21 February 2010

Political Meddling At Ohio Highway Patrol? Where Is The News Here?

Gee . . . the worst kept secret in the Buckeye State is now being talked about -- political meddling in the inner workings and decisions of the Ohio Highway Patrol.

Today people are shocked, SHOCKED to learn that political decisions led to the scuttling of a planned criminal sting at the Ohio governor's mansion involving workers there. SHOCKED because no one can imagine how politics can get in the way of law enforcement, right?

Well, consider the following: Firearms owners in Ohio have long known of politics interfering with clear thinking at the OHP, particularly when it came to concealed carry reform efforts during the past decade. The OHP superintendents and others would routinely express their displeasure, if not outright concern, about allowing law abiding Ohioans to legally carry a concealed firearm. You see, it was prohibited for more than a century until the early 2000s. One of their more obtuse objections was that state troopers wouldn't know who is carrying a gun in a car. Even though ALL state troopers (and most smaller jurisdiction law enforcement agencies) are trained to assume that each and every occupant of every car that is stopped is armed. That led the patrol to insist on a ridiculous provision that those individuals carrying in their automobile carry in plain sight.

Sigh . . .

It was also the Ohio Fraternal Order of Police, a salary benefits bargaining union that repeatedly kept sticking its nose into the safety concerns of average Ohio taxpayers. With nonsensical objections, lawmakers for reasons only they might be able to understand, listened to the FOP and watered down Ohio CCW -- incredibly important and long overdue citizen safety legislation.

Most often, after a wink and a nod from anti safety governors such as George Voinovich and Bob Taft, both of whom hated the idea of their constituents being able to legally carry. Both these politicians are primarily responsible for the OHP opposing the reversal of the antiquated ban on concealed carry. This went on for more than a decade. You have got to ask yourselves why any thinking person would fear a law abiding neighbor, let alone a politician fearing a law abiding constituent . . . right? Seriously, both these republican governors had their flaws -- particularly Taft.

Anyway, the latest news made me laugh out loud today when I read it. The only people who are shocked, SHOCKED I tell you to learn of political meddling in the Ohio Highway Patrol are those journalists and taxpayers who are clueless about what happens in day-to-day state politics.

Shocked? Nope. Another business as usual day. Something Ohio moms, grandmothers, granddads, fathers, uncles, aunts, collectors, competitors, hunters and others -- firearms owners all -- have known all too well is now known by a few more folks across the Buckeye State.

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