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Ohio Democrats Split On Whether Gun Control Can Be A Winning Issue

Despite a renewed debate about guns in the wake of the Aurora, Colo., Northeast Ohio Democratic Insiders are divided on whether gun control could be a winning issue for Democrats this November.

Despite the renewed debate over gun control since the mass murder in Aurora, Colo., Northeast Ohio Democrats are mixed on whether the issue can be a winning one for their party this Fall.

In Patch's, Democratic insiders were mixed on whether gun control was a battle worth fighting.

About half said they thought the issue could galvanize the state's Democrats in November, but the other half also said that would be bad politics considering the strength of pro-gun interest groups and the overall acceptance of guns by Ohioans.

"Gun control is bad politics in Ohio," said one insider who responded to the survey. "Only three Ohio Governors in the forty years since Kent State have been Democrats, and they all downplayed the gun-control issue. Ohio definitely sits in the gun-freedom column of states, and Democrats should not be eager to annoy this segment of voters."

Democrats surveyed were also mixed on whether pushing gun control would help or hinder the party's effort to win over vital undecided voters.

"Gun lobby is strong in Ohio and the President doesn't need another 'hot potato' issue that would allienate those undecided voters," said one insider.

Despite their own support for gun control, especially a ban on assault weapons, these Democrats seemed resigned to believe the issue was a non starter.

"Unfortunately, I think the 'right to bear arms' supercedes the need for overdue reform," an insider said.

What do you think? Would pushing gun control be a winning effort in Ohio this election season?

This is the latest installment of our Red/Bue Ohio series, in which we gather opinion and insight from influential local Democratic and Republican activists, party leaders and elected officials in Northeast Ohio.

Want to participate? If you are an activist, party leader or elected official and would like to take part in regular surveys that last only a few minutes, please e-mail Senior Regional Editor Jean Dubail at jean.dubail@patch.com."

