Ohio

ProgressOhio, Sherrod Brown use Connecticut Shooting to Call for More Gun Control

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Liberal activist group ProgressOhio and U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown called for increased gun control in the wake of the December 14 mass murder in Newtown, Connecticut. ProgressOhio pressed Governor John Kasich to veto a bill expanding Ohioans’ concealed carry rights and Brown recommended a variety of restrictions to the Second Amendment, 10TV in Columbus reported.

In a statement released December 17, ProgressOhio Executive Director Brian Rothenberg said, “Michigan made international headlines by passing a law allowing hidden guns in schools just hours before the tragic shooting in Newtown. Gov. John Kasich should avoid making a similar mistake by choosing not to sign this symbolic bill allowing guns underneath the Statehouse.”

When signed by the Republican governor, House Bill 495 will make several adjustments to concealed carry permitting law and will allow concealed carry permit holders to have firearms in their vehicles in the Statehouse parking garage.

“HB 495 is far from perfect but it’s another step in the right direction,” Ohioans for Concealed Carry wrote in a December 14 summary of the bill.

“I’m a Second Amendment supporter and that’s not going to change,” Kasich told 10TV.

Rothenberg’s statement concluded, “Our priority needs to be seeking out best practices to increase public safety, like closing the gunshow loophole, instead of slowly dismantling all public oversight of firearms.”

When ProgressOhio was created in 2006, Rothenberg was hired out of his position as communications director for the Ohio Democratic Party.

This is not the first time ProgressOhio has sought to leverage the emotional response to an awful crime into restrictions on law-abiding citizens. ProgressOhio built a memorial website for the February 2012 school shootings in Chardon, Ohio that was surreptitiously used to build a mailing list for anti-gun groups.

ProgressOhio has worked closely with Mayors Against Illegal Guns (MAIG), an anti-Second Amendment group founded by progressive New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. In 2011, ProgressOhio and MAIG attempted to prevent Kasich from signing a bill permitting Ohioans to carry firearms in bars and other previously disallowed public places.

Although ProgressOhio is a go-to liberal source for Ohio reporters, ProgressOhio’s extensive ties to the violent Occupy Wall Street movement were never explored by legacy media outlets when several Occupy Cleveland members were arrested in an April 31 FBI sting.

Sen. Sherrod Brown, one of the most liberal members of the Senate and a consistent opponent of Second Amendment rights, told 10TV, “I don’t think the idea of more guns in school houses is a good thing. I think that’s a bad thing. At least we need to ban assault weapons again as we did 15 years ago.  There’s just not a reason why people need an automatic or semiautomatic to spray bullets like that.”

Neither ProgressOhio nor Sen. Brown demonstrated any interest in the actual facts of the Newtown mass murders. Connecticut has some of the nation’s most stringent gun control laws – all of which were followed by sellers and authorities, and none of which prevented a lunatic from stealing weapons and committing mass murder in a “gun free” zone.

Sen. Brown blamed the National Rifle Association (NRA) for gun violence, telling 10TV, “I think some of my friends,  particularly on the other side of the aisle but in both parties who have gotten a lot of money from the National Rifle Association, need to stand up to them.”

Brown has an “F” grade from the NRA, and his reelection was opposed by the NRA Institute for Legislative Action.

Responding to President Obama’s speech calling for government action in the wake of the Newtown killings, Buckeye Firearms Association Chairman Jim Irvine compared Israel’s school safety policies to America’s.

“On May 15, 1974, three Palestinian terrorists killed 25 people including 22 Israeli children in Ma’alot. They had taken 115 people hostage in Netiv Meir Elementary School. Even though Israel is a smaller, more-close knit country, we are today, where they were then. They had the same resolve to take meaningful action as President Obama, and they carried through with it,” Irvine wrote.

“Today all Israeli children are protected by at least one armed person. In every school, on every school bus, at school functions and field trips. Parents and teachers are trained and armed. They volunteer to protect their children because they love them. They made a conscious decision that killing them would never again be made so easy,” Irvine explained.

“We have hundreds of multiple victim killings to study. They are premeditated events,” Irvine continued. “We know that, like the terrible events on Friday, these attacks almost always occur in politically correct, so called ‘gun free zones.’ How sadly ironic. Best of all, we know how to stop the attacks when they start. We must offer resistance and stop the killer. The faster we do this, the fewer people die.”

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