Weapons ban takes misguided aim

Published 12:00 am Friday, July 22, 2005

Misguided. That's the thought we had earlier this month after the city father's of the state capital opted to try and legislate crime away.

At first, we just sort of shrugged our shoulders. Ohioans outside the city limits of Columbus are sort of used to laughing off seemingly illogical acts that occur in the seat of state power. But when one of the folks making the fuss - or at least celebrating the fuss - is a statewide candidate, well that paints a different picture.

On July 11, the City of Columbus passed an assault weapons ban in an attempt to stop the horrendous crimes that people are perpetrating with these weapons.

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The only problem is beyond a random sniper here or there, the vast majority of crimes are not committed with assault weapons.

OK, even stopping one sniper would justify the law. We might agree with you on that if the law could actually prevent our hypothetical sniper from committing his crime.

Folks, these are criminals about which we're talking. They have no respect for the law. Otherwise, we'd call them something else besides criminals.

The old clich\u00E9 used by the pro-gun lobby is applicable here. Guns don't commit crimes. People commit crimes.

And, in the case of our hypothetical sniper, crazy people commit crimes. Banning a particular type of firearm is not going to prevent another sniper attack. Most hunters and gun enthusiasts can attest that many traditional hunting rifles are more accurate - read, deadly - than lots of the so-called assault rifles under fire by the anti-gun lobby.

Criminals will commit crimes and they'll do it regardless of the law.

What's interesting is how the word "gun" quickly transitions into "criminal."

Look no further than a comment of a campaign adviser of Columbus mayor and gubernatorial candidate Michael Coleman.

The spokesman, Greg Haas, was trying to defend the city's position despite the reaction of the National Rifle Association, which pulled the plug on its plan to hold a national convention there in 2007.

"They clearly thought Coleman would buckle, because of the governor's race, but he's not going to pander to them," Haas said. "He's indicated to the criminals that he's going to come after them."

Hmm. Does Coleman think criminals keep up on politics? Does he think another would-be sniper is sitting at home reading his newspaper and thinking, "So much for being a sniper. Now that it's illegal, I suppose I'll have to go legit?"

If Coleman thinks that's going to happen, he is, quite simply, misguided.