Local News Since 1890 Now Online!

Archive for January, 2016|Monthly archive page

Gun crime liability rests with shooter

In Crime, history, National News, Opinion, Politics, psychology on January 21, 2016 at 1:00 am

Deer In Headlines

By Gery L. Deer

DIH LOGOGun control is one of those subjects that is, at best, incendiary and at worst causes explosive arguments. Debate is heated and emotionally driven regarding the real meaning of the second constitutional amendment and how it applies in modern American life.

But it might be that we’re missing a larger question as we grapple to decide whether guns should be available at all to private citizens. Perhaps a larger and more readily answered question should be, who actually carries the criminal responsibility when someone uses a firearm to harm others?

Recently, Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders stated that, if elected, he would work to repeal the immunity granted by congress to firearms manufacturers. Passed into law in 2005, The Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA) protects firearms manufacturers and dealers from being held liable when crimes have been committed with their products.

Most of the disagreement comes from debate surrounding the “intended use” of a product relative to manufacturer or reseller liability. From some points of view, the only intended use of a firearm (gun) is to kill people. However, those law-abiding citizens who maintain guns with absolutely no ill intentions towards others heatedly contest this line of thought.

Ranchers and farmers must have firearms in order to protect property and livestock from wildlife. Even in southwestern Ohio, for example, the wild coyote has become an ever-increasing problem to cattle farms and other livestock producers. While fences, traps and dogs have been used to curb the problem, often a rifle seems to offer the only permanent solution.

At some point, lawmakers need to understand that pulling the trigger is the choice and sole responsibility of the shooter.

At some point, lawmakers need to understand that pulling the trigger is the choice and sole responsibility of the shooter.

But, if one subscribes to the concept that guns are only intended for killing of people, then, logically, culpability rests solely with those who build and sell weapons. Since, by this definition, the products are meant for killing there is no “misuse” of the firearm if it is used to murder.

Conversely, if an axe were used to kill someone, the manufacturer wouldn’t be held criminally liable because the product was not intended for that purpose. Once again, however, why is no one looking at the guy on the trigger (or handle, if the axe is still in play here)?

Once upon a time in America, responsibility for ones actions was the basis for many a legal precedent. Today, the United States has adopted a social climate rich with the idea the personal responsibility is politically incorrect.

At what point did Americans stop blaming the person who pulled the trigger and begin assigning responsibility, not to the perpetrator, but to the manufacturer or seller of the weapon used to commit the crime?

And the next question is, where does self-defense come into play? Who is responsible if someone threatens a law-abiding citizen with an illegally obtained gun and the victim protects herself with a legally purchased and licensed concealed pistol? Good question. It would clearly depend on the facts of the situation.

Making guns entirely illegal is not the answer either. Arguing that swords and battle-axes are illegal so no one uses them to commit crimes because of that fact is, well, stupid; apples to oranges. This kind of weapon simply doesn’t do enough damage for those with mayhem in mind.

Facing facts, the bad guys will always have guns because, quite simply, they don’t obey the law (that’s what makes them bad guys). So if the only people who can own and use a gun – for any purpose at all – are criminals, what are people supposed to do to protect their families and property?

When an act of self-defense has taken place, it should be up to the investigating police officials and, perhaps, eventually a jury to evaluate the culpability and intent where any weapon is concerned. Once again, the discussion has to circle back around to personal responsibility.

Better background check data, waiting periods for purchase and greater restrictions on gun show sales are good options for the short term. They maintain second amendment rights while providing increased safety and also address the question of personal responsibility. Applying some common sense while protecting the rights and security of Americans might just save some lives.

Gery L. Deer is an independent columnist and business writer. Deer In Headlines is syndicated by GLD Enterprises Communications Ltd. More at deerinheadlines.com.

Advertisements

Prevent Blindness luncheon honors 2016 People of Vision Recipient

In Charities, Children and Family, Dayton Ohio News, Health, Local News, Uncategorized on January 12, 2016 at 5:45 pm

 

Screen Shot 2016-01-12 at 4.44.49 PMDayton, OH – The Ohio Affiliate of Prevent Blindness, the Levin Foundation and Shrimpf Eye Center at Grandview Medical Center are pleased to announce that Fifth Third Bank and Doug Compton, Dayton City Executive and Commercial Banking Team Lead, will be honored at the Annual People of Vision Award Event for their outstanding visionary leadership and philanthropic work in the community.

The award will be presented by the Levin Foundation and Karen Levin, Executive Director and Shrimpf Eye Center at Grandview Medical Center and Russ Wetherell, Senior VP, Administrator at the luncheon ceremony on February 9, 2016 at noon at the Racquet Club. The Master of Ceremonies for year’s luncheon will be The Jamestown Comet.com editor and entrepreneur, Gery L. Deer.

Screen Shot 2016-01-12 at 4.43.40 PMFounded in 1908, Prevent Blindness is the nation’s leading volunteer eye health and safety organization dedicated to fighting blindness and saving sight. The Ohio Affiliate of Prevent Blindness is Ohio’s leading volunteer nonprofit public health organization dedicated to prevent blindness and preserve sight. We serve all 88 Ohio counties, providing direct services to more than 800,000 Ohioans annually and educating millions of consumers about what they can do to protect and preserve their precious gift of sight.

Nearly 200 people attend the People of Vision Award Luncheon each year and the event raises over $50,000 to support the sight saving programs of Prevent Blindness including vision screening training, advocacy to widen access to vision care and vision research support.

“Fifth Third Bank and Doug Compton possess an exemplary commitment to serving our community and providing resources to people in need living in Montgomery County,” said Michael Martens, Prevent Blindness, Ohio Affiliate Dayton Area Leadership Committee Chair. “Their support of the community provides a strong foundation for families to build upon and Prevent Blindness is proud to honor them with this award,” he added.

The People of Vision Award was established in 1985 by the Ohio Affiliate of Prevent Blindness to honor and recognize visionary organizations and their top leadership for the outstanding work they have undertaken to enhance the quality of life within their communities. The premise of the People of Vision Award is that our community is enriched by such leadership which reflects a “vision of community” to be celebrated and emulated. It’s been recognized as one of Montgomery County premier charitable events

For more information or to make a contribution, call 800-301-2020. Or, visit us on the web at www.pbohio.org or on Facebook and Twitter.