Yesterday, Ohio lawmakers kicked off the first week of their Lame Duck legislative session with a bang, passing controversial “Stand Your Ground” gun legislation. Debate on the bill came to a dramatic end when Democratic Representative, Stephanie Howse was gaveled down for talking about race.
After several others had made speeches for and against the bill, Representative Howse spoke about what it’s like to have to fear you just for being who you are. The bill eliminates the “duty to retreat” in situations where a person may fear for their lives and shifts the burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt to the prosecution, creating a situation which she summed up as:
“If one person says ‘I feared for my life’ and the other person’s dead, who do you believe?”
But it’s when Howse began to list the racial composition of the districts represented by many of the bill sponsors (very, very white), Speaker Smith wasn’t taking it. He sharply brought down the gavel and asked her to stop “personalizing” her remarks. After a short argument, he cut off her mic and moved to call the roll, denying other lawmakers the opportunity to testify of the bill.
Watch the video:
In the end, the bill passed by a final margin of 65-32.
Here’s how every Representative voted:
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