A vast majority of Ohioans favor gun safety laws that will be effective in helping to turn the tide of violence that sweeps over Ohio and the US. This was made very clear when Governor DeWine went to Dayton to offer only thoughts and prayers after the tragedy there. He was shouted down with cries of Do something! Governor DeWine is trying, but the legislature is blocking even the minimal bills he has proposed. Now the legislature is talking about a stand your ground law which will only escalate tense moments and lead to more gun violence.
Some of the common-sense steps that I think we need to take are:
- More comprehensive background checks with a realistic waiting period to verify the information
- Stricter red flag laws
- A ban on selling weapons of war, a ban on high-capacity magazines, and tighter controls on what type of ammunition can be sold to individuals
The goal is not only to cut down on mass shootings. We need to minimize the occurrence of accidental shootings and the incidence of suicide by firearms. Of the 13,000 gun deaths in Ohio in the last decade, more than 60% were suicides.
To achieve these goals we need to develop a timetable to incorporate smart gun technology into all firearms sold in Ohio. Smart gun technology, which is the use of biometrics to identify who can fire a weapon, is at about the same level that car safety features were fifty years ago. The technology is there. If adopted on a wide scale it can be vastly improved. However, the gun manufacturers are resisting making it mandatory just like the auto manufacturers resisted making seat belts mandatory. When smart gun technology is in place, a gun owner wouldn’t have to worry about someone stealing his weapon or turning it on him. Accidental shootings would go way down. Suicides by gun would be reduced. The secondary market in illicit weapons would be practically eliminated. Smart gun technology should be something that every gun owner embraces.