I’d like to start by saying that every reporter in Ohio has missed one important fact about the new gun bill Kasich plans to sign: it is NOT limited to concealed carry permit holders.
Instead, it allows anyone and everyone who is carrying a gun in their car to bring that gun into the Ohio Statehouse garage, as long as they aren’t breaking some other law in the process.
Last year, after the big anti-SB5 rallies, Kasich =made a huge deal about safety concerns at the Statehouse, asking for metal detectors to be installed. It seems his concerns are long gone as he now loosens restrictions on weapons in the parking garage below.
More importantly, the bill allows ANYONE to now carry loaded magazines in their vehicles – including in the statehouse garage – within reach of the driver as long as the gun and the magazine are in a separate “container”, which has conveniently been redefined as anything with “a snap, button, buckle, zipper, hook and loop closing mechanism, or other fastener”. For example, you can now carry a semi-automatic pistol in your glove box and a dozen, loaded, thirty-plus-round magazines in an old Dukes of Hazzard lunchbox sitting next to you on the passenger seat.
Clearly Kasich, like Ohio’s press corps, hasn’t spent the appropriate amount of time digging into the revised version of the bill which, to be fair, has been worded in a way to be intentionally confusing.
I submit as proof the following video of a bizarre answer given by Kasich to a question from Statehouse reporter Bill Cohen (as captured by Marc Kovac at OhioCapitolBlog)
Cohen asks Kasich why he thinks it’s important to allow guns in the statehouse parking garage.
The governor rambles on for awhile about a meeting he had with his education adviser and eventually settles on this answer: “Every time I talk to young children I tell them hug the kid that sits at the end of the cafeteria table, pay attention to them.”
Kasich said something very similar in his last state of the state speech: “invite those kids that sometimes you think of as the nerds or invite those kids who sometimes get ignored, hug them, make them feel special.”
This time, Governor, I don’t think hugs are going to quite cut it.