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A Yes Vote on Issue 1 Will Protect You , Your Family, and Your Constitutional Rights

The Stakes Couldn't be Higher
By Sen. Terry Johnson
July 27, 2023
On The Record

Editor's Note:  Editor's note: Even though the vote on Issue 1 did not go our way, we posted this piece on OTR so readers can see how the author's predictions following a "no" vote are coming true. This article originally appeared in the Columbus Dispatch on 8/3/2023 under the headline:  'Yes' on Issue 1 best defense against big city Dems pushing 'commonsense' gun laws

The stakes couldn’t be higher.

Liberal, progressive, anti-gun Democrats will use a no vote on Issue 1 to take away your right to self-defense.

They will take away your guns.

This is not an accusation. It is a fact. How do we know?  Because they said so. They said the quiet part out loud.

Here’s what Justin Bibb, Cleveland's liberal mayor, told the entire world at a news conference: “We can use our real political power to change the culture of guns in this state. It starts by voting 'no' on Issue 1, by the way, to make sure we can maybe put a ballot measure on our state constitution to have commonsense gun reform.”

By "commonsense," he means unconstitutional.

He means they will chip away at your Second Amendment right to self-defense until only criminals have guns and law-abiding citizens are left defenseless.

Left defenseless to face the murderous crime culture created by decades of liberal rule in our big cities. Left defenseless to face the violent crime wave unleashed by progressive anti-Second Amendment policies of defunding police and letting criminals walk.

Criminals don’t bother to consult the Ohio Revised Code before robbing a convenience store or committing a carjacking at gunpoint. Yet, the progressive liberal Democrats in charge like Bibb in Cleveland and Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther reject accountability and embrace the progressive blame game.

They would rather blame law abiding gun owners, than prosecute the career criminal. Vote Yes on Issue 1 or at some point these liberals will demand you surrender your firearms.

Ohio’s big city liberals keep pushing radical gun restrictions on ordinary citizens, but the courts keep stopping them from stripping us of our constitutional rights. So far. If Issue 1 is defeated, all bets are off.

These extremists want to defeat Issue 1 so they can change and even overturn anything in our state constitution with a simple majority vote. They will go after your Second Amendment rights tooth and nail. They will eviscerate those rights at the local level and the state level, if they can. We know this to be true. Because they have said so.

At a news conference on the statehouse steps on Thursday, liberal Columbus Mayor Ginther said, "This violence must end and we need our state legislators to use every lever to get the guns off our streets."

Notice what he said.

He didn’t say we need to get violent criminals off our streets. He said we need to get guns off our streets. Now you see their real priorities – loud and clear.

By Ginther’s own admission, that is a failed strategy.

Columbus did see a welcome drop to 140 homicides in 2022 after a record-breaking 205 the year before. But, as Ginther noted, there have already been 88 homicides in Columbus this year. He also noted the record number of firearms collected by Columbus Police last year, more than 3,300. What does that tell you?

Guns aren’t the problem.

The criminals are. But the left will not do anything about that. Their policies reward the criminals and punish the victims. It will only get worse if we do not pass Issue 1.

The “commonsense” gun laws they are dying to implement are not an attack on gun violence, they’re an attack on gun violence victims.  Radical policies brought by the anti-working class, anti-Constitutional progressives have undermined police departments and unleashed an epidemic of gun violence on our cities. Every day, there are fewer police to protect you.

These extremists who cloak themselves as friends of the people are instead determined to punish law-abiding citizens for the violent crime wave they’ve enabled. Taking away your guns won’t protect you. It will leave you defenseless.

They want to remove your Second Amendment rights, and any other rights that get in their way. Only a Yes vote On Issue 1 can stop them.

Ohio Senator Terry A. Johnson is a retired physician, medical educator, retired military officer, and former four-term state representative. The McDermott resident graduated from Ohio University and earned his D.O. from Ohio University’s College of Osteopathic Medicine.