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Sunday, June 17, 2012

Ohio To Put Guns in Baby Strollers

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The Ohio Legislature has approved a bill that would allow parents to conceal loaded guns in baby strollers and carriages, even if the baby is also on board.  "It's a splendid extension of our cherished Second Amendment rights," crowed Representative Howard Teap, the bill's sponsor, "since it would never occur to a mugger that a mother might pull a gun from a stroller and defend herself by shooting him down."  The bill would also allow hidden guns in all sorts of baby carriers, including backpacks and slings.  To avoid accidental discharge of guns concealed in these things, the gun would have to be heavy enough that the infant could neither lift it him/herself nor pull the trigger without parental or sibling assistance.

When opponents of the bill protested this latest extension of Ohio's vigorous gun protection laws, Representative Teap pointed out forcefully that "Babies are also Americans with Second Amendment rights!"  This argument carried the day, and Governor John Kasich has promised to sign the bill when it reaches his desk.


Far-fetched?  Perhaps, but consider the following:
Today's Columbus Dispatch has an article entitled "Gun Backers Win Again," detailing the remarkable record of victories for the gun lobby in the Ohio Legislature.  Guns are now allowed in bars, in restaurants, in hidden compartments in cars (unless you are a drug dealer), and more.  Concealed weapons are encouraged, and recently proposed legislation would gut gun responsibility training rules, while automatically allowing gun owners who have concealed-carry permits issued by other states to carry in Ohio without having to take any local steps.  Also proposed is a bill allowing loaded magazines in vehicles if the owner also has a gun in the car/truck/snowmobile/etc.

This is despite the fact that these laws have been consistently opposed by Ohio prosecutors and most law enforcement organizations, including the Fraternal Order of Police.  The National Rifle Association is delighted, of course, and points to Ohio as a shining example of a state that has its priorities straight.  Meantime organizations like the Ohio Coalition Against Gun Violence are weeping in their beer (which they will be well advised to drink at private parties rather than doing so in a bar while wearing their OCAGV t-shirts).

Rumors are that the United States Supreme Court will soon have an opportunity to hear a case in which the issue is whether guns are people too, and given the Court's opinion in the Citizens United case, who knows how that will come out?

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See also: "A Guide to the Best of My Blog," April 29, 2013

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