By: José Niño

As many gun owners have learned over the years, blindly trusting Republicans to defend the Second Amendment is dangerous.

Gun control is a bipartisan project through and through; 2020 has been no exception to this trend.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine is begging Republicans in the Ohio General Assembly to ram through “common sense” gun control measures. There’s nothing “common sense” about civilian disarmament. In fact, common sense would dictate that disarming law-abiding people would leave them defenseless against criminals —people who couldn’t care less about the law and do whatever it takes to carry out their illicit activity.

According to WOSU, the good news is that Republican elected officials “have so far ignored DeWine’s proposals” for gun control. Time is not on the governor’s side, as the current legislative session is quickly coming to a close.

DeWine’s “STRONG Ohio” proposal features provisions for red flag gun confiscation orders and creates a universal background check system for independent gun sellers, effectively creating the next step towards a full-fledged registration system.

After the tragic Dayton Massacre, where a deranged shooter killed nine people and injured 17 others before law enforcement took him out, DeWine felt it necessary to push for gun control. Even for a Republican, if the media pressure is too much, they will eventually fold.

SB 221 was the original bill that DeWine and the pro-civilian disarmament portion of the Ohio state government were pushing back in November of 2019. The bill received three hearings and died in committee towards the end of last year.

This has not, however, stopped DeWine from continuing to push for gun control. To make matters worse, he is using the current COVID-19 hysteria as a pretext to pass gun control. This is the time-honored tradition of political demagoguery that we’ve all become accustomed to: Never letting a crisis go to waste. While it’s easy to attack Democrats for their blatant disrespect for the Second Amendment, Republicans are not exempt from behaving like petty despots. That’s why it’s important for gun rights organizations to hold both sides of the political aisle accountable. Neither side can be fully trusted to defend, let alone restore our rights.

If DeWine is going to be honest about his gun control bill, he should rename it “WEAK Ohio” because of how it will leave law-abiding Ohioans defenseless against criminals. DeWine should, of course, consider loosening up Ohio’s gun laws if he truly wants his citizens to be safer.

Ohio is not exactly a pro-Second Amendment bastion, but it’s at least no California or New York. According to Guns & Ammo magazine’s most recent ranking for the most hospitable states for gun owners, Ohio is ranked in 23rd place. For concealed carry, it’s ranked in 34th place. The Buckeye state still has work to do as far as the right to self-defense is concerned. Grassroots activists will have to remind DeWine and his fellow Republicans of that throughout the primaries and the general election and add in some pressure during legislative sessions as well. Politicians will not get the memo on their own.

José Niño is a freelance writer based in Austin, Texas. Sign up for his mailing list here. Contact him via Facebook, Twitter, or email him at [email protected]. Get his e-book, The 10 Myths of Gun Control, here.