Police can’t stop crooks without law

Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 29, 2000

Protecting fundamental rights is important.

Saturday, July 29, 2000

Protecting fundamental rights is important. None of us want to live in a country where government, law enforcement officers or anyone else can unilaterally determine what private citizens can or cannot do. There have to be limits to the powers these agencies have.

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But a recent debate in the Cincinnati area proves that sometimes protecting one right can place others at risk.

The debate is over concealed weapons.

Some people think the police should be able to enforce Ohio’s law prohibiting them, and some people don’t. It seems that Kentucky and Indiana both allow concealed weapons and Cincinnati is located right on those two borders.

The difficulty is that in protecting the rights of some, criminals have now received a reprieve. If law-abiding citizens can carry concealed weapons, so, too, can they.

No one is saying that people should not be allowed to have guns. Responsible gun ownership is fine. But this is not the same world anymore. There are many more gun-related crimes, and the criminals today are even more sophisticated than their predecessors.

And in some cases, finding the gun, before it is involved in a crime, might just save a life.

The concealed weapons debate will continue, but the argument is not quite as clearcut as it might seem. In this case, there are longterm consequences to consider.