The pressure to “do something” in Ohio has been high ever since the mass shooting in Dayton. That’s not unusual, of course. After all, anti-gunners and the media will always ramp up the pressure on lawmakers following a mass shooting, regardless of whether any of the proposed measures would have had an impact beforehand or not.
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine is trying to walk a tightrope. He’s wanting to please the gun grabbers in his state without angering gun rights supporters. It seems others had their own plans for doing the exact same thing.
An influential gun rights group says it’s opposing a bill that would make changes in Ohio’s gun and mental health laws. The leader of the Ohio House had pointed to that bill as an alternative to Gov. Mike DeWine’s anti-gun violence package – a proposal that is likely to be opposed by some Republicans.
The Buckeye Firearms Association lists several problems with the bill from Phil Plummer (R-Dayton) and D.J. Swearingen (R-Huron) – the biggest, that it would add substance abuse as a reason a person could be involuntarily hospitalized in a psychiatric facility.
In and of itself, I doubt the Buckeye Firearms Association really cares whether someone could be involuntarily committed for substance abuse…except that such commitment would negatively impact their ability to exercise their Second Amendment rights.
You see, for one thing, the term “substance abuse” is broad and vague. Someone who is addicted to meth and someone with a drinking problem isn’t really the same thing. Alcohol is legal and plenty of law-abiding people who would never hurt a fly, even under the influence, develop alcoholism. In fact, some do it so badly that their families would do anything to get them help.
Believe me, I know. An uncle who was more like a brother to me drank himself to death and the rest of us were powerless to do a damn thing to help him. I get it.
Yet should that interfere with someone’s right to keep and bear arms? Of course not.
That’s really what has the Buckeye Firearms Association upset. The fact that the measure would negatively impact so many people who aren’t a threat to anyone should upset people. It should infuriate anyone.
There are a lot of people who develop substance abuse problems through otherwise law-abiding behavior. NFL legend Brett Favre developed an addiction to painkillers brought on by his time on the field, for example. Others develop dependency due to other factors like a car accident or who knows what else.
Regardless, people shouldn’t face having their right stripped away because of something like this.
Because of that, I’m with the Buckeye Firearms Association on this one. While I do think the bill was well-intentioned, you know what they say about the road to hell and all that.
If Republicans in the state want to present an alternative to DeWine’s, they need to go back to the drawing board because this one sure as hell ain’t it.