Friday, June 26, 2009

GUEST COLUMN: "John Kasich Supports 2nd Amendment Rights" by State Rep. Ron Maag

By State Rep. Ron Maag

In 2008, we as gun advocates were sold a false bill of goods, as Governor Ted Strickland campaigned for then candidate Barack Obama in Ohio. Strickland made a promise to all gun owners in Ohio that they could be assured that Obama would be strong on gun rights if elected President. “If you are a hunter or a gun owner, you have nothing to fear from Barack Obama,” said Strickland (Columbus Dispatch, 10/10/2008). “You spread the word – Ted Strickland said so,” he added.

In 2010, we have a duty as defenders of the second amendment to hold Strickland accountable for his promise, and for his role in helping to elect a President who does not share our values on gun rights.

The real Obama record on guns:

  • Obama: “…assault weapons have only one purpose, to kill people. I think it is a scandal that this president did not authorize a renewal of the assault weapons ban.”

  • Obama: “I am consistently on record and will continue to be on record as opposing concealed carry.”

  • In 2000, Senator Obama cosponsored a bill to limit handgun purchases to one per month.

  • He voted against letting people violate local weapons bans in cases of self-defense.

  • While we can hope that the President never acts according to his true colors on gun rights, we must remember that promises were made by our current governor – promises that now look like the standard political pandering that we have come to expect from him, and from countless politicians who, at election time, give lip service to gun rights in search of our support.

    Governor Strickland is the embodiment of this type of opportunistic political posturing, as evidenced by this 2006 Dayton Daily News editorial column:

    All of which is little bit funny to somebody who remembers how Strickland's strict anti-control position emerged. By Strickland's own account, it emerged in some measure in a meeting with this newspaper's editorial board. It was 1992. Strickland, having failed to get elected to Congress in three tries, the most recent being 1980, was running in a newly created district. In the campaign, gun control inevitably came up, and Strickland said that, while he didn't personally have any problem with gun control, he felt that his would-be constituents in rural Ohio did. And he thought he should honor their views. This wasn't the first time he had expressed himself on gun control. The Republicans eventually surfaced a Strickland quote from 1976: "I personally do not like guns and I do not own a gun." [Editorial by Martin Gottlieb, Dayton Daily News, 5/17/06]

    I am a lifetime member of the National Rifle Association, an NRA certified pistol instructor and a concealed carry instructor. I am also a State Representative in the Ohio General Assembly, serving the 35th House District, comprised of parts of Warren and Hamilton counties. Accordingly, I can recognize better than most when a candidate for elected office is playing politics with the gun issue, and when they are a friend to our cause.

    John Kasich is such a friend.

    John is a gun owner and strong supporter of the Second Amendment. He understands the concerns of Americans who own a gun for self-defense, as well as the issues impacting hunters and sportsmen. During his time in Congress, he was regularly endorsed and financially supported by the NRA, and has stated publicly that he has “probably agreed more with the NRA than my wife has agreed with me.”

    John understands that people have a right to defend themselves, their families, and their property, whether it’s concealed carry or the home Castle Doctrine. Most importantly, his record on guns should be judged on the totality of his career – not simply by his vote on the 1994 crime bill.

    He recognizes that the assault weapon ban was bad policy and has stated so publicly. As a guest host on The O’Reilly Factor in 2005, John said, “I actually voted to limit some guns. I voted to ban the assault weapons. You know what I've concluded after that? Banning all these guns and passing all these laws isn't going to fix it.” While addressing a gang concern during that same show, John added, “…don’t blame the gun, blame the problem.”

    While it remains a while off, the 2010 election will be critical to Ohio second amendment supporters, and all of us recognize that at any moment and with a simple stroke of the pen, the White House could significantly impede our ability to bear arms. As Ted Strickland was complicit in electing a President who threatens our values and our rights, we therefore owe it to ourselves and our cause to give John Kasich a serious look for governor.

    State Representative Ron Maag, House District 35