Dear Esteemed Representatives,
I am writing this letter in regards to two pieces of legislation that are currently under consideration by the House of Representatives, specifically HB’s 45 and 54.
I reside in the Cleveland area, and like you, I see the violent crime statistics in our area. This causes me great concern. I am aware that many of you oppose these two bills for this reason. I have viewed extensive testimony voicing opposition to the bills such as that given by Ms. Hoover, Mr. Murphy and Mr. Wineman as well as blogs, articles and polls.
As a Clevelander, and concerned citizen, I have spoken with several police officers that actually support HB 45, so I believe Mr. Wineman is misrepresenting those Officers. More than one Officer has told me that the Police can’t be everywhere at once and when they get calls of shots fired, seconds count. These officers acknowledge that usually by the time they arrive on the scene, the damage is done and the perpetrator(s) are gone. The general consensus is that criminals are illegally carrying guns that have been stolen from vehicles into these establishments. (My wife was a victim of such a theft because she could not carry her weapon into a McDonald’s restaurant and we have an SUV with no trunk).
I believe them because they are in the line of fire and placing their lives on the line everyday to protect the citizens of Cleveland. For this reason, I appeal to each of you to support HB 45 and at least give honest citizens a chance to defend themselves. I’m sure that you’ve all heard the horrifying accounts of innocent people being trapped inside such establishments with no means of escape and no way to defend themselves while body counts and victim injuries mount. Theses are crimes perpetrated by criminals who are intent on violence, not by law-abiding citizens that want nothing more than to sit down and enjoy dinner with their families.
Your yes vote can help citizens level the playing field and minimize the collateral damage inflicted by these madmen. From testimony, I know that several of your colleagues are concealed carry holders and have expressed that they would feel safer knowing that they had the means to protect themselves in such an event. Additionally, your yes vote could dissuade criminals from acting out, because criminals are cowards and hesitate when they are aware that they may be hurt or killed.
A Department of Justice study revealed the following:
* 3/5 of felons polled agreed that "a criminal is not going to mess around with a victim he knows is armed with a gun."
* 74% of felons polled agreed that "one reason burglars avoid houses when people are at home is that they fear being shot during the crime."
*57% of felons polled agreed that "criminals are more worried about meeting an armed victim than they are about running into the police.”
Concealed Carry holders are law-abiding citizens [and in some cases, legislators] and will always abide by the law. I believe that passing this legislation would honestly cause a decrease in violent crime throughout Cleveland and Cuyahoga County. Cleveland has roughly .33% (one-third) the population of all of Franklin County, yet this city alone leads all of Franklin County in violent crime (5,994 – 5,915). The fact that criminals consider Clevelanders “easy prey” is a primary contributor to those statistics. Let’s change this.
I ask you not only to trust your law-abiding constituents and vote yes on this bill, but to also monitor it for one year, and if it proves to have any adverse effect on society at all, to remember that you have the power to repeal it.
In regards to HB 54, again I appeal to you to support this legislation. Before the Caron v. United States and BATFE determination two years ago, Ohio Judges were quite capable of making just and informed decisions. Based upon the above United States Supreme Court decision, the BATFE determined that Ohio’s Judges were no longer capable of conducting the affairs of the State, a virtual slap in the face. This important legislation serves to restore the power of our elected officials to conduct the judiciary affairs of the State.
As one of your colleagues pointed out, a number of Law Enforcement Personnel were affected by this decision, precipitating a lawsuit by the Fraternal Order of Police against the BATFE. Even Mr. Murphy, the spokesman for the FOP supports this legislation.
In addition, Judges and Prosecutors who have determined that certain individuals who had proven themselves trustworthy enough to have their civil rights restored with the expectancy that their rulings would be honored, have suddenly discovered that they’re Orders aren’t worth the paper that they are written on.
My personal belief is that Ohio’s elected officials are quite capable of enacting State laws and running the affairs of State without relinquishing that authority to a federal agency. Ohio is a sovereign state with its own state laws, as opposed to a U.S. Territory governed by federal law.
By voting yes on HB 54, you will essentially be casting a vote for the confidence of yourselves as competent law-makers and Judges throughout the State to administer those laws.
Thank you all for your time and consideration of my request. I realize that it’s a little long; however, there is so much to be said when one is in the midst of a war zone praying that his elected officials in the General Assembly will pass laws that allow late evening walks with his family or discourage the groups that gather outside of establishments after dark determining who their next victim will be. This has to stop!
Thank You Kindly,
SigP229 (I signed my real name)