Gun control is an interesting topic in Ohio right now. While the state has a fairly conservative representation in the state legislature and a Republican holds the governorship, the state also had a deadly mass shooting in Dayton earlier this year. That shooting came just days after a deadly mass shooting in El Paso, Texas, sparking the most recent push for gun control.
Many in the state are a little freaked after Dayton, which I suppose is a little understandable.
However, let’s also be honest here. It’s not like gun control, or the lack of it, is what leads to mass shootings.
With that in mind, we have an interesting fight brewing in the state legislature in Ohio. It seems some Republicans are ready to fight over a Stand Your Ground bill.
Ohio Republican lawmakers are once again pursuing a “stand-your-ground” law that would expand gun owners’ rights to use deadly force without backing away when they perceive a threat.
The Senate Government Oversight and Reform Committee held sponsor testimony on a bill this week introduced by Sen. Terry Johnson, a Portsmouth Republican, with the support of Senate President Larry Obhof, of Medina.
All the bill would do is remove the duty to retreat from state law, thus ending a potentially dangerous legal requirement.
You see, when someone finds themselves in a deadly force situation, there are a lot of things they need to be sure of. However, current Ohio law also tells them they need to try and get away if at all possible. This could well lead to them being hurt or killed in the attempt.
Further, just considering a way out could cause deadly delays in someone’s OODA loop, making it so they’re not able to meet a lethal threat as efficiently as possible.
However, critics have routinely tried to argue that Stand Your Ground is somehow legalized murder, but nothing could be further from the truth. A reasonable person would still have to be in fear of their life, after all.
None of this is likely to matter, though. Instead, be prepared to hear tons of arguments regarding Dayton–where Stand Your Ground or duty to retreat apparently played no role whatsoever–and about every other mass shooting anti-gunners care to name. They’ll probably also evoke Trayvon Martin, despite Stand Your Ground never coming up at George Zimmerman’s trial.
They’ll continue to malign the measure to undermine it.
However, at the end of the day, Ohioans need this law. They need laws that empower them to meet deadly threats with lethal force and to minimize their chances at harmful and malicious prosecution. They deserve a Stand Your Ground law on the books. They deserve a lot more than that, but it’s a hell of a good start.
Let’s all hope the GOP in Ohio can gain some traction on this one, push it through, and get it signed into law. It’s about time that this happens there and, frankly, every other state in the nation. It’s just too bad some are too myopic to see the reality of it.