Ohio has shaped up to be one of the more interesting battlegrounds for gun rights. In the immediate aftermath of Dayton, it’s not difficult to imagine anti-gunners in the state went on a jihad to try and push for as much gun control as they think they can get. However, Ohio isn’t exactly a blue state at the moment.
With that as a backdrop, the debates have officially begun in the state legislature.
People on opposite sides of Ohio’s gun control debate packed into a Statehouse committee room Tuesday to speak in support of two different bills.
One was Gov. Mike DeWine’s bill to curb gun violence like the mass shooting in Dayton by expanding civil commitment or pink slip laws, creating a voluntary background check system for private sales and increasing the penalties against people caught buying guns for others who can’t legally do so.
The other piece of legislation was a bill that’s commonly known as a stand your ground proposal. It would eliminate a person’s duty to retreat before firing a gun in self-defense.
“We love this bill, and we urge this committee to support its passage,” Ohio Gun Owners Director Chris Dorr said when he testified in support of Senate Bill 237.
Dorr, who helped write the legislation, told the committee he thought it was a model bill because it included a pretrial immunity hearing. Basically, a person who claimed he or she shot someone in self-defense would go through this process rather than a criminal trial and would be protected against both criminal and civil prosecution if he or she was found to have acted in self-defense.
Unsurprisingly, anti-gun lawmakers argued against this. One asked all who supported the bill whether or not anyone has been harmed by the law as it currently stands.
The problem is, anyone who has is probably either dead or in prison for not retreating first. It makes the question rather stupid.
This is just the opening salvo in what will likely be a long process, but there’s little reason to believe anti-gun efforts will go much of anywhere. The Ohio General Assembly is heavily Republican, with the party having overwhelming majorities in both chambers. While that doesn’t mean pro-gun bills will go anywhere, it does suggest that anti-gun bills and voices aren’t likely to get much traction either.
For Ohioans, that’s a very good thing. It means there’s no reason to fear gun control. From there, everything else is about whittling away at the damage done to gun rights over the previous years. That’s a far easier proposition when you’re not having to fend of legitimate and powerful attacks from gun control.
At the end of the day, what I expect to see in Ohio is some advancement in gun rights, such as Stand Your Ground–which isn’t exclusively a gun rights issue–and some very frustrated Ohioan gun grabbers who don’t understand why they can’t take away everyone’s guns at the drop of a hat. Perhaps, someday, they’ll learn to deal with their disappointment.