Ted Strickland’s Principled Change of Heart on Gun Safety

by Joan McCarter –


Back in the early 1990s, when he was in the U.S. House, Ted Strickland wasn’t a reliable vote on gun safety. To the contrary, he voted against the Brady Bill in 1993 and the 1994 assault weapons ban. Even in 2010, he used those gun votes in his re-election campaign for governor, which he lost. But then in 2012, things changed for him.

But a spate of mass shootings caused soul searching, he said. After 26—including 20 children—were killed in an elementary school shooting in Newtown, Conn., Strickland called for a commission to consider the nation’s gun laws, telling the Wooster Daily Record, “there needs to be a recognition that we cannot continue to lose thousands and thousands of innocent people to gun violence.”Strickland now supports expanding background checks to people buying guns at gun shows or on the internet. He also supports a Democrat-sponsored amendment banning suspected terrorists from buying guns and even concedes he now would support an assault weapons ban if it were enforceable. […]

He dismisses the idea that he betrayed his values.

“I came from Appalachia. I came from a family where hunting was a way of life. But I also have a heart and a brain. I have eyes and ears. And I have the capacity to look around and see what’s happening,” he said. “And it’s clear to me that this gun violence epidemic has escalated to the point where we need to find some common sense solutions to save lives.”

That’s not going over well with the gun rights community.

“He’s not the man he used to be on our issue,” said Jim Irvine, president of the Buckeye Firearms Association. “And he seems proud of that.” Proud? Not really. Intelligent and principled enough to see when enough is enough? That. They still have their reliable stooge, however, in Republican Rob Portman. Last week, the GOP senator sided with the majority of his colleagues to oppose any even half-way meaningful gun safety reforms. “If you’re a known or suspected terrorist, you shouldn’t be able to get a gun, period,” Portman said, obviously going out on a major limb. “But you should be able to know whether you’re on that list or not.” Once again, another Republican who doesn’t care about anyone’s civil liberties—unless it has something to do with owning an assault rifle.

Ohio can do better than Portman. So can the nation.


Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos