April 19, 2014

Elyria
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State law vs. local law: Gun owners plan picnic in public park

OBERLIN — A number of gun owners will bring their handguns to the city’s parks today despite pleas from City Council and some local residents who say there is no place for guns in Oberlin.

Ashland resident Brian Kuzawa, who sparked a city-wide debate after bringing his gun to Oberlin in August, said he is returning to the city Saturday with a group of friends who will picnic at the Park Street Park. Kuzawa, who said he will be at the park at 11 a.m., said he never intended for the gathering to become public knowledge, although he has been outspoken at City Council meetings for the right to legally carry firearms in the city.

“I was just inviting a few of my friends to come and hang out,” he said. “It looks from indications that it kind of blew up a bit.”

Kuzawa said he has no ties to Oberlin. He visited the area after hearing about the city’s beautiful parks. But after public outcry surrounding the city’s ordinance banning guns in municipal parks — something state law allows — he said he is interested in the outcome of City Council’s decision.

City Council has approved rewriting its ordinance during two separate meetings, albeit reluctantly. Council members Sharon Fairchild-Soucy and Bryan Burgess have spoken out against the ordinance and have considered fighting state law or privatizing city parks so as to ban guns from those areas.

Still, four Council members agreed, at the urging of City Law Director Jon Clark, that the ordinance needs to be changed lest they face legal action.

Ohioans for Concealed Carry, a group that has successfully sued the city of Clyde for banning firearms in its parks, has taken notice of Oberlin’s ordinance and has warned the city to change it. The warning was issued Aug. 2 by both Ohioans for Concealed Carry and Kuzawa.

Kuzawa, who said he is not associated with Ohioans for Concealed Carry, said he just wants Oberlin residents to know the law. He hopes today’s gathering, which he estimated would draw “two dozen people,” will educate residents that its ordinance is not enforceable.

Kuzawa anticipates no problems.

“There’s nobody from the law-abiding, gun-carrying side that is going to get out of control, because if they do, they know they could lose their right to carry,” he said.

Police Lt. Michael McCloskey said he wasn’t aware of the gathering, but he said Kuzawa and his friends can legally carry their guns into the park. He said the Police Department hasn’t enforced the city’s ordinance because state law supersedes it.

“I don’t really see an issue with it, from a Police Department perspective,” he said. “If there is a reason for police officers to make contact, we will, but we’re not looking to start a confrontation with legal gun owners.”

Contact Chelsea Miller at 329-7123 or cmiller@chroniclet.com.

  • oldruss

    “City Council and some local residents … say there is no place for guns in Oberlin . . . . .”
    Someone should tell the City Council and those local residents that the Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States guarantees every individual the right to bear arms, and that includes Oberlin, Ohio.

    • Denise Caruloff

      Amen oldruss!!! I support our amendment rights…all of them!

  • Phil Blank

    This will receive national attention now.

    There is a link to the Cleveland PD version of this and to the Oberlin City Counsel’s web site on a gun rights web site.
    You can find it at gunwatch.blogspot. com/

  • Paul Facinelli

    Ah, yes, the Second Amendment. Let’s re-visit it, shall we: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”
    So, what did the Founders, not blessed with the psychic power to gaze 220 years into the future, intend with their inclusion of this amendment into the Bill of Rights? The only reasonable interpretation is this: The Founders wanted to ensure that a citizens’ militia could be mobilized quickly should the Redcoats return to our shores for a replay of the Revolutionary War. That’s it. There’s nothing between the lines, just straightforward language. Yet, Wayne LaPierre, who has more blood on his hands than any brutal dictator, takes the Second Amendment to mean that deranged individuals should be able to buy military-style, automatic weapons at gun shows. Hmmm. Seems a bit of a leap to me.
    By the way, gun enthusiasts, what do you make of the phrase “well regulated Militia”? Tell me, please. I’m prepared to be enlightened.

    • Joe Smith

      “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

      While you are at it, define the above

      • Paul Facinelli

        You left out the first part, Joe, you know the inconvenient “well regulated militia” part. The Founders thought that citizens should have the right to bear arms so a militia could be quickly mobilized in case the British attacked. They didn’t think that 220 years or so later, somebody like you would think that the Founders meant that there should be no restrictions on gun ownership.

        • Janae Kuzawa

          The OHIO Constitution, in Article 1, Section 4, States, in part: The people have the right to bear arms for their defense and security I see NO ambiguity there… in the State of Ohio, people may bear firearms, knives, clubs, or any other arm they deem fit… not only are the firearms prohibitions unconstitutional, the rules on knives, nunchucks, shiruken, etc are ALSO against the State Constitution…

        • Joe Smith

          Regulated in the 1700′s ment well equipped and the 2nd was for the defense of the people against a tyrannical Gov

          • Paul Facinelli

            “regulated” meant “well-equipped”??? In what language? My goodness, that’s the stretch of all stretches/

    • jz

      Of course the founding fathers did not have psychic powers to gaze 220 years into the future. But, to assume the only reason for the 2nd amendment is to ensure the redcoats could be fought against? Man you are out there. Get a grip.