Ed Fisher August 03, 2012 at 12:38 PM
Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. LIBERTY is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote. - Benjamin Franklin, 1759 " I control the sole right of gun control in my home." - ME !
Joe Giles August 03, 2012 at 01:03 PM
Half a brain split in two means a quarter of a brain each.
Mike Penta August 03, 2012 at 02:27 PM
That quote is often misattributed to Ben Franklin. The word "lunch" didn't exist in Franklin's time. The phrase first appeared sometime between 1992 and 1994 in the Washington Times if I recall correctly.
THOMAS KANE August 03, 2012 at 03:49 PM
IM WITH YOU ED.''HE WHO DOESNT TAKE CARE OF HIS HOUSEHOLD AND HIS OWN IS LEES THAN AN INFADEL.''proverbs
James Thomas August 03, 2012 at 04:23 PM
How cynical, not one Democrat seemed to even consider whether it was constitutionaly "right" to fight for more gun control, just if it was a political winner.
Jeff Mittiga August 03, 2012 at 10:19 PM
No one needs an assault weapon to defend their home. The democratic party needs to get some gumption and start standing up for what is right. I believe there should be a ban on the sale of assault weapons and ammunition clips exceeding 10 rounds. Also a ban on the sale of body armor to civilians. If these measures were in effect, it may have stopped the shooter in Aurora, Colorado. At least the number of dead and injured would have been far less.
Ed Fisher August 03, 2012 at 11:02 PM
Assault weapons are not available to private citizens. What was used in Colorado and sold at gun shops are just assault STYLED rifles. Just standard caliber rifles styled to LOOK LIKE the military weapons. It would be refreshing if individuals knew what they are talking about before they begin pontificating.
Jeff Mittiga August 03, 2012 at 11:47 PM
I want to see assault weapons banned .... as defined in the 1994 federal law that expired in 2004. They have too much firepower for any legitimate use by civilians in my opinion. Mexican drug gangs love to obtain these weapons .... from gun shops in Arizona.
Adam C. Miller August 04, 2012 at 07:39 AM
Come and take my weapons!!!!!!!!!! I DARE you...
jespasinthru August 04, 2012 at 12:20 PM
What is your definition of an "assault weapon"? A hunting rifle that happens to look scary to you because you are unfamiliar with firearms? A .22 caliber semi-automatic pistol that can hold more than ten rounds? Nobody uses six-shooters and wheel guns anymore. We can take this argument around in circles and down the rabbit hole all day long.
Jean Williams August 04, 2012 at 12:30 PM
I thought you gays were peaceful people Adam C. Miller 3:32 am on Saturday, August 4, 2012 I kissed Matt Kincaid at the Howe Avenue Chick-fil-A... #And-I-Liked-It
Matt Peters August 04, 2012 at 01:25 PM
Especially right from our Department of Justice's BATFE and fearless leader Eric Holder. You know guns don't kill people, drug cartels armed by our government kill people! See The War on Guns and Sipsey Street Irregulars for more on the war on American citizens God given rights.
Geoffrey Watson August 05, 2012 at 03:13 AM
Ed, You know the government won't be happy until they and the criminals are the only ones to have guns. They keep taking away all our rights. Some day they will go door to door confiscating all the fire power. Jeff, if a person can't buy body armor they will just steal it. A ban will not work. Just like they spent millions putting a suicide fence on the Y Bridge. Someone already jumped. That didn't work. If a person wants to kill themselves bad enough they will find a way. If a person wants body armor bad enough they will find it.
Kate Bigam August 05, 2012 at 03:53 AM
Unfortunately, the pro-gun control lobby is not exactly a lobby; it's underfunded, undersupported (organizally, though not generally), & disorganized. I believe that the majority of Americans would support sensible gun control laws, but we're not vocal enough or organized enough - & the NRA is. Until we can get our act together as a unified voice, I fear the NRA & its supports will always have the upper hand.
James Thomas August 05, 2012 at 02:05 PM
Kate Bigam, yours is the essential fallacy of the Democratic Party and Progressives in the US today. The reason why "the pro-gun control lobby is not exactly a lobby; it's underfunded, undersupported (organizally, though not generally), & disorganized" is because the majority of Americans do not support your ideas of what"sensible" gun control laws are. You seem to be unable to grasp that the reason your ideas are not succeeding is because they are being rejected, not that they aren't being disseminated.
Dr Albert Wohlwend August 05, 2012 at 02:57 PM
So Jeff what you are actually proposing is a step back to Clinton's gun ban. A ban that police groups stated did not work. There is nothing in the second amendment that gives government the power to infringe on my rights just because the firearm is black.
Phyllis Stager August 05, 2012 at 03:54 PM
So....in truth the decision is based on attracting votes, not really public safety or liberty. Typical! LOL!
Jeff Mittiga August 05, 2012 at 07:02 PM
In Australia, there were 13 mass shootings between 1979 and 1996. Citizens were outraged and demanded change. In 1997 the National Firearms Agreement was passsed. The sale of long guns with the firepower for mass shootings was banned and there was a mandatory buy-back program for this type of weapon. There was a national registration of remaining guns with serial numbers matched with the owners and requirements for secure storage of the weapons. This keeps these weapons out of the hands of criminals and lunatics. This gun legislation has worked well in Australia. No mass shootings since 1996. We should follow their example.
Rocky Bensch August 05, 2012 at 07:20 PM
JeffMittga; The woapons that the media are misnaming as 'Assault Weapons' are, in fact, just military loo-a-likes, with their function being no different that that of most commonly owned hunting & sporting weapons. A true Assault Rifle has a selector switch that allows for it to fire either semi-automatic (one shot for one trigger pull) or Full Automatic (pull the trigger & empty the magazine). While fully automatic weapons Can be purchased by Americans, it takes a whole different process, more indepth background check & a hefty 'Tax' to comply with Federal Law. In other words, they're reserved for the wealthy ( as most things are, in the world). If you were to place any kind of ban on any sort of weapons, then the only people who would have them would be the government and the criminals. We Law Abiding Citizens have often been the victims of Both parties, with Governments being the largest murderer of innocents, in History! Thus, our Founding Fathers gave us the right to Keep and Bear Arms, to not only hunt and practice our skills with, but to protect ourselves from those who would do harm to us and our families. Whether that be a criminal type, or the Government gone awry. There will always be madmen out there, who will murder innocents. there's No Way to prevent that. Heaven Help Us, should Another One of such Madmen get in control of Government !
