Thanks to the Sun News, the Cleveland weekly, we recently got a glimpse of Ohio Rep. Jim Renacci in action at a Town Hall meeting in Fairview Park.  The dominant topic was guns, largely because a  group of pickets showed up to protest his standardized Republican opposition to gun control.

As you know, the multimillionaire  businessman (reported by Roll Call to be $35.8 million!)  is comfortably operating out of the  new Ohio 16th congressional district created just for him in northern Ohio.

Still, Renacci, now in his second term,  is taking no chances;  he’s not  slipping out of the right-wing mask  on this issue, and is  advising his  listeners that guns don’t kill people,  only the mentally ill do.   ” I believe that when it comes to guns, the biggest issue is the mental health issue,” the paper reported his comments to his restless audience.Renaci

Safe enough for the easily persuaded.  But it’s right out of Wayne LaPierre’s playbook.    The problem with it is,  nobody – particularly tight-fisted Republicans –  can tell us how, when, where and to whom does the country direct its attention on the mentally ill gun owners?  (When the late Republican Gov. Jim Rhodes was advised of complaints about the state’s shabby mental health system, he shrugged,  “Those people [patients]  don’t vote anyway.”

No one can deny that the mentally ill need all of the attention that society can offer.  But it will  require a lot more money than the budget balancers would be willing to spend over endless time.  So when guys like Renacci try to divert attention from guns by addressing mental health, he should be asked:  Where do you go from here?  Specifics are never clearly offered and it becomes a talking points abstraction. On the other hand, simply limiting  the size of magazine rounds alone would be helpful.

Renacci, the former mayor of Wadsworth,  built his wealth with investments in nursing homes,  motorcycles and minor league baseball.  He  describes himself as a “common-sense congressman,” and denies that that he is  serving at the pleasure of the NRA – a group with which he was tied for first place nationally for  campaign support.  Renacci’s cut of the NRA pie was a mere $9,900, but when you have your very own safe district thanks to redistricting, you don’t need much more,

“You keep saying that I’m listening to the NRA,” Renacci protested to the Town Hall group, “but I’ve got to keep telling  you, the NRA has never come to my office and said anything.  I am a proponent of the Second Amendment.”

Can we then assume that the check was in the mail?

  • Can’t be any simpler than that.

  • “Specifics are never clearly offered and it becomes a talking points
    abstraction. On the other hand, simply limiting the size of magazine
    rounds alone would be helpful.”

    I agree that both parties should have their feet held to the fire when
    they spout the, “mental health” issue. It’s particularly galling coming
    from Republicans who won’t allocate a dime to the problem in the name
    of fiscal “responsibility”. Run for your lives, it’s socialism!!!

    But there is no evidence that limiting magazine sizes would be helpful.
    The worst body count in one of these incidents was at Virginia
    Tech, where nary an assault weapon or “high” capacity magazine was
    present. We also have to consider that the perpetrator may adjust his
    plan according to whatever tools are available. If magazine size is
    that important, he might carry more loaded guns and not worry about
    magazines (the “New York reload”). He might take marksmanship more
    seriously or take more time to practice magazine changes. The point is,
    simply saying, “Cut the magazine size,” is lazy thinking.

    The number of variables that determine how many die in these horrific episodes is many:

    *Number and density of potential victims
    *Ability or lack thereof of potential victims to find cover
    *Ability or lack thereof of potential victims to escape
    *The amount of time the attacker has to fire unabated (police response time or resistance from potential victims)
    *Does the attacker aim or spray

    …and on and on.

    Can you add gun power and magazine size to that list? Sure, but pretending that reducing magazine sizes when they are only one factor (and might not be even one) of many in an extremely rare type of crime is ridiculous. Again, the Virginia Tech shooter got the worst mass
    shooting death toll in American history using a very low powered handgun and a medium (at best) powered handgun.

    When the pro-gun side blathers on about the U.N. taking their guns or Obama being a Marxist-socialist-Islamo-facist commin’ to get them, they shouldn’t be taken seriously. When the anti-gun side resorts to knee-jerk emotional “solutions” because we, “Have to do something,” they also shouldn’t be taken seriously.

  • I still can’t believe this tool defeated Betty Sutton. I’m just glad I was redistricted into the I-77 corridor district and this tool is not my representative.

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