DeWine's Gun Reform Attempts Languish Amid COVID-19

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine was feeling some heat last year. Following the Dayton shooting, he was getting pressured to enact some kind of gun reform in the state. Nevermind that the shooter was a habitual drug user who couldn’t legally purchase a firearm. Nevermind that he also broke all those laws on murder. No, anti-gunners wanted DeWine to do something.

So, he put together a plan. It was a desperate bid to try and balance pro-gun concerns and anti-gun desires in a way that probably wasn’t going to make anyone happy.

And, it really didn’t.

Now, though, that effort has amounted to nothing because of a pesky little bug called COVID-19.

Gov. Mike DeWine said last year that his top priority for 2020 would be passing his STRONG Ohio gun-reform package, which he proposed after a mass shooting in Dayton last August.

Wait, really? I mean, it’s not like there’s nothing else going on right now that would warrant attention from lawmakers. There’s no pandemic killing tens of thousands of people coupled with a hamstrung economy that could kill hundreds of thousands more or anything.

I mean, why wouldn’t they focus on a gun “reform” effort that they thought was stupid in the first place?

DeWine’s plan would create a voluntary state-level background check process for gun sales between private sellers and expand the state’s existing “pink-slip” law to allow authorities to send people with drug or alcohol problems to a psychiatric hospital, where they cannot legally have access to guns. It would also increase Ohio’s penalty for illegally selling a firearm from a fourth-degree felony to a third-degree felony.

Which, of course, didn’t actually make anyone happy and everyone with even a lick of sense knows just how pointless such a measure would actually be. DeWine, however, argues that the bill is reasonable and should be passed.

The problem is that background checks have never stopped the majority of armed criminals from getting a gun in the first place. More than that, they never will. Criminals don’t buy guns from places where they’ll be denied a gun, so they turn to the black market. They purchase firearms from some guy on the street, someone who knows damn well that the person buying it can’t get one legally. That’s OK, though, because the seller didn’t get it legally either.

Guns on the black market are generally stolen firearms, which means the last lawful owner usually did undergo a background check, but after it’s stolen, all bets are off.

That’s what anti-gunners continually fail to comprehend and that’s what DeWine has failed to comprehend.

Yes, Dayton was freaking awful. There’s just no words to express how horrific it must have been for those who were there. I won’t pretend there are and I won’t minimize their experiences.

But on the same token, Dayton was a black swan event. While we can point to a number of these events, they’re scattered and random. We see them because we’re looking at the macro level, but for those individuals, they’ll likely never experience another thing like that. In a way, I take comfort in that fact since it means the odds of me being impacted by a mass shooting are even more in my favor.

It also means there is less of a chance of Ohio being rocked by something like this again. It still exists, but there isn’t as great a probability.

And that’s without doing a thing, especially nothing that will infringe on the Second Amendment rights for ordinary Americans, people aren’t at as great a risk as some went to believe.