Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Government tyranny in wake of Toledo bar shoot out

I picked up my Mom and Dad at the airport last night after their trip visiting my brother in Portland, OR. They asked what was going on in Toledo and said they saw the news story about the bar fight/shoot out .... in Portland ... and in Seattle ... on the national news.

They were surprised that no one was killed and said the video was pretty amazing.

I'll admit that I didn't watch it and only saw the headlines of the story. While a shootout is a bit unusual, even in Toledo, shootings at bars are a relatively normal event - happening periodically and getting just a blurb in the media.

At least that was our discussion, which then turned to talk about the inevitable push to outlaw guns. Of course, the fact that these individuals were breaking a law just having guns in a liquor establishment in the first place doesn't seem to phase the people who want more government control on this issue. If said individuals didn't mind breaking the law by the possession of the guns, what makes anyone - in their right mind - think that outlawing the guns would have made any difference?

And just how many of those guns in that shootout do you think were legally obtained in the first place?

Of course Mayor Carty Finkbeiner, ignorant in his analysis and clamoring for publicity, immediately started talking about shutting down this establishment and blaming the owner for not checking the patrons for guns before they came in.

Mr. Finkbeiner said the owner showed a lack of appreciation for the dangerous mix of alcohol and weapons and said a message has to be sent.

"The owner should have had the common sense if he cared about his establishment to pay attention to whether patrons were coming onto the premises with weapons in their belts, weapons in their pockets, weapons in their coats and shirt pockets," the mayor said.

Did you get that??? The mayor thinks the owner should frisk his patrons to be sure they're not committing the crime of possession.

Don't for a minute think this is just 'Carty being Carty' and brush off his comments. I predict that, in the near future, you'll see all kinds of gun-ban groups pushing for laws that require bars to have metal detectors at the door.

Stranger things have been known to happen - especially in Toledo where the politicians think owners of properties are to blame for laws that others break and end up paying settlements in lawsuits over the issue.

And, in typical over-reaction and righteous indignation, the mayor is going to "use every tool open to him, including health and nuisance inspectors," to make sure the bar is closed.

"Even though an incident might have been an isolated incident, this was a very violent, potentially hurtful incident that cannot be tolerated," he said.(emphasis added)

Talk about government tyranny! The mayor is promising to bring the full force of a municipal government to bear against a business owner because some idiot patrons did something illegal.

And note that no one was hurt! He doesn't react this way when someone is killed in a shooting - why now? Because it made national news?

The mayor's chief of staff, Robert Reinbolt, who doubles as city safety director, wore a large gold badge on his jacket pocket and made a statement saying, "This is a safety issue and we're going to do everything we can to make sure the issues are addressed and we don't have these problems occurring again."

Maybe the solution isn't to go after the business owner, but to eliminate unnecessary spending (like Reinbolt's shiny new badge) elsewhere in the city so we can bring back our laid off police officers and do increased patrols. What a thought!

Now, I realize that no amount of police officers or laws is going to prevent someone from possessing a gun illegally and using it. But increased patrols are going to be far more effective than shutting down this one business.

If this bar closes, those patrons will just go elsewhere - and take their illegal activity with them.

Finkbeiner disagrees:

The mayor also rejected the suggestions of some that his layoffs of 75 police officers last May - 60 of whom have since returned to work - contributed to the outbreak of violence. He noted that there was a riot in North Toledo four years ago and that was not blamed on a lack of police.

That riot he references? That was when the Nazis came to Toledo and some of our citizens reacted badly to the situation, destroying their own neighborhood. It is certainly not an apples-to-apples comparison.

Fortunately, it seems as if common sense prevails among the neighbors:

"This is mostly everybody's favorite spot, and they have good food, too," Ms. Otto said.
"He always tries to keep things down. He looks out for his customers," Mr. Haney said. "Anytime you are running a business you can't tell who's walking in off the street."
"Cut the guy some slack. He's struggling like the rest of us to keep his business going," Mr. Malczewski said.

Unfortunately, I have no faith that such common sense will prevail in the halls of government.

But I do have faith that Carty will keep his promise to use the full force of government to make an example in this 'isolated incident.'

Sadly, though, that example will expand government tyranny and end up doing more to enforce the 'not business friendly' attitude of Toledo government than it will to increase safety in the city.


Norma said...

I don't think I saw this on our news. Thanks.

Timothy W Higgins said...


Route 66 is responsible for its patrons, convenience stores are responsible for their patrons, but the city is not responsible for the less than congenial activities that have occurred at the Erie Street Market.

Such is the definition of a "business friendly city" in Toledo, OH.

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