News
News Home
Quick Bites
Exploradio
News Archive
News Channel
Special Features
NPR
nowplaying
On AirNewsClassical
Loading...
  
School Closings
WKSU Support
Funding for WKSU is made possible in part through support from the following businesses and organizations.

Akron General

Levin Furniture


For more information on how your company or organization can support WKSU, download the WKSU Media Kit.

(WKSU Media Kit PDF icon )


Donate Your Vehicle to WKSU

Programs Schedule Make A Pledge Member BenefitsFAQ/HelpContact Us
Government and Politics


Northeast Ohioans divide over gun rights and gun control
Many look for balance among the needs of hunters, schools, law enforcement and mental health
by WKSU's KABIR BHATIA


Reporter
Kabir Bhatia
 
Brian "Pigman" Quaca hosts "Pigman: The Series," and says he's in favor of waiting periods and background checks if the government does not try to impose capacity restrictions.
Courtesy of K. Bhatia
Download (WKSU Only)
In The Region:
Concealed carry permit applications have jumped in Northeast Ohio since the mass shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut five weeks ago.
Debates over the Second Amendment, school security, background checks and mental health have kept the issues of gun rights and gun control in the headlines. WKSU’s Kabir Bhatia reports.
(Click image for larger view.)

Hunting-dog demonstrations were a big draw at the I-X Center’s outdoor show over the weekend. The simulated ducks and rifles were among the booths catering to hunters. A few feet away, Brian “Pigman” Quaca was greeting fans of his TV show, “Pigman: The Series,” which follows him as he handles the often-troublesome hog population in Texas.

Quaca makes his living with firearms and does not like calls by President Obama and others to limit certain types of guns and high-volume ammo clips.

“It’s important that we don’t lose our Constitutional rights. Capacity-wise, a magazine ban don’t make any sense. A guy can go out and buy 20 seven-round clips, which is what’s going to be legal. You can buy a standard hunting rifle that’s a semi-auto that has a seven-round clip. And you can buy a number of clips.
"I make my living doing what I do: I eradicate hogs in the state of Texas. And there is some benefit to having a 20-round magazine. You don’t have to reload as much.”

Capacity not the issue
Like many of the hunters at the show, Quaca views magazine restrictions as skirting the bigger issue in the face of mass shootings like the one in Newtown.

“I can go in and buy a gun because I have been run through every government organization to check my background. And I don’t have a speeding ticket. But if you have any mental health issues – if you’ve ever lied on any form – you should not be able to have a gun. That’s the way it is, and that’s the way it needs to be handled, not (with) bans on law-abiding citizens who have these type of guns to protect themselves and their property.”

Concealed-carry
Quaca has held a concealed weapon permit for eight years in Texas, which had issued more than half a million permits even before the Newtown shootings. 

Applications for concealed-carry in Ohio are up, too. Cuyahoga, Stark and Portage counties have seen an average 18.5 percent increase. Portage County Sheriff David Doak attributes that to personal safety and a concern over potentially tougher gun control laws.

Gun rights and school safety
A Reuters online poll of roughly 1,500 people last month said nearly 70 percent support concealed carry permits or the use of guns for protection. But just as many want stronger limits on gun ownership. Soon after the Newtown shootings, the NRA suggested arming school personnel as a way to prevent similar tragedies in the future. 

Carl Kotheimer has four kids, all of whom went through Hudson schools, a district with many similarities to Newtown. He comes from a military family and his professional background is in public policy. In a letter to the editor of his local paper, he suggested another way to increase school security.

“What happens is you hear teachers and their students taking refuge in a closet or under a desk because they’re basically backed into a corner in their classroom. They can’t get out but one way. So a logical step is to give them another way out. So you have an escape hatch or an escape door or something that permits them to exit.”

Kotheimer says, with more guns than people in the United States, the issues of capacity or semi-automatic versus assault weapons are just as important as education and background checks.

