On Monday, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine signed HB99, a bill empowering school districts with the ability to arm their staff, into law.
Congress is doing its so-called bipartisan dance of “Do something now!” in their rush to pass “common sense” gun legislation in the wake of the Uvalde massacre. What is actually happening is a fixation on policies that target and harm law-abiding gun owners, while doing nothing to actually prevent shootings or make people safe.
Gov. DeWine has gotten it wrong in the past with his constituents, but here he is doing something right. He needs to win re-election, so he has chosen to lead on this gun rights vs. gun control issue, rather than sitting back and waiting for the federal government to take action.
It’s a smart move. The Buckeye state cast 3.1 million votes for Donald J. Trump in 2020, and is on track to elect Trump-endorsed J.D. Vance to the Senate. Odds are that the support of Second Amendment freedoms wins over attempts to restrict the rights of gun owners.
From the AP:
Ohio school districts could begin arming employees as soon as this fall under a bill signed into law Monday by GOP Gov. Mike DeWine.
The law, as enacted, requires up to 24 hours of training before an employee can go armed, and up to eight hours of annual training. The training programs must be approved by the Ohio School Safety Center, and DeWine announced he’s ordering the center to require the maximum 24 hours and the maximum eight hours.
Schools can provide additional training if they wish, DeWine said.
This is what “common sense” looks like. You create policies that give the school districts the freedom to choose. If the school districts approve the measure, their employees can choose to act on it. If not, they won’t. No overarching one-size-fits-all policies, no demands being made, no forcing people and institutions into a box.
DeWine’s law also addresses safety upgrades to schools and colleges, and beefing up mental health services so that individuals who might be prone to acting out in a harmful way could have the necessary resources to choose differently.
Before announcing the bill signing, the governor outlined several other school safety measures he and lawmakers have promoted, including $100 million for school security upgrades in schools and $5 million for upgrades at colleges.
The state is also adding 28 employees to the school safety center to work with districts on safety issues and to provide training under the new law. Ohio has also provided $1.2 billion in wellness funding for schools to address mental health and other issues, the governor said.
Yet, DeWine’s Democrat challenger Nan Whaley, teachers unions, and gun control advocates oppose the new law, saying it is too soon after the Uvalde, Texas shooting and sends a wrong message.
And what kind of message do red flag laws send? Are these “March for Our Lives,” protests also sending a wrong message by demanding change and protections from guns, while being critical of the change being enacted? It is apparent that for some, “Do something now!” simply means restricting guns and lawful gun owners in ways they want.
Coincidentally, in March, DeWine signed a bill allowing permit-less carry, and that law goes into effect the same day HB99 was signed. The impact of these two laws side by side is causing stress among the gun control lobby in Ohio. Whaley leads the charge:
— Nan Whaley (@nanwhaley) June 13, 2022
As are those who see it as caving to the NRA.
Permitless carry also just went into effect in Ohio. After the Dayton massacre, DeWine pledged to do something. What he did was cave into extreme right wing gerrymandered legislature & NRA against the wishes of most constituents incl teachers and parents.https://t.co/DglzGtRPph
— Buckle Up (@Buckleup36) June 13, 2022
The legacy media is following the gun lobby’s lead, spinning this law as though DeWine is reducing training, when what the governor is doing is setting a minimum standard for training that allows staff to carry in school, while encouraging more training and regular maintenance of firearms certification. But the Firearms Policy Coalition makes it clear that the success of these laws hinges upon firearms training, gun awareness, and a motivated citizenry.
.@OhioAG: “Ohio today became the 23rd state to allow citizens to carry a concealed handgun without a permit today, and Attorney General Dave Yost said firearms training is more important now than ever.” pic.twitter.com/1GLSrlAbZB
— Firearms Policy Coalition (@gunpolicy) June 13, 2022