Concealed-weapon backers show discontent at rally
Demonstration in Xenia one of three in Ohio
By Laura Dempsey
XENIA | In some circumstances, a group of 50 gun-toting citizens walking down Main Street would cause a stir.
On Sunday, it was taken in stride as men and women from across Ohio took a quiet stroll organized to draw attention to the lack of progress on House Bill 12, a proposed concealed-carry law.
In compliance with current law, the walkers carried their handguns on their hips, in holsters, in plain sight.
And that, said organizer Larry Moore of Jamestown, is the point.
“If I’m carrying this gun, I’m protected. I’m protecting myself,” he said. “But I’m not doing a thing for anybody else. We're out here to give people an idea of what could be going on in their neighborhood today.”
In September, the Ohio Supreme Court upheld the state’s law banning concealed weapons.
A proposed concealed-carry law is stalled in the Ohio General Assembly.
The House and Senate have each passed their own versions, but have yet to form a committee to work out a compromise.
When Ohio’s ban on concealed weapons was approved in 1859, "it was probably the social norm for everybody to have their guns out,” Moore said. “It’s not the social norm today.”
In fact, said Jeffry Smith of Cincinnati, “You have only two choices today. You can carry a concealed gun and risk being arrested for that, or you can wear your gun in plain view, and risk being taken in for disorderly conduct, menacing, causing a panic.
“The result is you don’t really have the right.”
Sunday’s walk in Xenia was one of three such demonstrations across the state. The others were in Gahanna and Lima.
More are planned, including walks next weekend in Cleveland, Toledo and Manchester, hometown of Senate President Doug White, whom organizers see as responsible for the lack of progress on the concealed-carry proposal.
In Xenia, the walkers got honks, smiles and several thumbs-up, though their mission was undoubtedly a mystery to some — no signs or placards were allowed.
“We’re here to make a statement,” Moore said, “Our guns are here to make people think about the issue.”
Contact Laura Dempsey at 225-2403.
The only thing I don't like is this part
“But I’m not doing a thing for anybody else. We're out here to give people an idea of what could be going on in their neighborhood today.”
But I would say 2 news had positive coverage.
All Your Base Are Belong To Us