Gun Rights-Gun Control

Gardner talks funding, water, guns and abortion at town hall

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Since the lame duck session of state government usually brings some hasty legislative decisions, State Senator Randy Gardner spent Saturday morning conferring with his constituents. Always a history teacher at heart, Gardner tried to put the present in perspective by explaining past decisions. For two hours, he answered questions at his town hall meeting, then spent another hour talking with citizens individually. Though they didn’t always like his answers, the citizens at Saturday’s town hall meeting appreciated the willingness of the senator to hold a public gathering. “The next three weeks will be a really challenging time with big decisions,” said Gardner, a Republican from Bowling Green who has rotated between the state representative and senate seats since 1984. Adding to the unpredictability of the lame duck session will be the number of amendments tacked onto bills at the last moment. “Amendments will change the outcome of bills,” Gardner said. And it’s not unusual for amendments to present competing interests in the same bill, he added. Gardner has two of his own issues pending in the lame duck session. The Sierah Joughin bill creates a statewide database for law enforcement listing convicted violent offenders living in their jurisdictions. The bill is in response to the death of a 20-year-old woman from Fulton County, who was killed by a convicted violent felon. “I’m pretty optimistic,” this will pass, Gardner said. This bill has its critics, he said. Some feel the database could impede the rehabilitation of convicts. To better understand that criticism, Gardner said he met with Eddie Slade, who spent 31 years in prison for murder and burglary. “I have extra respect now for people who struggle to turn the lives around,” he said. But Sierah’s Law is in the best interest of communities, he said. Gardner’s other pending bill would “finally” see movement to get funding for the preservation of a healthy Lake Erie and help the agricultural community at the same time. Following are some of the other topics Gardner was asked about during the town hall. Hot button issues – guns, abortion and petitioning Marilyn Bowlus, of Pemberville, asked Gardner about pending house bills on “Stand Your Ground” gun laws and abortion rights. “It seems like Ohio is going backward,” Bowlus said. States that make it easier for people to justify firing a gun at someone often see higher levels of gun violence, she said. “It seems like we should be trying to lessen gun violence,” Bowlus said. Gardner said Ohio’s current laws on using a gun for defense are stricter than some other states. He also said that despite public perception, violent crimes with guns have dropped since 1993, though they have seen an uptick in the last four to five years. At that point in the town hall, a woman interrupted Gardner and asked about the frequency of mass shootings. “We’re not going to do that,” Gardner said to the woman, asking that she wait her turn. The woman abruptly left the meeting. “There are some things in that bill right now that I’m not for,” he said of the “stand your ground” bill. Gardner said he’s hopeful the bill can be modified before it goes up for a…

Read More

League of Women Voters call for stricter gun control

The League of Women Voters of Ohio and of Bowling Green condemn the proliferation of handguns and assault weapons and call for strong federal measures to limit accessibility and regulate ownership by private citizens, especially keeping the deadly AR-15 out of civilian hands. Strengthening the background check system, expanding the laws to include background checks for private sales, gun shows, and on-online purchases are necessary steps. Citizens can make a difference.  Contact your Ohio statehouse senators and representatives regularly until progress is made to curtail gun violence. Judy Knox, Chair, Voters’ Service Committee, League of Women Voters of Bowling Green Ohio Lee Hakel President, League of Women Voters of Bowling Green Ohio

BGSU will admit protesting high school students

In light of recent protests and plans for protests at high schools, including in Bowling Green, over weapons in schools and gun control, Bowling Green State University is reassuring protesting students that their admission to the university will not be jeopardized. Cecilia Castellano, vice provost for strategic enrollment planning issued a statement Wednesday: “‘Free speech and the open exchange of ideas are bedrock principles of higher education. Bowling Green State University takes a holistic approach to our admissions process. Applicants to BGSU who have participated in lawful protests or other free speech activities have never been denied admissions or scholarships.  We welcome their applications and look forward to considering them for the many opportunities at BGSU.” Ohio University issued a similar statement earlier this week.

