Sean Maloney in Newark Advocate article on Ohio SB239 (Restaurant Carry)


Violent crime has decreased in Ohio despite concealed carry law

BY SEAN MALONEY • Local Column • June 25, 2010

I read with interest articles pertaining to the commonsense piece of legislation Senate Bill 239, which will allow responsible law-abiding citizens with concealed carry permits to protect themselves while in a restaurant that serves alcohol, if the person also chooses not to consume alcohol. The bill also defines a new commonsense approach concerning how to carry your means of self protection in your car.

Then, unexpectedly, out came the old scare tactics from Mark Drum, legislative chairman for the Ohio Fraternal Order of Police, who said because of the bill, “they (drivers) can twirl the gun in their fingers while they’re driving down the highway.” I am hopeful Mark Drum understands that the Ohio concealed carry permit holder is far more responsible than he is. If you remember, those same reckless, biased statements were used to try and keep Ohioans from exercising their God-given right to self protection, when concealed carry in Ohio was first introduced. Drum’s scare tactics, and baseless predictions of blood running down Ohio streets, didn’t prove to be true. In fact, since concealed carry went into affect, Ohio doesn’t have the shootouts; the rage-induced gun battles along Ohio’s highways; the accidental shootings; and the return to “Dodge City” — all predicted by Drum and others like him in their opposition to concealed carry in Ohio.

Factually, FBI statistics show violent crime has decreased in Ohio for the third straight year. Yes, that’s right — crime decreased in spite of predictions by the media, politically-motivated law enforcement groups and anti-gun extremists, who claimed that permissive self-defense laws would lead to the end of civilized society as we know it.

Preliminary data from the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report shows that the violent crime rate went down 5.5 percent in 2009, compared to statistics from 2008. This covers all four categories of violent crime: murder, robbery, aggravated assault and forcible rape. Violent crime went down 4 percent in metropolitan counties and 3 percent elsewhere, according to the FBI.

It’s time that Mark Drum, and others like him, begin to admit that those of us who take the time to go through the required 12 hours of training; police background check; and other processes to obtain our concealed carry permits, or any law-abiding citizen for that matter, are more responsible than they are, as evidenced by Drum’s reckless comments. Drum knows, based upon FBI statistics, that his statements in opposition to concealed carry in Ohio, both then and now, are false. I cannot understand the logic of rejecting the background-checked concealed handgun license-holder from your business, while virtually inviting the criminal element to “come in, sit down, we created a defenseless zone just for you.” Didn’t the tragedies at Fort Hood, Virginia Tech and the many examples of where every bad guy with a gun is stopped by a good guy with a gun teach Mark Drum anything?

All of the states adjoining Ohio permit the concealed carry license holder to carry into establishments serving alcohol. What do these adjoining states know that Mark Drum doesn’t? Not a thing, they understand, and are not afraid to admit that the threat of a concealed carry permit holder is more of a deterrent to the bad guy with a gun than the threat of dialing 911, the police officer five minutes away or the police officer at home, laid off because of budget constraints.

After walking the courthouses in many of Ohio’s counties and watching the open disrespect the criminal element treats our judges, court personnel and police officers with, I welcome an armed concealed carry permit holder at the table beside me while my family and I dine out.