Free Speech Letters, 7/12/11

Research much?
Dear Editor,
The Tea Party tends to educate and learn and not just react to a headline. This has been on the books in Dayton for years. Except that the law used the word “verbal,” as in if you verbally asked for money, you needed a permit. This only amended the law to include non-verbal, i.e. holding a sign. The left just reacts to the headline with little to no research … Besides, I’m not clear how it’s stopping anyone from giving them any money. This restricts no one from giving. We can still give to our hearts content. Where is your heart?
– Eric
Dayton, Ohio
[RE: “Debate Forum Left: Everybody’s Free” by Jolene Pohl-Crowell, 6/28/11]

The gun-slinging truth
Dear Editor,
I applaud you for at least presenting the facts, rather than the “hype” most media have used reporting this story.
Most media have presented this as a “guns in bars” story. And, yes, it would allow carry into Joe’s Bar, Outback or Paul Brown Stadium. Yet any place wishing to stay gun free, they simply need post “no firearms” signs.
As the law currently is stated, a CCW holder can’t be armed and drink any alcohol. I’ve no issue with that, alcohol and guns don’t mix.
But, throughout the debate over this law, restaurants and bars asked, “How will we know if someone is armed?” About the same way they know if a customer is armed currently, ignoring the law. Because with the number of shooting incidents we see reported currently, clearly people are going into places armed in spite of the restrictions.
This same law is already in place in 42 other states, with no issues. Had there been a problem allowing concealed carry holders the right to carry into places serving alcohol, at least a few states would have changed their laws. None have.
The carry law in some of these states also allow people carrying firearms to drink alcohol. Matter of fact, currently in Ohio, police officers off duty are allowed to carry into places that serve alcohol and drink. There have been no problems with allowing that either.
Concealed carry permit holders are trained, have submitted to background checks and issued permits by county sheriffs who check an applicants background completely. I have full faith in their judgment in issuing permits.
I fail to see how it’s different for me to sit, having a meal at Bob Evans, drinking an iced tea, than it is for me to have a meal at Outback, also enjoying an iced tea with my meal.
I’m the driver in my family, my wife has her license, yet she hasn’t driven since the 1970s. I don’t drink and drive, if I feel a need to have a beer, I do so in the comfort of my home. And if I’m in the mood to have a beer, my firearms are secured in my gun safe.
I know many of my fellow concealed carry permit holders locally, we cross paths at the range. They practice safe handling of firearms as well. They’re not the type to go out drinking and driving, nor are they the type to have access to firearms when they’re indulging in alcohol.
Carrying a firearm for self-defense is a huge responsibility, one taken on with a clear head. Those who choose to not opt to arm themselves face no danger from law abiding concealed carry permit holders.
The establishments who choose to remain gun free have that right and CCW permit holders will honor that just as they do currently. We will choose to patronize establishments that welcome law abiding citizens enjoying their God given right to self defense.
Just keep in mind, criminals who ignore the law about carrying guns will continue to do so. They will also choose to commit crimes in areas they know they have no resistance to their demands. They’ll quite likely choose the places that don’t allow guns.
A legally armed person doesn’t rob people, rape or kill those who don’t pose a threat to them or their family. We follow the laws. Criminal behavior cannot be legislated out of existence. Gun laws are only followed by those in society who follow the law.
– Pat Offenberger
Dayton, Ohio
[RE: “Debate Forum Topic: Ohio Republican Legislature passes expanded conceal and carry law,” 6/28/11]

A kick in the details
Dear Jennifer,
I just read your article in the City Paper from June 28. The level of detail you went into was fascinating to me. I’ve always tried here and there to be as much of a “locavore” as possible, but your piece showed a few directions about which I hadn’t thought. Just thought I’d say hello and tell you how much I enjoyed your bit.
– Bert
Dayton, Ohio
[RE: “Living la vida local” by Jennifer Hanauer, 6/28/11]

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