Gun owners and many conservatives were furious when Republican-in-name-only Governor John Kasich vetoed a gun rights bill that had been approved by the Ohio state legislature.
However, conservative lawmakers got the last laugh, overriding the veto in a shock to the moderate GOP governor.
The Ohio legislation mirrors other states’ similar ‘Stand Your Ground” laws, by expanding gun access for off-duty police officers, allowing pre-emption of local gun restrictions, placing the burden of proof in an act of self-defense on the prosecutors, not the person who was attacked, and other gun rights’ expansions.
“Senators had hoped to address Kasich’s objections by stripping its so-called stand-your-ground language, but he vetoed the legislation anyway.”
“Kasich opposed language shifting the burden of proof in self-defense cases from defendants to prosecutors.
“He also criticized lawmakers for refusing to debate a ‘red flag’ law allowing gun rights to be temporarily stripped from people who show warning signs of violence.
Conservatives know that the dangerous ‘red flag’ laws have led to deaths during confiscations, and is a favorite tactic of liberals who want to see the entire population disarmed… well, only law-abiding citizens, that is.
When Kasich vetoed the bill, he also expanded a years-old anti-discrimination order to include gender identity.
Kasich’s veto message said he couldn’t sign a bill without such a provision, calling it “baffling and unconscionable” that Ohio’s GOP-controlled General Assembly was unwilling to even debate the idea of not applying a red flag law.
Kasich also said, “I urge members of the 133rd General Assembly, convening in January 2019, to conduct a prolonged, thoughtful, and transparent review of state laws regarding the sale, possession, and use of firearms in order to send the next governor a bill that is not only consistent with the right to bear arms and the right of all Ohioans to robust due process protections, but that also keeps firearms out of the hands of those individuals who would use them to harm themselves or others.”
His new anti-discrimination order is only effective until Jan. 13, but it prohibits discrimination based on “gender identity and expression” in state personnel decisions.
Supporters say the new law, which was passed by the GOP controlled legislature without Kasich, will help Ohioans better protect themselves and their families against harm.
“The law states that a person would have no duty to retreat first if they shoot someone in self-defense.
“I think we have a right to defend ourselves and our property, but there’s also an obligation to balance that against the very serious consequences of harming somebody or potentially killing somebody,” gun owner Mike Zubic. Zubic told reporters when the bill had been originally passed by the Ohio House.
But democrats, not surprisingly, fought it.
“If it’s a duty to retreat bill and there’s only two people there and someone said ‘well, I feared for my life’ and other person is dead, who do you believe?” argued Democratic State Representative Stephanie Howse of Cleveland.
Howse implied it could be hurtful to African Americans, in typical race-based politics.
“What do you do in places and spaces where your presence, literally your face, your face causes someone to be fearful of you,” Howse said.
“There is a crisis in our country and in this state, but this bill is what’s given to us as the anecdote to make it easier to kill someone,” said Democratic State Representative Nickie Antonio of Lakewood.
Thankfully, for the people of Ohio, they can now actually defend themselves, thanks to GOP lawmakers.