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‘Stand your ground’ bill goes too far

DEAR EDITOR:

I am a 22-year-old college senior at Youngstown State University, and I grew up in this new era of mass shootings. I remember the fear I felt in my middle school classroom after the Sandy Hook mass shooting, and I know we need common sense gun-safety laws that will make us safer.

I am disappointed in Gov. Mike DeWine and the Ohio GOP who continue down the path of enacting more legislation that makes our communities less safe.

On Jan. 4, DeWine signed yet another bill making us all less safe. He signed the bill that is “stand your ground” on steroids. It removes the requirement to attempt to de-escalate a violent situation. The removal of this provision makes all citizens less safe, and the governor knows this. Ohio is one of 23 states that already has a “castle doctrine.” Using the idea that “your home is your castle,” its basic notion is that you have the legal right to defend yourself and your family from an intruder who breaks into your home while you are inside. That’s a key distinction.

The newly signed “stand your ground” bill eliminates a duty to retreat before firing in self-defense at any place, including businesses, places of worship or protests. Bills such as this one are more likely to be used to legally “justify” escalating disputes and increase killings of people of color.

The governor caved to political pressure and signed this atrocity into law, even though he once was critical of this legislation. When pushed on why he signed this bill, he said he made a campaign promise to certain groups. Is he saying some of his big donors and PACs made him promise?

TOMMY SUMMERS

Champion

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