Cleveland Program Aims To Arm Hundreds Of Area Women

A Cleveland city council member is teaming up with local firearms instructors in an attempt to provide training for 1,000 women in order for them to receive their concealed carry license. Basheer Jones says the effort is a way to increase personal safety in a city that’s struggled with violent crime, including domestic violence.

Councilman Jones says, “We know that in the past 25 years Cleveland has been ranked one of the most dangerous cities in the nation for women.”

Ebony Canion says crime has come knocking at her door more than once, and the widow and mother who is also handicapped, says she refuses to bury another child. “I was run over and left for dead in 2012 by a female. And like I said my son was murdered in 2018. I never liked guns and didn’t want them around me or anything but sometimes you’ve got to put your fears to the side and protect your family.”

Many local firearms instructors are offering discounts as part of the “Secure Our Women” program, and Basheer Jones says so far more than 800 women have reached out to express an interest in getting their concealed carry license.

CCW Instructor Isa Abdul Matin of Stephens Sporting Life in Cleveland says this effort is not about putting more guns on the street, it’s about law-abiding citizens who want to put their safety and security in their own hands. “The woman is being the husband, she’s being the mother, the babysitter, the educator. She’s got all of this stuff on her plate – who’s going to protect her.”

Councilman Jones says things have to change, “If we don’t stand up for our women, our children will continue to be doomed and we will continue to be doomed.”

I’m thrilled to see Jones take the initiative here, and the response appears to be fantastic. For too long, Cleveland politicians like Mayor Frank Jackson have targeted legal gun owners with their attempts to tackle violent crime, including an attempt a few years ago to strike down Ohio’s firearm preemption laws.

Jackson’s law department in 2006 challenged a state law that stripped cities of the authority to pass and enforce their own gun legislation. Jackson’s then-law director, Robert Troizzi, fought the case to the Ohio Supreme Court, which ruled against Cleveland. Thirty-eight city gun laws were wiped off the books in order to conform with state law.

“Even though we’ve made progress in Cleveland, gun violence is a very real threat that we face, particularly our young people,” he said in statement issued after the Supreme Court ruling.
Jackson in 2014, the first of five consecutive years of 100 or more homicides in the city, embarked on a mission to implement a gun-crime registry, along with more than a dozen other gun-control laws. City council passed the legislation, but the Ohio 8th District Court of Appeals shot them down, using the precedent set in the 2006 ruling. The Ohio Supreme Court declined to hear arguments on the city’s appeal.
Rather than trying to impose more gun control laws on legal gun owners, Basheer Jones wants those legal gun owners to get the training they need to be able to protect themselves in their homes and on the city’s streets. That’s a much better approach, both constitutionally and pragmatically speaking, and it looks like hundreds of women in Cleveland agree.