      • Paul Facinelli

        Reasons? The Second Amendment is extremely specific, as specific as any amendmend in the Bill of Rights. Just look at how pointed the language is: “well regulated Militia” … a citizens’ army governed by regulation, not a bunch of renegade cowboys; “the security of a free state” … defense of the country. How else can that phrase be interprested. So the Founders wanted to facilitate the formation of a Militia in case defense of the country were needed. Were hunting or home protection also on the Founders’ minds? Maybe. But I doubt it. In the late 1780′s, the United States was an agrarian society. Most people lived on farms. And hunting was a given. No one questioned anyone’s right to hunt. After all, there were no Giant-Eagles around. JZ, I welcome your input. What other reason do you think the Founders had for writing the Second Amenment?

    • Smira29595

      “I ask, Sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people. To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them.”
      George Mason
      Co-author of the Second Amendment
      during Virginia’s Convention to Ratify the Constitution, 1788

    • TXgnnr

      Moron!

  • Paul Facinelli

    Gun enthusiasts are fond of making the argument that we need to be privately armed — to the teeth — in order to protect ourselves from home invaders, burglars, rapists, bad guys who are lurking behind every tree. Or so the gun enthusiasts imagine. Were this true, it would then follow logically that in those countries with tight controls on private gun ownership, crime rates would soar as marauders of all stripes, not fearing the armed private citizen, would be having a field day of lawlessness and mayhem. But that’s not the case. Not nearly. Pick a country with tight gun controls — U.K., Japan, Belgium, Finland, France, many others — and you’ll see that the crime rates there are but a tiny, tiny fraction of ours. Meanwhile, here, with virtually a 1:1 ratio of citizen:gun, our prisons are filled and we suffer around 30,000 gun deaths per year, from homicides, suicides and accidents. That figure is many, many times the gun death rates in the rest of the developed world COMBINED. The facts are clear: Guns, lotsa guns, are not making us safer. Let me amend that: In the minds of the deluded, they’re making us safer. Meanwhile, the reality of the proliferation of guns is a national horror and a national embarrassment.

    • Joe Smith

      If guns cause death, why at the 1000′s of gun shows
      every year that they are 10,000 guns each, 100,000′s of rounds of ammo and
      thousands of gun people, why are they not mass slayings left and right at
      these? Do forks cause fatness, do cars cause DWI’s?

      • Paul Facinelli

        I simply don’t know how to reply to this. If you’re arguing that somebody has to pull a trigger for a gun to be a lethal weapon, I can’t dispute that. After all, a gun is an inanimate object, as are forks and cars. But why is it, Joe, that we have 30,000 gun deaths per year and the rest of the developed world combined has a small fraction of that number? Could it be the easy availability of guns here and the difficulty of getting guns elsewhere? In other words, isn’t it guns that cause gun deaths?

        • Joe Smith

          Why do we have 800,000 cases where a person in the US uses a gun to stop a crime in the US?800,000 vs 30,000 which most of the 30,000 are suicides and gang bangers killing each other, I would rather be on the 800,000 side myself

          • Paul Facinelli

            What??? From where did you get this 800,000 number, Nutsopedia.com?? This is complete nonsense. For this number to be true, that would mean a gun was used to stop a crime at the rate of almost 2,200 per day or about 11/2 crimes every minute of every day. All I can conclude is that you’re including all of the nation’s police officers’ actions in your total. If so, then maybe your number is accurate. But if you’re referring only to private citizens stopping crimes at that rate, then your number is pure sheep dip.

        • Janae Kuzawa

          Paul, although I appreciate your mostly reasoned discourse on this subject, I would request that you provide cites to the above assertions about gun death numbers…

          • Paul Facinelli

            Here ya go, Janae. If you click on “gun homicides” and then “gun suicides” you’ll see that for the last decade or so those two numbers have totaled around 30,000.

            http://www.gunpolicy.org/firearms/region/united-states
            There are numerous other citations I could have provided. If you Google “gun deaths in the U.S.” you’ll have a choice of many sources that confirm the 30,000 number.

          • Janae Kuzawa

            Would those suicides have been better if they were pills, or slit wrists… or driving a car into oncoming traffic? A suicide has every right to end their own life, preferably in a manner that doesn’t injure anyone else.

