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Wednesday, August 27, 2014
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Published: Thursday, 12/20/2012

Shifting views on guns

Given Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder’s recent kowtowing to the extreme wing of his Republican Party, his veto this week of legislation that would have permitted concealed weapons in churches, schools, and day-care centers was both surprising and encouraging.

Citing last week’s massacre that left 26 people, including 20 children, dead in Newtown, Conn., Mr. Snyder showed that he still has enough guts to act independently — or at least the good sense to understand the nation’s growing outrage over gun violence.

In Ohio, however, Gov. John Kasich still doesn’t get it. Today, the governor is expected to sign a bill that would allow guns to be brought legally into the parking garage under the Ohio Statehouse and the nearby state office tower. A veto would be more appropriate.

After the massacre in Connecticut, the nation is clearly rethinking gun control. This week, leaders in states across the country are offering measures to reduce gun violence. Proposed legislation in California would mandate background checks and one-year permits for purchasing ammunition.

Stock prices of gun companies are falling, as investors distance themselves from some of the nation’s largest firearms makers. The private equity firm Cerberus plans to sell the company that makes the Bushmaster semiautomatic rifle used in the Connecticut massacre.

Dick’s Sporting Goods, which has stores in the Toledo area, has suspended sales of military-style guns. Wal-Mart apparently removed a Bushmaster rifle from its Web site.

Even the National Rifle Association, the most stubbornly strident critic of any gun control measure, has signaled that it might reconsider its position.

After a decade of inaction and silence, federal and state lawmakers, with growing public support, appear poised to enact overdue restrictions on gun sales and high-capacity ammunition magazines, as well as to reinstate a federal ban on military-style assault weapons that expired in 2004. President Obama, who has been missing in action on this issue, said Wednesday that he will submit broad new gun-control proposals to Congress next month.

After a series of mass murders over the past two decades, the slaughter of 20 children has finally changed the game on gun control — except, it appears, in Ohio. Unless he changes his mind, Mr. Kasich’s signature on a risky and unnecessary gun bill will embarrass this state.

 



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