“The mental health issues are extremely complicated, potentially extremely expensive. The confidentiality issue becomes huge. I say, 'You can’t have a gun,' and it’s publicly posted – is that libel or slander?”

Schools on the defensive
Kotheimer argues that the cost of trained, armed guards is prohibitive for many schools and the probability of shootings at schools is statistically low.

That hasn’t stopped some districts from going on the offensive. Orrville has allowed a science teacher – and part-time police officer – to carry his weapon in school. North Canton is installing radio communication equipment and bulletproof glass. And Stow is upping the number of security cameras in its buildings.

That all sounds great to Rodney Niehaus of Stow. He’s a psychiatric RN who enjoys taking his sons to a shooting range for fun. And he feels more limits on semiautomatic weapons and ammunition clips, background checks at gun shows and other controls would not have prevented Sandy Hook. 

Protecting kids
“If you look at everything… you can’t go into a concert; they’ve got armed guards. You can’t go into hospitals, any kind of events, they have armed guards. It is sort of ridiculous that you have kids in school and they are the most precious thing we have," Niehaus says, yet they have less protection.

He notes that some schools, including  Stow High School, have a resource officer. And he dismisses the suggestion that limits on certain types of guns and magazines will make schools safer.
"You’re not going to stop it by banning weapons. If you were gonna go in and hurt someone, you can do it with a 9 millimeter. You can do it with a .22. For all that, you can do it with a knife.” 

Niehaus spoke after leaving a gun show in Cuyahoga Falls last month. He and others said prices at the gun show seemed artificially high in response to the threat of tighter gun control laws. He went home with just a few holsters.
Add Your Comment
Name:

Location:

E-mail: (not published, only used to contact you about your comment)


Comments:




 
Page Options

Print this page

E-Mail this page / Send mp3

Share on Facebook




Stories with Recent Comments

What's it take to take control of cancer?
In the case of bowel/colorectal cancer, the surest method of prevention is to have a colonoscopy, during which pre-cancerous "polyps" are removed - https://t.co...

Western Stark Free Clinic is set to close but to continue its role
WHAT OTHER DENTAL CLINICS AND MEDICAL CLINICS ARE IN THE CANTON AND MASSILLON, OHIO AREAS?

Three exonerated of murder convictions from 18 years ago
Thanks heavens that none of them have been condemned to death. This alons should convince the USA to join the civilized world by abolishing the death penalty. E...

Kombucha: a sweet business brewed with fermented tea
Stevia is not an artificial sweetener. It is a plant. I have one growing in my sunroom. The leaves are dried and added to teas. It's harvested commercially and...

Bringing back ballet in Cleveland
I do think Ballet in Cleveland is doing good things, but the fact that director says "When we have flourishing companies like the New York City Ballet and the A...

Report confirms some Vietnam veterans may have been exposed to Agent Orange
was in nam 1969 exposed va stated lost medical records was in lawsuit from 197? till settled 0 $ 2010 ? said all nam vets will get back disability till 198? jus...

Mentorship grant program redefines "faith-based" provision
Can't anyone have values, beliefs, and morals anymore? How is it anymore unconstitutional for a school partner with a "faith-based" organization than any other ...

Exploradio: The challenge of finding a healthy balance with technology
Thank you, Jeff, for another well done Exploradio. I always learn something interesting about what is happening in NE Ohio.

Northeast Ohio's transgender community rallies around restroom issue
A good first step would be for Cleveland to require restaurants to have a public restroom. Cleveland is the only city I've ever been in where restaurants somet...

Copyright © 2015 WKSU Public Radio, All Rights Reserved.

 
In Partnership With:

NPR PRI Kent State University

listen in windows media format listen in realplayer format Car Talk Hosts: Tom & Ray Magliozzi Fresh Air Host: Terry Gross A Service of Kent State University 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. NPR Senior Correspondent: Noah Adams Living on Earth Host: Steve Curwood 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. A Service of Kent State University