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Published: Thursday, 3/4/2010

Guns don't mix with alcohol

Your Feb. 26 editorial "Get a handle on guns," went on an anti-gun tirade full of typical emotion and lacking nearly any meaningful facts, such as what our bill does.

You neglected the fact that every state surrounding us and most of the country have adopted less restrictive approaches.

The legislation, which our organization wrote, would allow concealed-handgun license holders to enter a restaurant with specific narrow limitations: It must be a restaurant with a food service license (not a bar); they must not arrive under the influence of alcohol while armed (already Ohio law), and they must not consume any alcohol during their visit.

We'd never propose carrying a firearm while drinking.We are proposing that someone who is lawfully permitted to carry a firearm while eating a hamburger at McDonald's should be entitled to do the same thing at Max & Erma's.

The vast majority of restaurants in Ohio have some form of liquor license.The Blade likes that because it makes it "complicated" to carry a handgun. Ohio law prohibits you from carrying a firearm there because of your proximity to alcohol you could own at home.

This legislation instead focuses the prohibition on the actions of the individual with respect to consuming or not. Meanwhile, you are focused on more pointless gun control while Canada is repealing its regulation because of cost.

Jeff Garvas

President

Ohioans for Concealed Carry

Cleveland

Your editorial on gun laws was right on the mark. A wiser approach would be for the Ohio legislature to take a close look at tightening the state's concealed-handgun permit system rather than recklessly expanding its reach.

The Violence Policy Center tracks killings committed by permit holders.

We have identified 139 deaths attributable to concealed-handgun permit holders since May, 2007, including 11 deaths in Ohio. One of those deaths was of a Twinsburg law enforcement officer who was shot during a routine traffic stop. Shockingly, the deaths also include 13 mass shootings.

The sad fact is that concealed-handgun permit holders are much more likely to perpetrate a mass shooting than prevent one.

As you noted, it's time to stop weakening gun laws based on "unfounded fear about what [people] say may happen," and begin to respond to what's actually occurring.

Kristen Rand

Legislative Director

Violence Policy Center

Washington

Those who want more handgun restrictions are targeting the wrong group. Regulations only affect law- abiding citizens. Bad guys don't care what the laws are and theywon't leave because a sign says "No Guns Allowed."

You must undergo a background check, be fingerprinted, and receive training in the safe use and legal ramifications of carrying a handgun for self-defense by a state-approved instructor for 10 hours. There are two hours of instruction in handling and firing a handgun competently.

A person must pass a written test on the Attorney General's pamphlet "Ohio's Concealed Carry Law." Felons, anyone with drug convictions, or those who have been convicted of a crime of violence may not hold a concealed handgun license.

In the 48 states that allow law-abiding citizens to carry concealed firearms for self-defense, there have been numerous cases where a legally carried firearm prevented or stopped a violent attack.

Studies have shown that more than 98 percent of these incidents end without any shots fired. Crime goes down when concealed-carry laws pass, because criminals have to worry that homeowners could be armed and able to protect themselves.

Do your own research and attend a concealed-carry class taught by a state-approved instructor. You may be surprised to see who the license holders are.

They are law-abiding citizens, men and women who pray every day that they will never have to use their weapon to protect themselves or their families, but are prepared and trained to do so if necessary.

Dale Williams

Christie Boulevard

People have every right to be afraid of their own shadow, but I've grown weary of those who fear guns, treating them like they are living creatures.

Guns require human intervention. According to your editorial, humans aren't smart enough to use guns in a positive manner.

The prospective law will allow those who have a concealed-carry license to dine in restaurants that have a class D license, such as Applebee's and Chili's. It doesn't allow concealed- handgun license holders to get drunk and start shooting out the lights.

It's professionally irresponsible of you to attempt to convince your readers that there is an automatic connection between guns and alcohol.

You failed to mention in your drivel that guns are used four times more for defensive purposes than to commit crimes.

Steven Brown

Blossman Road

Your editorial on guns said: "In Virginia, less than three years after the shootings at Virginia Tech claimed 33 lives and prompted a national drive for increased gun control, the General Assembly approved a bill that allows concealed weapons to be carried in bars and restaurants that serve alcohol. Another state measure that would repeal a ban on buying more than one handgun a month is moving toward passage."

What does that have to do with legally carrying a gun in a restaurant, or with those of us who are legal concealed-carry permit holders?

Steven L. Arnold

Bowling Green

It might help relieve some of the problems the state has funding schools if courts would collect the $13 million Tom Noe owes for his fine ("•'God has plans for me,' Noe says," Feb. 28). If he gave any money to a politician, it should be forfeited to the state.

I know some money was returned, but I think that was just the tip of the iceberg. If he is broke, who is paying his lawyers? If I owed one one-hundredth of what he owes, there would be a padlock on my door until it was paid.

Gene Schwamberger

Nebraska Avenue

Your article quotes Tom Noe as saying: "A negative thought is a down payment on failure."

Mr. Noe admits falsifying coin inventories and being a bad bookkeeper and manager. I suggest Mr. Noe apply another quote to his life: "Accept responsibility for your self-created failures."

Christopher Terry

Whitehouse

Toledoans were graced with the Democratic A and B teams. Now we have the In and Out Teams of the Republicans.

If Jon Stainbrook were duly elected as the Lucas County Republic Party chairman, under Roberts Rules of Order, others cannot convene a legitimately recognized meeting. Would-be party chairman Jeff Simpson needs to step back and let the process work properly.

With all the woes facing Toledo and Lucas County, the attention of one of our major political parties needs to focus on those woes and not who wants to be boss.

Ray Johnston

Darrell Road



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