People who wonder why it’s nearly impossible to have a “reasonable conversation” on guns and gun control need look no further than Brent Larkin, retired editorial director for Cleveland’s Plain Dealer and frequent columnist at Cleveland.com.
In a completely unhinged rant posted last week, Larkin declared that pro-gun state legislators have a “17th-century mindset” because they favor loosening regulations on concealed carry—a trend, by the way, that is sweeping the nation.
“When it comes to deadly weapons—or just about any other issue that matters—this is a state in the high-speed lane towards irrelevance,” Larkin wrote. “In its ongoing effort to make sure young, educated people stay away—and to appease the gun lobby that funds members' campaigns—the Ohio legislature is in the process of doubling down on its love affair with weapons that can slaughter dozens of people in a matter of seconds.”
“When it comes to deadly weapons—or just about any other issue that matters—this is a state in the high-speed lane towards irrelevance.” – Cleveland.com columnist Brent LarkinOh, my! Is the legislature proposing to arm each and every member of Cleveland’s street gangs with a personal machine gun so they can cut down everyone on every city street? One might think so from reading Larkin’s column.
Instead, the legislature is simply proposing to deregulate legal concealed carry of firearms for self-defense, doing away with government licensing and taxing of a constitutional right. Consider that there were only six states that recognized such permitless carry on Jan. 1, 2016. There are now 12, showing just how strong the movement is.
Additionally, some pro-gun legislators are supporting a measure that would provide for holders of concealed-carry licenses and qualified members of the military to be removed from the property if found to be in violation of a “gun-free” zone, but not to be charged with a criminal offense.
But apparently to Larkin, the sky is falling, blood will soon be running curb-deep in the streets and the OK Corral will soon be relocated to downtown Cleveland.
“Just because we live in the same state as people from Butler, Clermont and Warren counties shouldn't mean the rest of us should have to play by their 17th-century rules,” he continued. “The legislature's obsession with turning Ohio into the Wild Wild West also ignores new evidence that a huge majority of Americans has figured out this country's obsession with deadly weapons needs to change.”
Of course, the “Wild, Wild West” analogy has been grossly overused for the last 30 years, since Florida pioneered the Right-to-Carry movement that has subsequently spread throughout the country like wildfire.
Larkin went on to lie about a measure passed earlier this year.
“Then, just months ago, a new president signed a bill making it easier for mentally ill people to purchase deadly weapons,” Larkin wrote. “The mentally ill, of course, are often singled out by the gun lobby as a group responsible for misusing deadly weapons.”
In fact, the measure he is referencing was written to protect Americans from losing their Second Amendment rights based on bureaucratic decisions made without due process of the law. Larkin likely knows that, but chooses to tell his “version” of the story because the truth just doesn’t seem to fit into his anti-gun agenda.
Larkin concluded his rant by quoting Jim Irvine, chairman of the Buckeye Firearms Association, as telling the Dayton Daily News in March, “There is no right to be free of stupid people.”
If Irvine wasn’t referring directly to Larkin, it’s likely he was talking about someone very similar.
And people wonder why having a “reasonable conversation” on the gun issue is so difficult.
Mark Chesnut has been the editor of America’s 1st Freedom magazine for 17 years and is an avid hunter, shooter and political observer.