House Bill 228: No more singing in the rain for bad guys

I am extremely proud of the current congress in Ohio as the gavel dropped in the affirmative on House Bill 228. I wasn’t too excited at first as several people were quick to let me know that the vote had been taken and passed as it happened. My response to them all was that we still had a liberal governor in Kasich so he’d veto it. The bill would arrive dead essentially. But over the last couple of days many from Columbus told me much better news, that they fully expected Kasich to veto Ohio’s new Stand Your Ground law, but that they had the votes to override the veto. Now that became an entirely different matter all together and the fact that the Ohio congress acted so boldly at the end of the session spoke a lot about what’s to come for the positive. Stand Your Ground laws are needed everywhere and they reinforce the Second Amendment in ways the Bill of Rights was always philosophically designed. I consider The Anti Federalist Papers and the Federalist Papers to be some of the most joyous reading I’ve ever done in my life and there can be no understanding of American Constitutional law without accepting that the paramount epoxy of a proper structured society is the decentralization of law enforcement using the gun as the symbol of order. And for Ohio to take that proper step in making Stand Your Ground legislation the law of the land the state takes that critical step forward in raising the bar for a state that was being tempted to go purple to turning a nice bright red.

With a vote of 64 to 26 House Bill 228 passed comfortably showing great conviction. I know the House has had to sit on their attempts for a long time knowing that Kasich would prevent its advancement. But what was a surprise was that the House proved they could get the three fifths of the total vote count needed to override a veto, which in this case is 60 votes out of 99. With the 64 House of Representatives members who voted in favor o House Bill 228 they are already there. Then of course it will take 20 of 33 Senators to get passage of the bill without the governor’s signature. “Isn’t this exciting!” I learned from a good source that the senate was on board as well which was a stunning revelation. Of course, this boldness comes after the election before the newly elected congress takes over but its more than symbolic in nature. Kasich has prevented many of these conservative advancements and because many members of the House and Senate were up for election, they couldn’t afford to have Kasich pulling resources away from their re-elections. But it is refreshing to see that the moment they could, this congress acted and they did so boldly on legislation that is far from the type of change agent progressivism that has taken over Columbus in recent years like a vast sickness.

Stand Your Ground in Ohio is a big deal. The “duty to retreat” laws that have been in place were always dangerous and a real impediment to continued growth in both a population sense and in relation to business. With a “duty to retreat” it has added an unnecessary layer of burden to gun users when faced with hostile adversity. If something is going on that is hostile in nature a person acting in good faith should never have to worry about hesitating when faced with eminent threats. I can say I’ve been in those situations more than once and have not elected to use a gun because I did not want to go through the legal mess that always comes after. I have the fortune to have other tools to stay out of trouble and I use them more than I’d care to admit. But I do worry often about those tools not working and having to resort to a gun, and with Stand Your Ground, one less layer of concern has now been removed. House Bill 228 doesn’t allow people to have shoot outs in a Wal-Mart parking lot over parking spaces. But it does give gun defenders the ability to use deadly force to resolve a situation at the point of a threat. Under the “duty to retreat” obligation not only was a gun owner under a burden to diffuse a threat before using deadly force, but they had the burden on them to prove it. When some criminal loser is acting aggressively they don’t care often what happens next. They only live in the moment whereas their targets are at a tactical disadvantage of having to be put in a circumstance to think of the future while facing the possibility of everything coming to an end right then and there. If you do survive those moments, you might lose everything you own in law suit after lawsuit and many years in jail. “Duty to Retreat” favored a progressive vision of society where dissemination of activity, high taxes and massive government welfare has spawned sharp increases in criminal activity putting good people at a burden to deal with the conduct.

The way things have been reminded me of the book and movie, A Clockwork Orange, where young criminal gangs terrorize innocent people because they know that people who have built value of themselves in society are always at a disadvantage. A person who has nothing to lose always has leverage against people who have everything to lose. And progressive legislation, (regressive in human nature) favors the down and out of society, the criminally inclined and inherently lazy. Their premise is that all people are equal, and that property should be redistributed to all, so the criminal element helps them achieve this goal through open crime and theft. Obviously, they don’t want people of value to be able to defend themselves from people of little value with a gun so that is why there has been legislation in Ohio that favored “duty to retreat.” If a criminal wants what you have, then you have a duty to retreat to save the lives of everyone involved. These are the same kind of people who wanted to lower the criminalization standards in Ohio with Issue 1 over the last election. Their goals are to grow criminal conduct that redistributes property to those who need it—the down and out, and the poor—essentially the Robin Hood effect. Clockwork Orange was an interesting observation of the trend of these redistributive thoughts and in how they unleashed the worst elements of society. For the anarchist the criminal is a saint, to the builder of a republic, the criminal is a detriment, a cancer that must be eliminated.  The singing in the rain scene from that film shown above is specifically what I’m thinking about.  While the scene is a dramatized version of rape violence the behavior of the criminal mind I think is captured all too well in that Stanley Kubrick classic.  So the essence behind all such legislation is what kind of society we really want to have, a republic or a anarchists paradise that puts power in the hands of the criminal and ties the hands of the law binding and hard-working behind their backs while their assets are stolen from them. Before Ohio voted for this Stand Your Ground law, that was the philosophic premise of the previous progressive legislation.

The trend of our society in every American state is moving in the direction of the gun owners. Gun ownership is part of American life—its at the core of our philosophy. While pockets of our society are still functioning from European progressivism and the noise they leave behind sounds bigger than it really is on the nightly news, the real trend is toward more individual liberty and the protection of that liberty with a gun. If you plot out legislation history not just in the Ohio statehouse but also in Washington D.C. the trajectory of what guns mean philosophically to our society is headed away from confiscation and more gun control and toward more freedom, and many more of them in the hands of hard-working people who have something to defend. And that is great news for the good, and terrible news for the bad. While progressives hate judgements of people into such categories the gun then becomes the judge. If a bad person seeks to inflict harm on a good person who is just minding their business, now the gun can rectify that conduct. The burden is not on the good to prove that they didn’t suddenly become bad the moment they pulled the trigger. And that is historic in how humans deal with each other. Because good people don’t go around creating gun violence, but bad people do. And now we have a situational judgment that can root out the unnatural paradox. Which is a wonderful thing to behold. Nice job in the Ohio House! That is truly something to be proud of.

Rich Hoffman

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