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Ohio governor calls for gun reforms

by Harvest Prude
Posted 8/06/19, 01:30 pm

The mass shooting that left nine dead in Dayton early Sunday prompted Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine to propose a list of more than 10 reforms to gun laws in his state. The Republican on Tuesday said he endorses background checks for nearly all gun sales and “red flag” laws to help identify and disarm unstable gun owners. He also asked legislators for funding for mental health professionals in schools and improvements to a school violence tip line.

Would these laws prevent such a shooting? Police said that the shooter, Connor Betts, 24, did not have an adult criminal record to prevent him from buying a gun. But his former high school classmates and others who knew him said there were signs he was drawn to violence. “What we are seeing time after time after time—is we’re seeing warnings,” DeWine said. “You see what he was saying in high school, you see social media.”

What were the warnings? School administrators reportedly twice suspended Betts in high school for compiling hit lists of students he wanted to kill and female students he wanted to sexually assault. Other media reports say he was involved in an extreme metal music band with lyrics that focused on violence and dehumanizing women.

Police shot and killed Betts within a minute of the attack. Among the victims was his 22-year-old sister, Megan. Meanwhile, prosecutors in El Paso, Texas, the site of another mass shooting over the weekend, plan to seek the death penalty for the man arrested in the attack there that killed 22.

Dig deeper: WORLD editor in chief Marvin Olasky asks: Where do we go from here?

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Harvest Prude

Harvest is a reporter for WORLD based in Washington, D.C.

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  • OldMike
    Posted: Wed, 08/07/2019 01:33 am

    A lot of people have a terror of being involved in one of these mass shootings.  And a lot of people also have extreme negative reactions to the type of firearm used in a lot of these shootings. 

    That is, semi-automatic rifles that look like the machine guns/full automatic weapons that soldiers use in war. 

    So that’s what we focus on, when these shootings are in the news. 

    Sure, mental illness gets some attention; our culture’s fascination with violence gets some attention; alienated young people get some attention. But it apparently seems to a lot of people that the easiest and quickest way to resolve the problem is simply ban guns, or at least certain types of guns. 

    Hmmm...  The estimates of how many guns there are in the hands of US residents range from 300 million to as high as 600 million. The estimates of how many modern military style firearms are in the hands of US residents also vary widely—but probably at least 15 million, and maybe triple that when you include actual military surplus semi-automatic firearms from earlier eras, guns outmoded for current military use but still quite popular with collectors. And then, add in the numbers of semi-automatic handguns, which are currently owned in the millions for home defense, recreational shooting, or competition.

    So the logistics of actually rounding up those guns becomes mind-boggling the more you consider the numbers. But an equally large problem is the attachment many Americans have to their guns. And not just to the guns themselves: there’s a huge attachment among many gun owners to their right to own guns, a belief that gun ownership is a vital part of being a free citizen rather than a subject of an all-powerful government. 

    And that spells resistance to efforts to remove firearms.

    Pass a law that certain types of firearms must be registered by a certain date. Connecticut tried it.  Even though failure to comply is a Class D felony, it is estimated that the compliance rate is only about 15%.  

    So then the next step:  forcible confiscation. Let’s presume that only one out of a thousand gun owners resists when authorities show up to remove guns from a residence. If we only focus on the possible 15 million owners of the most feared types of “assault weapons,” we are talking about gun battles involving 15,000 gun owners, their families, and the law enforcement personnel charged with this confiscation. The death toll dwarfs the total of all killed in mass shootings in the US to date. 

    Some politicians have actually dismissed the posibility of resistance by saying things like “The government has nukes!”  Is that the government you want?

    Personally, I think there are far better approaches than trying to ban or take guns. Notice, I say “approaches,” not “solutions.”  There are no easy solutions to the problem of mass random violence.

    But there IS a possible partial solution, and we have already seen it work in a few instances of mass shootings:   Armed and trained law-abiding citizens. 

    While I recognize that to some, such a solution is worse than the problem, the facts do not bear that out.  Many states now have concealed carry laws that permit citizens who meet certain requirements to carry a firearm daily.  There are ample statistics proving that this group of people has a far lower percentage of criminal acts than the population as a whole. There are also numerous well-documented instances of armed citizens stopping criminal shootings before the arrival of law enforcement. Have you not read about these?  Well, possibly not, since the majority of the liberal US news media wishes to downplay anything that might put firearm use in a favorable light. 

    Regardless of what I say, the debate will continue.  

    Posted: Tue, 08/06/2019 08:03 pm

    "The greatest evils in the world will not be carried out by men with guns, but by men in suits sitting behind desks" ~ C. S. Lewis