Archive for the ‘Crime and Punishment’ Category

Columbus bans texting while driving

Columbus is the third city in Ohio to ban texting while driving within its limits. This law will go into effect in one month.

Of course, the supporters of this bill say it’s for safety. However, there is no solid evidence that shows the effect of texting while driving, and Columbus Police Chief Walter Distelzweig doesn’t sound like someone that considers this a priority nor does he have any concrete ideas on how to enforce it; these are issues that should have been addressed BEFORE it passed.

It is ridiculous to text while driving, and even more so that we have to legislate it. But lets be honest here: like the seat beat requirement, it’s a money grab for cities with struggling economies.

Conceal carry in Ohio: The first four years

An article in the Sunday (2/17) Metro/State section in the Dispatch notes that renewals for the first conceal carry permits in Ohio are up soon. With that piece came the usual from anti-gun crusaders like Toby Hoover of the Ohio Coalition Against Gun Violence:

“We’re not furthering our culture by arming everybody…..when you leave your house, go out in public and have to arm yourself, what message is that giving our kids?”

And what would a topic about gun rights be without OSU rag The Lantern getting involved using fear-mongering to make their point:

Here is a campus activity, complete with all the alcohol, adrenaline and testosterone that can be expected during a pre-Michigan November dive into sub-freezing waters, in which, should an altercation break out, bullets might replace fists. This would certainly be a worst-case scenario to allowing those with concealed-carry permits to arm themselves on campus.

What is humorous about the Lantern article is that they even admitted that there is a chance that allowing students to carry guns could protect them. Franklin County Sheriff Steve Martin practically answers their fears by saying there were no incidents involving those with conceal carry permits.

The reality is, the majority of gun owners treat their constitutional right with respect and learn how to handle their guns. It’s the troublemakers that make life difficult. To answer Ms. Hoover, being armed means that you decrease your chance to become a victim. If you are a responsible gun owner with kids, you will teach them to respect that weapon and how to use it properly.

I believe that these ‘gun-free’ zones leave students to be sitting ducks. In the V-Tech and NIU tragedies, armed students could have stopped them before it happened. The tide of support is slowly growing to reverse it, but the misguided and naive views of people like Hoover and The Lantern will lead the fight against it.

Regardless, I’m glad to see that Ohioans are still exercising their constitutional right with obtaining permits.

A more severe penalty for DUI offenders

This week, a tragic story came to a close. A Ross County judge sentenced Bradley Barker to 8 years in prison for killing Tim Humphrey on Ohio’s Rt. 138. Barker ran over Humphrey while he was repairing his vehicle on the side of the road. What makes this story even more sad is that Barker had four previous D.U.I.s, and was still able to get his license back. The victim’s mom asked a good question during her statement to the judge before sentencing:

“Let’s give someone a second chance, a third chance, a fourth chance, a fifth chance. Would there have been a sixth chance if he hadn’t killed my son?”

According to the BMV, 4 D.U.I.s or more would have gotten him jail time and possible license revocation, so there probably would not be a sixth chance. But why wait so long? Driving while drunk is a serious offense and the punishment should be treated as such. First, instead of giving a driver 4 or more chances, give them only three chances. On the first offense, everything would stay the same except the length of time that a license is suspended would be a year, with the possibility of that time being reduced if the offender abstains from alcohol for six months. On a second offense, jail time would increase to three months, fines would range from $2,500 to $5,000, and a license would be suspended for two years. If for some reason there is a third time, the drivers license would be revoked, and the offender would get twelve months in jail, along with a $10,000 fine.

If someone is killed because of the driver being inebriated, charge them with second-degree murder. Any adult that is not mentally disabled should know that driving while drunk is dangerous and can be harmful to those innocents around them, and should be punished with a sentence as serious as the crime.

These efforts may/may not deter these idiots, but anytime we can make things a little harder for them is worthwhile.