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Published: Saturday, 4/2/2005

One birthday party we all should skip

Thanks to The Blade for providing the Toledo public the safety information it needs.

The front page of the second section on March 29 gives most Toledoans ample time to change their plans for April 9 if they were going to be near Ottawa Park. The birthday party for concealed-carry permit holders is being staged that day for those who want to carry a loaded hidden gun everywhere.

A law was passed in 2004 giving them the privilege of carrying guns in our public space. The gun lobby's slippery slope now begins in Ohio like it has occurred in other states. Now they are not happy unless they can carry in parks, churches, day care centers, schools, and places that sell alcohol.

A small percentage of fearful gun owners (less than 50,000 in the entire state) want the right to risk the safety of the other 11 million Ohioans. That doesn't mean the majority of us should be forced to accept their behavior.

Toledoans should take their children somewhere else to play that day.

Toby Hoover

Executive Director

Ohio Coalition Against

Gun Violence

In the almost year since the concealed-carry law has been in effect, there have been no incidents of accidental discharge, shootouts in the street, etc., as predicted by the naysayers. When will the law director, Mayor Ford, et al, realize the permit-holders aren't criminals?

Criminals don't stand in line to get a permit or go to class for that matter.

Crime is the disease; concealed-carry is part of the cure.

Kent Snyder

Westbrook Drive

If he wants to prevent crime in Toledo's city parks, Mayor Jack Ford is looking in the wrong direction.

Despite having these rules declared "invalid" by the Ohio Attorney General, there is no doubt Toledo Police Chief Michael Navarre will carry out Mr. Ford's attempts to enforce a ban on concealed handgun license-holders in secluded parks and hiking trails by pressing charges against anyone "caught" legally bearing arms for their defense and security.

Democratic Sen. Ray Miller of Columbus stated last year that "there are more than 6,000 misdemeanor and felony arrests combined, per year, in Ohio state parks. Though not defined specifically in terms of municipal parks, the statistic highlights a disturbing situation and trend of violence in the State of Ohio."

"We want to be sure that our citizens feel safe in the parks," Mr. Ford said in a written statement, explaining why the City of Toledo is violating state law.

Who does he think he's kidding? Can anyone forget the rape of an 11-year-old girl behind Danny Thomas Park last summer? If Mr. Ford truly believes circle-slash signs work to deter criminals, shouldn't the city post "NO RAPING CHILDREN" signs, and be held negligent if it doesn't?

Chad D. Baus

Archbold, Ohio

Regarding plans by advocates of the state's concealed-carry law to have a gathering in Ottawa Park in protest of the city's ban on guns in the parks, the mayor is in disagreement with the advocates.

"We want to be sure our citizens feel safe in the parks," the mayor said. The mayor can have his family gathering any time he wishes. I think April 9 (date of the protest) in Ottawa Park just may be one of the safest public places in the City of Toledo.

Jay S. Kramer

Temperance



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