Gun owning vet takes aim at NRA’s interpretation of the 2nd Amendment

Submitted by SHANE HUGHES, Bowling Green Modern debates about the Second Amendment have focused on whether it protects a private right of individuals to keep and bear arms, or a right that can be exercised only through militia organizations like the National Guard. Let me first start by breaking down the 2nd Amendment. The text reads: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” (1) In order to understand the 2nd Amendment, you need to understand subordinate clauses and the rules of grammar as practiced in a historical context by our founding fathers. Commas were used to subcategorize ideas pertaining to the formal thought or premise, in grammatical context of that which is being stated. If you read the other amendments, you’ll find that the formal idea is recapitulated using semicolons and that commas are used as to denote exception to a premise or idea. Nowhere in the Bill of Rights is the subdivision of a formal idea into supporting ideas by use of punctuation more apparent than in the 2nd Amendment. The 2nd Amendment, as read and intended by its writers, is formally establishing a well-regulated militia that shall not be infringed upon. The supporting ideas of the formal are: [the well-regulated militia] is necessary to security of a free State the right of the people [the militia well-regulated militia] to keep and bear arms. If you neglect the words between the first and last commas, you’ll see formal idea, and that all language in between is support for the formal. Now, in order to understand what the founding fathers meant by “well-regulated militia” we have to look at Article 1 and Article 2 of the Constitution, where they defined the role of the Legislative Branch, i.e. Congress, and the role of the Executive Branch, i.e. the president. Article 1, Section 8, Paragraphs 15/16, reads: “To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;” “To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;” (2) Article 2, Section 2, Paragraph 1, reads: “The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States;” (3) Let’s break these down to see if we can determine the intent of our founding fathers. “To provide for the calling forth of the Militia, to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions.” Congress has established no method for calling forth a militia as defined by our modern, colloquial interpretation, which is militias such as the Three Percent Militia, to respond to any of these scenarios. Congress has established a method for calling forth the National Guard from each state, and the National Guard routinely responds to these different scenarios, both at home and abroad. Let’s look at the next paragraph of Article 1. “To provide for organizing,…

BG students to join National School Walkout against gun violence

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Alyson Baker is sick of hearing about students being slaughtered in their schools. She’s not alone, so Baker and other students at Bowling Green High School are organizing a walkout to coincide with the National School Walkout on March 14. “It has a lot of us really shaken,” Baker said last week. “We’re scared and we’re fed up. We don’t want to see anybody in schools hurt because of gun violence.” The National School Walkout is planned for 17 minutes at 10 a.m. on March 14, to protest Congress’ inaction to do more than Tweet thoughts and prayers in response to gun violence in schools and neighborhoods. The walkouts are based on the following beliefs: Students and staff have the right to teach and learn in an environment free from the worry of being gunned down in their classrooms or on their way home from school. Parents have the right to send their kids to school in the mornings and see them home alive at the end of the day. Congress must take meaningful action to keep us safe and pass federal gun reform legislation that address the public health crisis of gun violence. Students want Congress to pay attention and take note: many of them will vote this November and many others will join in 2020. Bowling Green’s walkout will be held on the front lawn of the high school. The public will be able to join in the event. Organizing the Bowling Green High School walkout are seniors Alyson Baker and Luther Shinew, and sophomores Keanu McClellan and Jadyn Lundquest. The local youth are being inspired by their fellow students in Parkland, Florida, who have responded to the shootings at their school with eloquence and ideas. “I’ve been to protests before, but I’ve never really led a protest,” Baker said. “It’s just so important. Now’s the time to talk about gun control.” The National School Walkout makes the following demands of Congress: Ban assault weapons and high capacity magazines. Expand background checks to all gun sales. Pass federal gun violence restraining order law. Fund government research on gun violence. Promote safe storage. Though young, the students are feeling empowered by their numbers. “I think this walkout is definitely going to say something,” Baker said. “I don’t think our government can ignore it. The U.S. is covered with little pins” signifying all the school walkouts. “I feel like this is something that needs to be brought to their attention,” McClellan said. “School is supposed to be the safest place.” Bowling Green Superintendent Francis Scruci and High School Principal Jeff Dever have told the students that they won’t stand in the way of the walkout. “We can’t deny these students their First Amendment rights,” Scruci said. “I’m supportive of the protest to get some attention” on the problem of school violence. Adults in the community can join in the walkout as long as it is a peaceful event, the superintendent said. While Dever does not like students leaving their classes, he supports their rights. “First of all, I don’t want to deny anyone’s First Amendment rights,” Dever said. But he added, “Our business here is to educate kids.” No matter how well organized, the walkout will be chaotic for the school. And…

“This will trample property rights of business owners” — Fred Strahorn (D-Dayton)

