The need for sensible gun control is a necessary end result of the erosion of our social fabric. Employing pre-conditions for purchasing guns may complicate commerce, but isn’t it reasonable to require evidence of certified gun-safety training and background clearance for buying lethal weapons?
Use of a scalpel for surgery requires extensive training and licensing; both guns and scalpels require care by the user. Rather than diluting Second Amendment rights, sensible controls reduce its abuse.
We continue to hear of the online and gun show “loophole.” When some 40 percent of gun purchases are made this way, it’s a tsunami large enough to wipe out the effectiveness of present background checks.
If the National Rifle Association wants to avoid dealing with a spate of new state and federal controls, it could redirect its lobbying funds to push for long-term educational programs on responsible citizenship.
This could be a multigenerational effort covering respect for the law, public and private property and self and others; support for community service; and striving to maximize development of personal talents through education and training.
You would think Wayne LaPierre would like to be on the positive side, for once. Members of Congress who have been blessed with NRA campaign support would likely support revised NRA efforts.
Where talking is a crime
A local ordinance in Woodmere, Ohio, prohibiting using a cell phone while driving has recently come to my attention. As a practicing attorney, I had cause to research the ordinance and discovered that the offense is a first-degree misdemeanor, carrying the potential for six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.
For context, those are the same penalties as apply to money laundering in support of terrorism, domestic violence, abuse of a corpse, driving while drunk and assault. Such a penalty for merely talking (not texting) on a cell phone while driving is absolutely ridiculous.
It pains me to think of the number of individuals who simply paid the waiver amount without realizing that in doing so, they have a first-degree misdemeanor conviction on their criminal records. This massive collateral sanction is sickening and wrong.
I sincerely urge the mayor, law director and the City Council to revisit the penalty for violating this ordinance and either repeal the ordinance altogether or at least revise the penalties.
Waiting for the president
On Jan. 16, the Beacon Journal asked area lawmakers to weigh in on gun control legislation. The question was, “What one legislative initiative can you support today relative to the issue of guns and gun control?”
Three of our area lawmakers responded and gave thoughtful answers: Marcia Fudge, David Joyce and Jim Renacci. Bob Gibbs didn’t even bother to return a call.
Tim Ryan told the newspaper, “I want to wait until the president’s proposals are public before I comment.”
Are you kidding me? I guess a puppet can’t speak until the puppet master speaks.
Ryan receives a hefty salary, perks beyond belief, the best health care available and an unbelievable retirement plan, and yet he can’t come up with an original thought to a serious and possible life-changing question?
The people he represents deserve more. I have a question for Ryan: Does he have any idea why the approval rating for Congress is so low? No hurry on the response, in case he wants to check first with the White House.