Editorials from around Ohio
Excerpts of recent editorials of statewide and national interest from Ohio newspapers:
The (Findlay) Courier, Sept. 2
It may be too early to get excited about the November election, but, when the time comes, Ohio voters again will have plenty of opportunities to do their part.
Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted is seeing to that.
Husted’s office sent out 6 million applications for absentee ballots late last week to all registered voters. Another batch will be mailed in early October to those who have recently registered or updated their information....
This year’s mailings will cost $1 million, but the bill will be paid with federal funding from the Help America Vote Act.
Meanwhile, Husted is planning for a 28-day early-voting period beginning on Oct. 7. But pending the result of a lawsuit filed by the NAACP and the American Civil Liberties Union, Ohio could return to the 35-day early-voting period used in previous elections.
Earlier this year, lawmakers changed when voters could head to the polls early, eliminating “golden week,” when Ohioans could register to vote, then vote in one visit.
The lawsuit involves Husted’s directive standardizing early-voting hours among all of Ohio’s 88 counties.
Despite all the political bickering and even without golden week, Ohio has more early voting than 40 other states....
Clearly, Ohioans are warming up to the state’s no-excuse, early-voting rules. Now, if only our politicians would just leave the process alone.
The (Toledo) Blade, Sept. 2
The nation’s firearms debate has a new element: gun control for children.
Last week in Arizona, a 9-year-old girl lost control of an Uzi submachine gun, shooting and killing Charles Vacca, her 39-year-old instructor. Not only did the girl have her parents’ permission, but the adults videotaped her using the weapon.
This isn’t the first time such a tragedy has occurred. In 2008, an 8-year-old boy accidentally shot himself with the same type of weapon in Massachusetts.
A 9-year-old can’t drink alcohol, drive a car, or vote. Why should a 9-year-old be handed a weapon that is typically used by military and law enforcement personnel, even at a firing range under the supervision of an instructor?
According to federal studies, unintentional firearm injuries caused the deaths of 606 people in 2010. One report said that 8 percent of the deaths from unintentional shootings were caused by shots fired by children under age 6. The countries with the strictest gun laws, meanwhile, have the fewest fatalities, says the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence.
This country has laws meant to keep firearms away from people with mental illness or criminal records. It also needs laws to protect Americans from the inability to use guns properly.
Some parents and gun-range operators may think it’s all right for a child to hold enormous firepower. Loved ones of victims such as Mr. Vacca know it is not.
Warren Tribune Chronicle, Sept. 2
Americans have gone abroad on their own to fight for many causes during our nation’s history.
Daring American airmen joined the Lafayette Escadrille to fight Germans before the United States entered World War I. Long before Pearl Harbor, others battled the Japanese as members of the “Flying Tigers.”
None of them used knives to cut off the heads of noncombatants, however.
The recent murder of an American reporter captured by Islamic State terrorists in Syria has focused new attention on “foreign fighters” in such groups.
James Foley’s brutal execution was videotaped and distributed worldwide by the terrorists. The man shown using a knife to decapitate Foley is believed to be a British citizen.
Officials in that country have mounted a campaign to identify British residents who may sympathize with Islamic terrorists, in an effort to keep them from going abroad to join the groups. Other countries, including France, are taking similar action.
What about the United States? It is known some Americans have joined terrorist groups and even become leaders in them. Yet U.S. officials from President Barack Obama on down have said little about efforts to keep that from happening.
No one getting on an airplane to leave the United States proclaims he is off to become a murderous jihadist. Identifying and stopping such potential recruits is difficult. Still, U.S. officials should be doing all in their power to do that, even as they work to prevent domestic terrorism.
Steubenville Herald-Star, Aug. 28
There was a contrast of style in the presidency that was on clear display during the past several days.
President Obama, when suspected traitor Bowe Bergdhal was released after the U.S. traded suspected terrorist prisoners for him, made a splash. There was an appearance with Bergdahl’s parents, a statement of unwavering support for the man who some say simply walked off his post in Afghanistan and wound up in the hands of the Taliban.
Obama, when a video surfaced of the beheading of American freelance journalist James Foley, remained on vacation. There were pronouncements and statements but nothing approaching the public relations fervor shown for Bergdahl. There never was an offer of ransom for him, nor does Foley’s family show much support for ransom paid to terrorists.
We get that Bergdahl was at least representing his nation in its armed services, while Foley was a journalist.
There is an image of service to country that is afforded Bergdahl, even amid the traitorous accusations, while there is always the image of the foreign correspondent as some kind of swashbuckler who puts himself in danger....
No one accused Foley of turning his back, even for a moment, on his nation. Though he wasn’t in the armed forces, he was in the service of his people overseas in a war zone.
He deserved better than having his violent death used for political advance.