    • Janae Kuzawa

      Paul, these number must be taken with an entire shaker of salt, but the rough comparison between th UK and the US with regards to “violent crime” (reported differently in each nation, hence the salt) gives a very rough approximation of 2 to 1, in “favor of England and Wales… 775 per 100k in England/Wales, compared to 383 per 100k here. Now, even counting inconsistencies in way of reporting violent crime, that is a rather large disparity.

    • Daniel Sutter

      Nice to use only some of the facts to your means. If you take three of the most liberal cities with the tightest gun control in the USA and take them out of the crime equation then the USA would have the lowest gun violence percentage in the world (ok 6th lowest). And as far as your crime rates is totally incorrect. Please regurgitate the liberals lies correctly, its crimes using guns, not crime rates (they kill and beat each other with everything but guns)…… Remember sandy hook, remember that day (or day after) a Chinese man killed 24 (maybe 34) school kids with a knife?
      The president giving the drug cartel and Al-Qaida weapons are a national embarrassment and disgrace.

  • Paul Facinelli

    One final point and then I’ll go watch some football. The Centers for Disease Control and the Justice Department report that if you have a gun in your home, you are five times — not a misprint, 5X — more likely to shoot someone you know, including yourself, than you are to shoot an intruder. Because it’s so patently insane to have a gun in the home, there should be no need for gun control legislation. Private citizens should disarm voluntarily, or never buy a gun in the first place, because guns in the homes put those living in those homes at a much greater risk of dying violently. Adam Lanza’s mother thought it was wise to have a small arsenal in the home she shared with her son. She paid with her life and a short time later, 20 little kids and six adults paid with theirs. The insanity is this: Had Adam Lanza not had easy access to those hideous weapons, he could have purchased his own, no questions asked, at any gun show. Wow, are we nuts.

    • jz

      Many false premises in your argument. Having been a journalist, and I suppose holding the 1st amendment dear, what do you propose? The police bust into the Lanza home and take her guns cus they think, guess, maybe, her idiot kid may possibly do something crazy? Common sense 101. People with bad intentions have no regard for gun laws or restrictions. Also, it matters little if we are or are not more safe the more guns are out there. I as a citizen have a right to have 1 or 100 guns if I choose to do so. You argument is the same illogic as rap music encourages violence so lets make it harder to own a rap cd. Then what? Common sense 101. First thing you will see is a black market for rap cd,s and you would be argueing 1st amendment. I like you know the difference between fire in a crowded theater and, well you know about that one. Crime rates in any country have numerous precipitating factors outside of the rates of gun ownership. Are you that simple minded and tunnel visioned? Your argument is weak, highly impractical and flat out wrong. We responsible gun owners certainly would not be any safer with your proposed policy ideas enacted. I could go on but your rationale is so void of common sense and has so many holes in it there is not enough room on this forum.

      • Paul Facinelli

        Many false premises? What premises? I stated no syllogisms, no “if…then” statements, so there were no premises. Your rap CD argument is nothing but a smokescreen — did LaPierre suggest this in a newsletter? — but you did mention Adam Lanza, so I’ll construct a few syllogisms for you: (1) If Mrs. Lanza had not had an arsenal in her home, then she would be much more likely to be alive today; (2) if there were a ban on the sale of military assault weapons, then neither she nor her son would be able to legally get one; (3) if there were universal background checks and waiting periods, then Adam Lanza would have had great difficulty obtaining guns of any kind; and (4) if these common sense measures had been in place, then those 20 little kids and six adults would probably be alive today. Now you have some premises and conclusions to chew on, jz. Oh, by the way, gun enthusiasts are endlessly worried about the government knowing that they have guns. Well, there’s only one place that I know of where an extensive database of gun owners exists. That’s at NRA headquarters. Are you worried that LaPierre and his stooges know you have guns?

        • 2111

          If you wish to be taken seriously please invest some time into fact checking. Connecticut has had an assault weapons ban in effect since 2004. Nancy Lanza never owned an assault weapon because it is forbidden in Connecticut. When she was murdered and robbed of her firearms she was in compliance with all laws. The horrific heinous crimes that took place were carried out with a simple ordinary rifle by a mad man that couldn’t lawfully own any firearms.

        • Joe Smith

          If there was a ban on murder, she would have been alright too, if there was a ban on cars, nobody would die in accidents and the biggest massacre of kids in a school was not done with a gun look up Bath school massacre

        • Janae Kuzawa

          Had the school principal been armed, Lanza’s sick-butt would have been eliminated before he ever got to the kids… You cannot equate a psychotic freak like lanza to LACs carrying firearms…

          1) Mrs Lanza suffered delusions about her son, she paid for those delusions with her life.

          2) There IS a ban on military assault weapons… an assault weapon is a select fire (as in full auto or 3-round burst) firearm Lanza did NOT have an assault rifle, he had a semi automatic rifle, that COSMETICALLY looks like a military firearms, but in actuality, is the same thing functionally as a 1930′s M1 carbine.

