If there’s one piece of legislation that captures the agonizing state of our fact-free and far-from-brave-new Trump world, it’s the Guns Everywhere bill being “debated” by the Tea Party-heavy lawmakers in my home state of Ohio. Its very existence is a reminder that indisputable facts are not kryptonite to the bullshit peddled by bought-off pols, but they’re what we have, so let’s shine whatever light we can on the many ways the bill’s both dippy and dangerous.
Currently only trained law-enforcement officers can bring guns into day-care centers. Yet this law would let anyone carry concealed, loaded guns into your toddlers’ safe spaces.
Speaking of law enforcement, do you think it would be easier for them to protect themselves if any churlish citizen could pack hidden heat in police stations? The mummified Ohio Legislature and their benefactors at the swinish, Putinized National Rifle Association do.
How about porting guns into airports? Sure!
And of course, no NRA-shill bill would be complete without trying to put guns on college campuses, where educators who actually know something about, you know, education, don’t want them. (Unlike cops, colleges would still have the option to ban weapons, but violating that ban would be only a minor misdemeanor.)
This may in fact be model legislation for the Trump Era. You have the promise of solving a fictitious problem by creating a deadly real one. You have rich guys—the multimillionaires of the NRA leadership—lining their pockets while conning their membership into believing they’re tribunes of the working man, all the while making all of our lives more dangerous. You have blatant racism and made-up hysteria about a crime wave to justify guns everywhere.
And perhaps, most importantly (or tragically), you’ve got fake facts shared ad nauseam on social media by Twitter eggs taken seriously by legitimate news outlets. In this case, it’s the utter crap, right-wing talking point that “gun-free zones” are magnets for attacks. Off the top of my head, Umpqua Community College, Columbine, and Virginia Tech all had armed guards or bystanders present.
In fact, on numerous occasions an untrained individual with a gun on the scene of a mass shooting has either almost ended in tragedy, or did. As Evan DeFilippis pointed out in his piece “Debunking the Gun-Free Zone Myth” for the Armed With Reason blog:
When a “good guy with a gun” does intervene in an active shooting, things can go terribly awry. On June 8, 2014, an armed couple burst into a CiCi’s Pizza in Las Vegas screaming, “This is the start of a revolution!” They quickly gunned down two police officers eating lunch, and then moved to a nearby Wal-Mart. One customer, a concealed-carry license holder, drew his gun rather than flee, but was immediately shot. As it would turn out, all three of the couple’s victims that day were armed.
Another example: On Jan. 8, 2011, a gunman opened fire on an outdoor meeting between Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and her constituents in Tucson, Ariz., killing six and wounding 13. When the killer was forced to reload, he was tackled by a bystander. Having heard the gunshots, an armed man ran to the scene. He saw two men wrestling and assumed the wrong man was the shooter. Had it not been for other bystanders quickly correcting him, he could have ended up shooting the wrong person. Afterwards he stated: “I was very lucky.”
You won’t catch the NRA or Ohio Republican legislators talking about that. Or about how the tragedy in Las Vegas claimed the lives of two armed police officers?
The fact is arming everyone will do nothing to make us safe. We will only get the benefit of loaded guns left in places like school bathrooms, and spikes in accidental shootings once every wannabe is free to conceal carry in schools and airports.
It’s why Levi Strauss just asked customers to leave their guns at home when shopping at their stores. Their executives apparently passed ninth-grade statistics and understand the increased risk that comes with more guns in amateur hands.
Nothing good can come with “Guns Everywhere” in Ohio. It’s why the actual professionals, the Ohio Association of Police Chiefs, opposes it.
Enough legislators in the Ohio General Assembly must be made aware we neither want nor need this treacherous legislation. Ohio Governor John Kasich must be reminded that much as he didn’t support Trump’s dangerous con of a campaign, he also must oppose this pernicious con of a bill.