Ashenhurst’s Letter Requires Clarification

Ellen F. Broadwell, Oberlin College Library

To the Editors:

I am a bit confused by David Ashenhurst’s letter in Oct. 11’s Review (“Petition Aims to Restrict Right to Carry Arms,” The Oberlin Review, Oct. 11, 2013). He refers to Oberlin City Council’s recent action to amend the city ordinance permitting one to carry firearms in city parks, to bring it into compliance with state law, and mentions something about a magic “get-out-of-this-lawsuit-free” card. I’m not sure what he means by this — perhaps the same gun organization (Ohioans for Concealed Carry) that won a similar court case against Cleveland is going to bow down before Oberlin because of its long activist history? Maybe it would settle for something other than everything it wanted in the first place and more?

The very day Mr. Ashenhurst and others turned in petitions to undo what City Council had been forced to do, I heard him say at the candidates’ night event essentially that Oberlin couldn’t stand alone in the face of state law and the gun lobby, but would have to work with other communities across the state to change the law. So which is it, Mr. Ashenhurst, did City Council do what it had to do to bring the city’s ordinance into compliance with state law, or did it give in too easily to the gun lobby?