up an opportunity to cut corporate taxes and slash environmental and health regulations).

Our Republican "governor" is an ineffectual moron who couldn't wipe his own ass without hundreds of pages of instructions explaining how to do it -- and he'd still find a way to screw it up.

So it comes as no surprise that the Buckeye State's GOP decided to override outgoing governor Bob Taft's veto of a poorly written gun law that makes it even easier for criminals to hide their guns from police officers.

According to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Ohio House Bill 347 further relaxes restrictions on carrying guns, altering the current concealed carry law to allow motorists to drive with their weapons holstered and hidden from view. The law also wipes out municipal bans on assault weapons.

Surprisingly, polls show most Ohioans are actually supporting Taft on this one. This despite his single-digit approval ratings. There's a good reason for this; it's probably the only smart thing he's done as governor.

Why? Mainly because there is absolutely no credible evidence suggesting guns help lower the crime rate. In fact, the only real study by gun lobbyists supporting their erroneous assertion about more guns causing a reduction in crime was thoroughly debunked. The methods of John Lott, the NRA's gun guru, have also been called into question, and on more than one occasion. Statistics support the fact that street crime is not affected by concealed carry; you are more likely to be killed with a gun by a loved one, than by a stranger.

But don't tell that to the Ohio legislature, which is still going to be run by Republicans after the next session begins in January. Their answer to everything appears to be to let just anyone have guns -- consequences be damned. This presents a danger to the safety of law enforcement, and a gross infringment of the right of communities to self-government.

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