|July 26, 2001, 01:40 PM||#1|
Join Date: February 28, 1999
(OH) Shooting for September (CCW bills)
When all else fails, use the race card. These people are their own worst enemy and they don't realize it. May they continue to do so.
Julie Eichorn, president of the Central Ohio Chapter of the Million Mom March, drew groans from the right side of the room when she noted the pro-gun advocates were “mostly white males over fifty.” She said she wondered if, as an African American woman, she would be in danger from heat-packing fellow Ohioans if she were to reach in her pocketbook for some lipstick.
“It alarms me that there are no blacks or Hispanics on the other side of the room,” Eichorn said.
Despite the opponents, the concealed gun committee wants to get the bill moving
The circus was back in town Wednesday.
In other words, there was another meeting of the House Bill 274 subcommittee, complete with hyperbole, theatrics and several of admonishments from the panel’s chairwoman, Ann Womer Benjamin.
When the first speaker on the agenda for yesterday’s hearing, Ohio State University instructor Karl Spaulding, earnestly challenged the five members of the subcommittee to a formal debate, you could tell it was going to be another one of those days.
And so it was, with opponents of H.B. 274—the highly controversial measure that would allow Ohioans, with restrictions, to carry concealed weapons—taking turns outdoing one another with their harsh rhetoric.
On the right side of the room were those, mostly men, opposed to the bill on the grounds that it would force gun owners to jump through too many hoops and suffer too many indignities before exercising what they believe to be a constitutional right. Many of these wore fluorescent stickers expressing their preference for House Bill 225, which would impose hardly any restrictions on those wishing to hide their guns in public.
On the left side of the room were those, mostly women, opposed to H.B. 274 on the grounds that a concealed-carry law would lead to a more dangerous and violent society. They were slightly outnumbered by the pro-gun side.
REST OF ARTICLE
House wrangles over bill allowing concealed weapons
By JIM PROVANCE
BLADE COLUMBUS BUREAU
COLUMBUS - A proponent of giving Ohioans the right to carry concealed handguns dared lawmakers yesterday to send Governor Taft a bill, knowing he has vowed to veto it unless it first wins the support of law enforcement.
"I don’t think you have the guts to send HB 274 to the governor to get his veto," Karl Spaulding of Columbus told a House subcommittee. "I would love to see that."
State Rep. Ann Womer Benjamin (R., Aurora), subcommittee chairwoman, said she plans to send an amended bill to the full House Civil and Commercial Law Committee this fall. That committee’s chairman, state Rep. John Williamowski (R., Lima), said he’ll call for a full committee vote as soon as he knows he has the votes for passage.
Pushed by the National Rifle Association, the bill attempts to find a politically palatable compromise. But the attempt to move toward the middle has gained opposition from gun-control advocates and the most ardent defenders of the Second Amendment.
The latter group prefers a stalled measure proposing a law similar to that in Vermont, broadly allowing citizens to carry firearms as long as they are not otherwise prohibited from doing so.
The compromise version, sponsored by state Rep. Jim Aslanides (R., Conshocton), would allow citizens to receive permits to carry concealed handguns as long as they pass criminal, mental health, and domestic violence background checks, and undergo firearm training.
"The hearing process on concealed weapons continues, but to pinpoint when a vote might occur is premature. We haven’t seen what the final bill will be," said Jen Detwiler, spokeswoman for House Speaker Larry Householder (R., Newark).
Ohio would be the 45th state to enact some form of concealed carry legislation.
"As an African-American woman, it disturbs me that time after time ... there are no blacks and Hispanics on the other side of the issue," said Julie Eichorn of suburban Columbus, an activist against guns.
"It makes me wonder who these gentlemen really want to arm themselves against," she said. "If I’m at the mall with my children and I reach into my purse in a suspicious way to get my lipstick, will I be shot?"
The Ohio Highway Patrol and the state Association of Chiefs of Police remain opposed to it, while the Federation of Police union has sought additional restrictions on who may carry a weapon and where they may take it.
The Buckeye State Sheriffs Association, whose members would issue the permits, supports the bill.