From OHIO HOUSE DEMOCRATIC CAUCUS Ohio House Democratic lawmakers have voiced objections over House Bill (HB) 233, legislation that allows concealed carry permit holders to knowingly bring guns or deadly weapons into daycares, schools, airports, bars and other restricted spaces, so long as the permit holder leaves when asked to do so. Individuals who refuse to leave or return to the same business while carrying a prohibited weapon within 30 days will be subject to a fourth degree misdemeanor. “This isn’t just a solution looking for a problem, but it is creating a whole new set of public safety problems by overturning Ohio laws designed to keep us safe and secure,” said House Democratic Leader Fred Strahorn (D-Dayton). “This will trample property rights of business owners and create confusion in secure locations like airports, police stations, schools and daycares. As a gun owner and strong second amendment supporter, I think Ohioans deserve to feel safe and secure, free from the fear of intimidation or tragedies this bill could create.” HB 233 essentially eliminates any penalty for permit holders who knowingly carry a deadly weapon in a secure area if they leave the premises upon request. “This bill will not keep our children and communities safe. In fact, it will trample on their right to be in safe public spaces that are deadly weapon-free,” said Minority Whip Nickie Antonio (D-Lakewood). “This legislation is both irresponsible and dangerous.” The bill also modifies the list of places required to post signs notifying consumers of prohibited weapons. Under HB 233, daycares and certain government buildings are no longer encouraged to post prohibited weapon signage, and airports must alter their signage placement from the airport facility to passenger or screening checkpoints. “While the majority of Ohioans are law abiding citizens and responsible gun owners, there is always the possibility that a tragic event could happen in what should be our safest locations. This bill puts citizens and most importantly our children in harm’s way.” –Assistant Minority Leader Nick Celebrezze (D-Parma). The bill now moves to the Senate for further consideration.

Some of the stories that clicked for BG Indy in 2016

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News If you ask those of us involved with BG Independent News, the biggest news of 2016 was that we got this enterprise started and weathered our first year. This has been a great venture that has both challenged and rewarded us, if not enriched us. We pride ourselves on writing the best stories about Bowling Green, its immediate surroundings and area arts and entertainment scene. We’ve been heartened by the fact that we’ve had close to 160,000 users and 600,000 page views since the website was launched in late January. For that Jan McLaughlin and I thank you, our readers. It’s been a great ride. As we start a new year, we thought we’d go back and see just what stories drew the most traffic in the previous one. I decided on a top 30 of the more than 1,700 stories we’ve published. That includes the bylined stories that make up the heart of BG Independent News, but also Community Voices, Opinion, Obituaries and Newsbreak (though not the event listings that get lumped into What’s Happening in Your Community). (See the list of links at the end of the story.) The story that drew the most traffic was “The day the pizza died,” which is by neither of the principle writers. The rumors of Myles Pizza closing had been in the air for well over a year. When Chip Myles finally called it quits, I was headed out of town for a funeral, so Elizabeth Roberts-Zibbel, from Zibbel Media and an accomplished writer, stepped in and wrote her elegy to the beloved local pizza place. While this may seem ironic that our top story was written by neither McLaughlin nor Dupont, I don’t see it that way. Zibbel Media, operated by John Roberts-Zibbel and Roberts-Zibbel, is as much responsible for launching and maintaining the BG Independent enterprise as McLaughlin and Dupont, and I’m happy to have this recognition of that contribution. Some people were celebrating the holidays by pulling their last Myles pizza out of the freezer. The opening of Pizza Pub 516 in the location with a clear intent to update the place while maintaining much of the Myles character was also of interest, placing 18th on the list. Roberts-Zibbel also wrote another top 30 story, “Sign of the times,” about a lone, masked, disgruntled protestor who camped out in front of the Bowling Green Police Station on a sizzling hot day last summer. She also had a hand in the story that drew the second most traffic, the obituary for Jordan Powell, a young man who died far too soon. His family had few resources, and though we weren’t running obituaries in May, we decided to post it. It was sad, yet gratifying, because it showed the value of the service we are providing. Schools always draw interest, and that three of the top 10 stories are school related is not surprising. The third was clicked story was  “BGHS accommodates transgender students,” followed at fifth by “Administration stands by high school soccer players right to take a knee.” Both stories touched on issues that roiled the nation as a whole this year. Yet also up there in eighth was one of those mundane issues that mean so much to families: “BG school…