Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine may have cracked the code on criminal violence. (Screen snip, YouTube, WCPO News)
U.S.A. –-(Ammoland.com)- Ohio’s Republican Gov. Mike DeWine has evidently cracked a proverbial code about violent crime and it went virtually unnoticed last week, overshadowed by President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address and his acquittal by the U.S. Senate in the impeachment trial, and the Iowa caucus debacle.
DeWine, speaking at the Associated Press Legislative Forum—according to Lima News columnist Jim Krumel—said this: “What we have is, repeat, violent offenders who have no legal right to have a gun, or not supposed to have a gun, who are showing up with guns, all the time. And so giving the prosecutors, the police and ultimately the judges, the authority to send that person away for a long time, will save lives.”
That logic can be applied to the case in New York City involving a repeat offender identified as Robert Williams, 45, of The Bronx. According to the New York Daily News, the suspect is no model citizen, having done a stretch in prison for attempted murder. He was released on parole in 2017. He was scheduled for a court appearance on Monday Feb. 10 on a drunk driving and resisting beef dating back to 2018.
As a convicted felon, Williams is not allowed by law to possess a firearm. Yet he’s now being held for opening fire in a police station where one police lieutenant was wounded, and he’s also suspected in a shooting involving two other police officers Saturday.
DeWine’s observation could also just as easily apply to the unfolding case in Seattle, where three suspects who engaged in a shootout that left a female bystander dead and seven other people injured all have criminal records that preclude them from having guns. Two of the suspects, William Tolliver and Marquise Latrelle, have 65 arrests and 35 convictions between them. Tolliver’s history includes 44 arrests, one felony conviction and 18 gross misdemeanors. Tolbert has been arrested 21 times, with three felony convictions and a dozen gross misdemeanors in his file. They traded rounds with Jamel Jackson in the Jan. 22 chaos outside a McDonald’s restaurant in downtown Seattle. Jackson was wounded and is now in custody facing gun charges. Tolliver and Tolbert were arrested in Las Vegas and are awaiting return to Seattle.
Conservative radio commentators in the state, echoing the thoughts of their listeners, are accusing prosecutors and judges of being soft on criminals, which has only emboldened them to the point of engaging in a deadly shootout.
All of this is unfolding against a backdrop of gun control politics in Washington, Oregon, Virginia and Florida, as well as on the presidential campaign trail in New Hampshire.
But DeWine—who some believe to be soft on gun control while others suggest he goes too far, and has a concealed carry license in Ohio, according to columnist Krumel’s narrative—reportedly has heard from police chiefs in the Buckeye State who told the governor “it is a small number of people responsible for the violence,” Krumel reported.
While gun control advocates in Oregon are pushing a so-called “safe storage” bill that is opposed by Beaver State gun owners, and several gun control laws are being considered in neighboring Washington State, DeWine’s observations are supported by laws adopted by Evergreen State citizens more than 25 years ago.
“Three Strikes and You’re Out,” followed by “Hard Time for Armed Crime.” Both of those measures were championed by the firearms community, and opposed by the liberal establishment for putting people behind bars for lengthy sentences, or for life.
Washington’s “Three Strikes” law was passed in 1993, via Initiative 593. Subsequently, several states adopted similar statutes. But Washington voters appear to have lost historical perspective, or been swayed over the years by the Seattle-based gun prohibition lobby as more people migrated to the state, drawn by the booming tech industry.
In a recent KING 5 News survey conducted by SurveyUSA in late January, 45 percent of respondents think the state needs stronger gun control laws. They are slightly outnumbered by 46 percent who believe the existing gun laws are adequate (27%) or are too strict (19%).The station—Seattle’s NBC affiliate—played up the gun control support, which many in the firearms community suggested was an example of media bias.
In Ohio, DeWine is pushing a proposal calling for “voluntary background checks” on private gun sales, a suggestion comparatively benign to the agendas being pushed in the Pacific Northwest and passed by the anti-gun majority Democrats in Richmond, VA.
All of these things bring the focus to New Hampshire, where socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders said during last Friday’s debate, “My view is right now, we need universal background checks, we end the gun show loophole, we end the so-called ‘straw man provision,’ we make certain that we end the sale and distribution of assault weapons in this country, and we go further.”
Sen. Sanders on his proposed gun policy: "Under my administration, it will be the American people doing gun policy not dictated by the NRA….we need universal background checks." https://t.co/0GxKJz7e8Y #DemDebate pic.twitter.com/Q7huLTNuPa
— ABC News (@ABC) February 8, 2020
It’s the “further” that alarms gun owners who have been watching the Second Amendment “under siege,” as observed by Trump during his State of the Union address.
“Just as we believe in the First Amendment,” the president stated, “we also believe in another constitutional right that is under siege all across our country. So long as I am president, I will always protect your Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.”
Perhaps one way to accomplish that will be to once again get tough on criminals. As DeWine and those unidentified Ohio police chiefs have clarified, getting recidivist criminals off the streets, including those in New York and Seattle, might be the most effective way to reduce violent crime while leaving the rights of millions of law-abiding citizens alone.
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About Dave Workman
Dave Workman is a senior editor at TheGunMag.com and Liberty Park Press, author of multiple books on the Right to Keep & Bear Arms and formerly an NRA-certified firearms instructor.
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