Amid cuts, Ohio judge tells citizens to carry guns

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by armorplated, Apr 10, 2010.

  1. armorplated


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    May 3, 2007

    One judge's solution for citizens feeling less secure because of budget cuts in an Ohio county: Carry a gun. Judge Alfred Mackey of Ashtabula County Common Pleas Court advised residents Friday to be vigilant and arm themselves because the number of deputies has been cut about in half because of a tight budget. He also urged neighbors to organize anti-crime block watch groups.

    "They have to be law-abiding, and if they are not familiar with firearms they need to take a safety course so they are not a threat to their family and friends and themselves," Mackey said Friday.

    Mackey, whose comments were first broadcast Thursday by WKYC-TV in Cleveland, was expressing concerns with budget cuts that have trimmed the sheriff's department from 112 to 49 deputies in the county, which is Ohio's largest by land area.

    Asked by WKYC how people should respond to the cuts and limited patrols, he said, "Arm themselves. Be very careful and just be vigilant because we're going to have to look after each other."

    Andrew Pollis, who teaches law at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, saw the original TV clip of Mackey and said it was clear the judge wasn't advocating vigilantism.

    Still, Pollis said, snippets of the comments could be misunderstood "as a license, if you will, to engage in conduct which we as a society collectively would not want."

    In Akron, Summit County Common Pleas Judge Patricia Cosgrove, president-elect of the Ohio Common Pleas Judges Association, said she was surprised by Mackey's suggestion.

    "That's scary to me," she said. "I don't know what the situation in Ashtabula County is. I personally would never - that's a personal choice in terms of carrying a weapon."

    With deputies assigned to transport prisoners and serve warrants, only one radio car is assigned to patrol the county of 720 square miles, excluding municipalities with police departments. The sheriff's patrol area covers most of the county, the judge said Friday.

    Mackey said the response to his comments has been positive in the mostly rural county between Cleveland and Erie, Pa.

    "People in this county are hunters," said Mackey, who grew up on a farm with rifles and still owns firearms. "People have familiarity with firearms."

    Messages seeking comment on the judge's remarks were left for Sheriff William Johnson and county commissioners.

    Johnson has threatened to sue the commissioners to have some of his department's funding restored.

    The jail in the county of about 100,000 people has held as many as 140 prisoners, but the number has dipped to about 30 because of reductions in the guard staff. About 700 people are on a waiting list to serve time in the jail.

    Ohio has had a concealed handgun law for five years, and from October to December the Ashtabula County sheriff issued 54 licenses. Twenty-eight licenses were renewed.
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2010
  2. Fiery Red XIII

    Fiery Red XIII Adorkable CLM

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    Sep 20, 2006
    Saw that story, even made the fiance' read it! :supergrin:


  3. BobbyS

    BobbyS Truth always sounds like lies to a sinner

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    Feb 14, 2010
    Boonies New Mexico
    About 700 people are on a waiting list to serve time in the jail.

  4. Fungunner


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    Mar 12, 2003
    Sleepin' by the numbers
    The Sheriff in the Fabens, Ft Hancock area of Texas also advised the citizenry to carry a gun recently, using the old saying about being better to be judged by 12 than carried by 6. He further added he did not want to see any of them carried by 6.
  5. Carrys

    Carrys Inquisitive

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    Dec 28, 2006
    Green Country
    Some of have known for a long time that it is our own responsibility to protect ourselves, it appears that some others are just now starting to understand. Just hope this doesn't lead to a lot of "unintentional" shootings, as is want to happen when so many who're unfamiliar with guns start trying to use them.

    I suppose my "tin foil" hat should start fitting a bit better now.

    As with most things, only folks likely to survive it all are those who are strong enough to deal with what comes. I'm sure we'll all read about the "terrible accidents" which are likely to occur. Sorry for them, but darn it..........we survived exactly this way from hundreds of years, we'll get by this as well. Some folks just won't "like" it. But don't be surprised if they're the first to disappear.