Akron Beacon Journal, May 28
A decade ago, the U.S. Supreme Court delivered a landmark victory for advocates of gun rights. The narrow majority found in the Second Amendment an individual right to bear arms for self-protection. The court also ruled the right is not absolute. Reasonable regulations can be applied.
What is reasonable?
Listen to the testimony of some gun rights advocates at the Statehouse last week, and the answer is practically nothing. For instance, Chris Dorr, the director of Ohio Gun Owners, didn’t just reject the sensible proposals put forward by Gov. John Kasich and a group of former lawmakers, now in the form of House Bill 585. He did so most harshly and defiantly.
Dorr described the governor as among the “radical gun-control militants.” He portrayed the proposed legislation as “destroying our Second, Fourth, Fifth and 14th Amendment rights,” along with a section of the Ohio Constitution.
What is it that the governor has proposed to stir such opposition?
Recall that the proposals reflect a consensus among those working with the governor, all supporters of individual gun rights.
These are reasonable ideas. For instance, the governor wants to see a process in which family members or law enforcement officials could ask a judge to remove temporarily a person’s guns from their possession. This would involve due process. The measure seeks to keep weapons from those who pose a threat to themselves or others.
To keep guns out of the wrong hands, the proposals would strengthen background checks, prohibit “straw man” purchases (buying for a third party who is banned from owning a gun) and bar those convicted of domestic violence or subject to a protection order from purchasing a gun. House Bill 585 also would prohibit the buying of armor-piercing bullets and devices that turn weapons into virtual machine guns.
The bill would not wreck gun rights. They are preserved in the context of enhancing public safety.
The (Toledo) Blade, June 3
Going to court is serious business.
The days of powdered wigs may be behind us, but courtrooms are still far from casual environments. And that is what leads at least one Lucas County judge to warn the public, defendants, and witnesses each summer that she will not tolerate inappropriate dress or behavior in her courtroom.
Lucas County Common Pleas Judge Linda Jennings posts a sign at the beginning of each summer when warmer weather may tempt people to dress too casually. The judge does not want to see anyone wearing shorts or tank tops. She does not want to see any bare midriffs.
It is astonishing that these guidelines need to be spelled out.
But since they do, good for Judge Jennings.
Serious events happen in courtrooms. People’s lives are substantially altered by the decisions made there. People are sent to prison, victims of crimes are made whole, families are both united and broken apart.
This should be a solemn and serious atmosphere. It is not, as another judge sometimes points out, a trip to the gym.
If you are headed to a courtroom, check a mirror and ask yourself, “Do I look like I am headed to the beach?” If you do, rethink your wardrobe. Court is no day at the beach.
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