COLUMBUS, Ohio – While some Ohioans are praising a proposed package of gun control measures unveiled by President Obama yesterday while others criticize them as infringements on Americans’ Second Amendment right to bear arms.
Meanwhile, more school districts in the state are arming their employees in the wake of a deadly shooting rampage at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn.
The package of legislation for Congress includes a ban on high-capacity magazines, and the reinstatement of a ban on some assault-style weapons, which Toby Hoover of the Ohio Coalition Against Gun Violence calls “common sense measures.”
“We’ve been waiting a very long time to see some action on this and so this it really is a very, very good day to see America say, ‘Yep, we agree with the President. It’s time for change,” Hoover said.
Along with the proposal to have mandatory background checks for all gun purchases, 23 executive actions were also announced by the President.
Rep. Bob Gibbs (R-Lakeville) says he agrees with Obama “that we must identify ways to ensure that our children are safe.”
“I do not believe that hampering the constitutional rights of law-abiding gun owners is the way to achieve that goal. We must have a national discussion on treating mental illness and ways to better enforce current laws,” he said
Gibbs also accused the president of exploiting the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, which left 26 students and teachers dead.
“Doing so demeans the memories of those innocent lives that were so tragically taken,” he said
The executive orders, which do not require Congressional approval, include a directive to strengthen the national criminal background-check system, and a move to allow for the study of gun violence at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Meanwhile, police officers or armed teachers or other school employees could be patrolling the hallways in Ohio schools.
In Athens County, Nelsonville’s police chief is offering his officers to the Nelsonville-York schools to serve as a first line of defense in case of an emergency.
The school board says it’ll consider anything that would make buildings safer for children.
A northeast Ohio district is the first in the state with an armed teacher on the job.
An Orrville High School teacher, who is a part-time police officer, will carry a gun to boost security in the building, superintendent Jon Ritchie said.
The decision was made last month, but was just revealed through a public-records request.
The Montpelier school district, near Toledo, recently approved the carrying of handguns by its custodial staff.