Man with gun strapped to leg

Ohio has been going gun crazy for years and it’s only going to get Wild West worse.

As of this month the state is now not only a “stand your ground” state, but also permitless carry, meaning state-mandated training or a background check to legally carry guns is optional, and gun nuts also have the option to openly carry because God says it’s okay.

The above picture was taken at a local grocery store. True, grocery stores are targets for active shooters, but must we all be openly carrying so to put an end to active shooters?

When it comes to America’s gun fetish there’s too much blame to go around, but arguably the biggest gun-pusher trap house in Ohio is the Ohio Statehouse, as its dominating GOP leadership apparently wants an AR-15 slung over everyone’s shoulder.

Nonetheless, Mayor Ginther on Tuesday held a press conference seeking to curb the tidal wave of guns that hit Columbus many years ago and continues to do so. Earlier this year he announced the formation of the Columbus Alliance Against Illegal Guns, which apparently has demanded common sense gun reform from the Ohio Statehouse (as if). The Mayor also declared gun violence a public health crisis (as if).

“If (Ohio GOP) refuse to move on gun violence in a thoughtful and serious way – then they need, at least, to get out of our way,” he said on Tuesday.

Good luck with that, Mayor Ginther.

What the Mayor and law enforcement need to do is take serious action by shutting down all the (white) gun sellers who are making “straw sales” around the community.

No doubt, “straw sales” or “straw purchases” are rampant – keep in mind it was a 15-year-old who killed 24-year-old Atayia Nichols at the Glennwood Community Center this month.

Law enforcement defines straw sales as someone who purchases a gun for another who is prohibited by law from possessing a gun. Federally licensed firearm dealers are required to perform background checks and make their records available to law enforcement.

Like the sale of illicit drugs, ending straw sale purchases has become an impossibility. But several reliable sources told the Free Press that “straw sales” have occurred outside the “The Gun Show,” which is the last remaining tenant at the derelict Westland Mall.

In September of 2020, as The Gun Show was going on indoors, 21-year-old Sage Martin was shot and killed in the Westland Mall’s cratered parking lot.

Was Sage Martin’s homicide a “straw sale” gone bad?

Coincidentally, the ATF reported in 2020 that more than 2,700 illegal guns were recovered by law enforcement and traced back to Columbus – the highest number for any community in Ohio.

This same report found that 16,562 firearms were recovered by law enforcement that year in Ohio. A 19.5% increase from 2019.

Politicians and law enforcement responded to the report saying the pandemic and all its stressors could be to blame, which sounds as if they are grasping at straws.

There is some good news. During Tuesday’s press conference, Columbus Police Chief Elaine Bryant said the Division had been working with the ATF and its mobile National Integrated Ballistic Information Network (NIBIN) lab for the first five months of this year.

Chief Bryant said the collaboration has resulted in over 1,000 leads.

What’s no joke and always forgotten in the insane debate about guns is that most law enforcement does not want permitless carry or stand your ground laws because lo-and-behold…it makes their job less safe and much more stressful.  

As recently stated by the Ohio Capital Journal: “No matter how many times the Fraternal Order of Police of Ohio testifies against the latest Republican-proposed gun legislation, the outcome is always the same: push the bill forward.”