Students Should Participate in Local Gun Control Debate

Sharon Fairchild-Soucy

To the Editors:

As Oberlin’s Vice President of City Council, it’s a pleasure to welcome first- years and upperclassmen back to the campus and town.

Your Day of Service does much to build bridges between town and gown, and your continuing activities in our public schools, music programs, farms, gardens, businesses and local government enrich our city.

I invite you to attend board or commission meetings and especially City Council meetings on the first and third Mondays of the month.

At this moment, the city is wrestling with the very dismaying dictate from both the state legislature and the Ohio Supreme Court that local governments may not limit the carrying of guns in parks and recreational facilities. In order to prevent a crippling lawsuit, the Council may be forced to rescind our local ban, but we will immediately follow this action with a resolution protesting the state’s ruling.

One subsequent option is to force a state referen- dum by collecting 15 percent of voter signatures from the last governor’s election. If successful, such a campaign would put the issue directly on the ballot where voters could demand greater gun control and perhaps inhibit Ohio’s disturbing “concealed carry” laws.

In the finest Oberlin tradition, from civil rights, to Vietnam, to environmental policy, students may play a significant role in passing sane gun control laws.

As in this case and others, local issues often have global implications, and your actions can create change.

Thank you again for your continuing involvement in the city of Oberlin. Welcome to our community, and best wishes for a year of learning and growth.

–Sharon Fairchild-Soucy
Vice President Oberlin City Council