In case you've been living under a rock or have been in a hospital recuperating from a gunshot wound sustained in Ashtabula:
A couple of weeks ago, Ashtabula County Common Please Judge Alfred Mackey made an odd comment: he told residents of Ashtabula that with budget cuts decimating the police budget, they should arm themselves. Not something you hear from a judge every day.
Naturally, this was considered news of sorts. The idea of moms and dads strapped Delonte West-style while patrolling their neighborhoods ready to bust a cap in the ass of criminals was disturbing to many, exhilarating for others. Two sample reactions from the Plain Dealer's recent reports on Ohio's possible Wild Wild West:
But in a county where firearms and hunting are part of the fabric of life, many are already armed. And they have a warning for any criminal who thinks it's open season on Ashtabula County:
"Just because there's not a squad car rolling up and down the street doesn't mean we're not protected," said John Ginnard, a gun owner and owner of e-comm Cafe in the city of Ashtabula. "Don't come and mess with us, because we will handle it."
Well, hell, don't you feel safer already? Don't you maybe also feel like there's no real need to venture into Ashtabula, you now, just in case you accidentally look at John Ginnard the wrong way or drop a gum wrapper on his lawn?
The other side of the coin:
"It does strike me as a terrible step backward for civilization to go back to individual armed citizens," Moskos said. "That's what we have government for."
He said it may make some sense for an individual to be armed — particularly in a remote area if crime is a legitimate worry, but he added: "I don't want to live next to a bunch of armed people because one of them is going to be crazy."
Ohioans for Concealed Carry thinks that's a load of buckshot. According to Chris Harben's appearance on Fox & Friends last weekend, while gun sales in Ashtabula are steady, ammo sales are up since Mackey's comments, so it seems they're not only armed, but ready to fire. And that's a damn good thing according to Ohioans for Concealed Carry. Harben closed the interview with the specious claim that Ashtabula, with only one squad car patrolling 720-square miles, will be the safest county in Ohio once everyone's locked and loaded. Video below.