13 June 2008

Third Incident Along Bike Path Begs Questions

Every now and again, city leaders here in Ohio's capitol city will complain that only Ohio lawmakers can make regulations regarding firearms. That their mini city-state powers regarding guns have been taken away (okay, that city-state reference is mine -- the powers that be will never admit that is what they hold over the populace).

And foremost, they will talk about safety in our parks, along our bikepaths . . . and how guns don't belong there. Any rational, thinking person knows that guns have been in our parks and along our bikepaths for years. It's just that they were being carried, and used, by criminals.

Which is why Ohioans across this state have pushed to loosen CCW carry requirements for law abiding moms, grandmothers, dads, grandads, sisters and brothers, etc.

So this morning, incident number three along the Olentangy bike trail, a multiuse path that stretches from suburban Worthington in the far north to downtown Columbus. And this morning, it was murder.

A man was shot and killed early today on the bike path near downtown. The shooting happened around 1:30 a.m. under the bridge at West Fifth Avenue next to the parking lot for Battelle, a huge scientific research organization. Three men are in custody and police say they have no motive, yet, for the crime.

I don't know the details of the victim's life, or who he is; police have not released that info. But this is not the first incident along the trail this year. Two other incidents have occurred in recent months. A woman was sexually assaulted on the trail, which runs alongside the Olentangy River, earlier this month. And a couple months ago, three women were attacked along the bike trail near Antrim Park.

The last time I checked, Columbus Police -- which do a great job overall but are stretched financially (the city is facing a current $75 million deficit, the police firing range is closed much of the time due to budget shortfalls, and some officers are buying their own ammunition) and by politics -- do not have cruisers running up and down the Olentangy bike path. Nor do police from Sharon Township or Worthington visibly cruise the trail.

On these trails, people are on their own. And they should not have to ride, or run in fear. Or even stay away because predators of the two-legged variety watch and wait for victims there.

I cannot say this any plainer. The people you love and care about should learn how to shoot. Take them to a range. Particularly if they are regular users of these bike paths. And help them get their CCW -- the Ohio Concealed Handgun License (Ohio CHL)

It could save their life.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Here's exactly why I carry...