While Gov. John Kasich maintains his opposition to Stand Your Ground, an essential piece of legislation needed to protect those who use a firearm in the act of self-defense, it seems his state is trying its best to kill itself.

A new report shows that the state’s “gun-death” rate is at its highest since Ohio started keeping records in 1999.

Ohio’s gun-death rate in 2017 was the highest since state-by-state numbers were compiled beginning in 1999, according to new figures released Tuesday by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Of the 1,589 gun deaths in Ohio last year, 918 were by suicide, and 621 were homicides. In addition, 19 people died in accidental shootings, and 21 died from “legal intervention” — shootings by police. Ten gun deaths were unclassified.

Ohio’s homicide gun rate of 5.3 deaths per 100,000 residents last year was its highest in recent years; the number of deaths was 64 more than the prior high, in 2016 (4.8 deaths per 100,000 residents).

Also, Ohio’s homicide gun-death rate was 18 percent higher than national rate of 4.5 deaths per 100,000.

The fewest gun homicides on record in Ohio occurred in 2000, when 253 people were killed, a rate of 2.2 deaths per 100,000 residents. The rate has more than doubled since.

Now, let’s be fair for a moment. Most of these are suicides, which there’s little that legislation will do to combat. I can’t reasonably lay these at the feet of gun rights.

However, it seems the state also has a problem with people being murdered. We don’t know any facts around these 621 homicides, so it’s difficult to get any useful information about what happened.

I just can’t help but find it odd that in the midst of his state’s growing problem with violence that Gov. Kasich is still maintaining his opposition to a law that empowers people to act in self-defense. It seems like he’s making more and more overtures to the anti-gun crowd as he attempts to oppose not just President Trump but the political right entirely.

If he wants to be president, that might not be the best strategy one can undertake, you know? I mean, yes, there are NeverTrumpers out there, but they aren’t necessarily anti-gun NeverTrumpers. It would be a hard sell that I don’t think Kasich can make.

Meanwhile, it’s the people of Ohio that are screwed by this whole mess. Kasich’s grandstanding is putting their lives at risk, but does the good governor care? Not a bit.

That’s the thing about someone like John Kasich. It’s all about what they want, not what’s best for the people of their state. In this case, the people of Ohio deserve a Stand Your Ground law, but Kasich wants to attract donors for a potential second-bid for the presidency, donors who won’t give to Trump no matter what. People like Michael Bloomberg. He wants that campaign money, so what difference do a few innocent lives make compared to his naked ambitions?

His state is killing itself, and he’s going to make a stand against self-defense. How is this smart politics?