Rocky Bensch August 05, 2012 at 07:34 PM
Jeff Mittiga; It would seem that you have dangerously little knowledge of what you're talking about. The 1994 'assault weapons' ban had litorally No Effect of violent crime, in America, as it's not the weapon of choice, for criminals. Actually, with gun ownership rising, in America and with the vast majority of States now allowing some form of concealed carry of hand guns, the violent crime rate has been declining accordingly. As far as Mexican Drug gangs obtaining weapons, they mostly get their guns from their own military and police forces. Or, with all of the vast amounts of money that they control, they get them from International Arms Dealers, not from American gun shops, as our local gun stores aren't allowed to even sell true 'assault weapons' but merely Look-a-likes, that function the same as normal weapons. You really need to do some learning. I would suggest enlisting in one of our Armed Services, as I did, or joining a Police Force, as I also did, or taking weapons training, as I did, as well ( NRA Pistol Trainer). Folks who get scared, due to something that they hear about, in the media, are simply reacting as the liberal media intended you to, when they ran their stories. Remember, Gun Control isn't about Guns, It's about Control... of the People, by the Government ! Our Government is supposed to be Controled by the People, not vice versa !
Ed Fisher August 05, 2012 at 09:47 PM
This will not be allowed in our country. Period. We will not follow the sheep who turn in their guns because the government says so. We will not give the criminals the sole ownership of firearms, which is what they've done in Australia. We will not support gun control which encourages a thriving black market in firearms dealing only to criminals.
Kate Bigam August 08, 2012 at 01:04 AM
James, statistics have shown time & again that the majority of Americans DO, indeed, support sensible gun control laws.
Jean Williams August 08, 2012 at 02:10 AM
kate which statistics are you refering too
Rocky Bensch August 08, 2012 at 03:50 AM
Jeff Mittiga; Sorry to disabuse you, again, of another of your erronious notions, but violent crime is Up, in both Austraila And Briton. Their Political leadership is at a Loss, as to why all of their mislaid plans didn't work. When you Disarm all of the Potential Victims, the , Still Armed Criminals have a Free Hand ! Gun control laws only tend to disarm those who are Least Inclined to commit violent crimes, leaving them more easily preyed upon, by Criminals, who by definition, wouldn't obey the laws, to begin with. Thomas Jefferson said as much, but in different terms, several hundred years ago. Truths remain the same, reguardless of the passage of time. I would suggest that you read your history. Genocide has often followed governments disarming of their populations.... Governments have murdered more innocent people, than any other statistical group.
MZ August 23, 2012 at 12:01 AM
Rather than follow Australia and England we should follow Switzerland. I would gladly support tax dollars going to issue a rifle to every adult after firearms training.
Rocky Bensch August 23, 2012 at 06:42 PM
Kate; America Already Has sensible gun controls. We have More than enough gun laws , on both Federal and State books as well as some municipalities. Aurora Colarado has a No Gun policy, in town and the Theater has one as well. None of the above stopped the criminal madman from committing mass murders ! What Would have stopped the mass murders, would have been if Law Abiding Citizens had been allowed to concealed carry (with permit, of course), as in most other American cities. Then, instead of waiting forever (it seemed) for the Police outside the theater, to Finally make it Inside , some honest law abiding citizen would have just simply Shot the crazy bastard, as soon as he pulled out his weapon and no one Else would have gotten killed ! When Seconds Count, the Cops are on average 22 minutes away ! If you Out Law guns, then only the Outlaws will Have Them and the Rest of us will be their Victims !
Rocky Bensch August 23, 2012 at 07:03 PM
Wrong Again Jeff ! Ever since Australia passed their gun ban, their Violent Crime rate has Skyrocketed ! When will you people start reading All of the information available, instead of just that, which suits your belief systems ? Criminals & Lunatics will Always have the means to obtain weapons. If Criminal types can't Buy guns, they'll Steal Them ! From National Guard Armories, if necessary, as has happened in the past ! Soldiers bring them back from war zones too. There's NO WAY that the Gov't. would ever be able to get such weapons out of the hands of folks who are intent on keeping them. As some believe it is their God Given Right to do so. These folks, as scary as they sound, aren't the ones who would rob and kill you, in some ally, for your wallet or purse. these are (mostly) honest folks who just want to protect what's theirs and their families as well.( I would Imagine). Even though the government is increasingly labeling them as potential domestic terrorists, they wouldn't be a problem if the government wasn't attempting to disolve their Constitutional Rights, at some point or another. The 2nd Amendment wasn't written for duck hunters alone. It was written to enable folks to have the means to protect themselves against Whatever might threaten them. Whether that be criminals, invaders, or a Tyranical Government gone Arry !
Rocky Bensch August 23, 2012 at 07:08 PM
MZ; I actually like their means of National Self Defense, as well. Our Founders abhored a Standing Army. Actually they didn't like a National Guard either, refering to such as a 'Select Militia. Prefering, instead that our National defense be a Militia consisting of All of the People 16 to 60.
marty323 September 05, 2012 at 01:59 AM
Sombody should control Hollywood, and their violent movies that inspire the Crazies.
marty323 September 05, 2012 at 02:08 AM
during hurcane katrina police were trying to take the weapons from people trying to defend thier homes, from looters.....trust your goverment,,,,YEAH RIGHT!!!!!

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