          3) Lanza NEVER aquired a firearm… his MOTHER did…

          4) If the common sense measure of allowing school administrators to carry firearms was in place, this crazy freak would have been stopped MUCH sooner….

    • jz

      The Center for Common Sense 101 report that homes where kids play violent video games they are 5x more likely to act out violently in the real world. So the government should ban, restrict, search peoples homes without warrants, [I don,t know perhaps you can offer some suggestions], so we can be safer from violent kids. I hate rap, hip hop and violent video games and don,t like them as influences on kids minds. However, common sense and the 1st amendment override my need to have the government over step its powers so I can feel safer.

      • Paul Facinelli

        The Center for Common Sense? I do applaud your imagination, but perhaps for the benefit of the gullible, you should make it clear that you made that up. The “5X” stat on video games is also a fabrication. Nevertheless, we agree on one thing, jz, the government shouldn’t go around confiscating music or video games, since their connection to violence is nebulous. And, to be fair to me — I know that’s your intent — I didn’t suggest that the government go door to door to confiscate guns without probably cause/search warrants. My suggestions are these: (1) universal background checks, especially at guns shows: (2) a ban on the sale of military-style assault weapons; (3) a 10-round limit on clips; (4) a waiting period for the purchase of a gun; (5) and, a national database of felons and those judged to be mentally incompetent, so that the government can at least try to keep guns out of the hands of people in these two groups. (Aside: Anyone convicted of domestic violence must surrender his weapon immediately. If he lies and keeps the weapon and it’s later discovered that he has a weapon, stiff penalties.) Whaddaya think, jz?

        • jz

          Of course the 5x thing was made up. I hope you know that. Domestic Violence convictions most often do not involve a weapon. If I threw a lampshade and my wife calls the cops, more so to be vindictive rather than a true violence on her person, in all fairness you think that I should surrender my gun? I think your argument would be that he has shown a propensity towards violence therefore he may, possibly, perhaps, you never know, odds are,we think he would use his gun next time so hey buddy surrender it. I think that is borderline preposterous. You hung yourself on the nebulous argument.They shouldn,t confiscate music because of the 1st amendment. Whether there is a connection or not to violence. The connection between guns being too easy to purchase, own etc and violence is just as nebulous. My point on the common sense argument is that all these suggestions you propose would have nothing but a band aid on an aneurysim effect. One gun, 20 guns, 6 shooter or machine gun. It only takes one madman, with one gun or 2 or 3 or 10 to cause havoc. A thousand people such as me or you could own 20 guns apiece and no problem to society would occur. Guns would still end up in the wrong hands. No? The same faulty argument, rationale, supports the Drug War. We are more unsafe because of the Drug War than safe. Look up LEAP, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition. You seem like an educated intelligent person. Take some time and read up on LEAP. Tell me what you think. Their motto. Al Capone/Pablo Escobar /Same Problem /Same Solution. And, I hope you got that the CD argument was an analogy. Bottom line for me I lean very much in the Libertarian direction.

        • Joe Smith

          So are you for the same restrictions on the rest of our rights also? Please let me know how your suggestions will stop the criminal who by definition ignores the law. Drugs are banned but any 15 year kid can get them in an hour.

    • raffaelecafagna

      Yes go back to football ; you don`t know what you are talking about ; if an illegal alien will invade your home or some criminal will attack you at gun point or car jack you , I hope and pray you will be able to defend or protect your family, kids and yourself.

  • Heath J

    Facinelli is a bigoted troll, and y’all only encourage his antics by trying to refute him.

    Your first clue was his attempting to read the 2nd amendment as anything other than an individual right..

    Let him live in his little world. Let him obfuscate until Hell freezes over. He’s still wrong and it’s still a waste of your time.

    • Paul Facinelli

      “Troll” I’ll admit to, but “bigoted”??? Is there evidence for my bigotry? If so, present it and I’ll apologize profusely to the offended people.

  • ClevelandBill

    I’m a libertarian, and as such, I’ve taken the oath to never initiate force upon another human being. But that does not mean I am a pacifist who will be killed by the next disturbed young person shooting up a college campus. As a peaceful, law-abiding, and licensed concealed carrier, there is a chance that I’ll be able to protect myself and those I am lawfully entitled to protect from the threat of imminent serious bodily injury. I love Oberlin, its awesome restaurants, coffee houses, and shops. And nice people. I am no threat to the peaceful man (or woman, or child). I hope you can accept me.

  • Russell C

    I feel grateful that this particular group of ignorant rednecks has announced their plans so that smart people who are concerned for their own safety can stay out of Oberlin. I look forward to the future story about some idiot named Jessup or Joe Ray shooting his toe off, etc.