Kasich reverses his position on gun control, bashes Congress

Published: Sunday, February 18, 2018 @ 11:04 AM

On State of the Union, Gov. John Kasich discusses the recent shooting in Parkland, Fla. and what Congress must do in the wake of it.

In a sharp departure from the views which won him the National Rifle Association’s endorsement in 2014, Ohio Gov. John Kasich said he would support new gun restrictions such as universal background checks and perhaps a ban on the sale of some semi-automatic assault weapons.

During an interview Sunday on CNN’s State-of-the-Union, Kasich expressed support not only for background checks for people trying to buy guns, but also banning what are known as bump stocks, which allow a semi-automatic weapon to be converted into an automatic weapon.

But Kasich went even further on CNN. In the aftermath of the shooting deaths of 17 people last week at a Florida high school, Kasich raised the possibility of prohibiting the sale of semi-automatic weapons such as the AR-15, which was used in last week’s shooting.

(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)(Washington Bureau)

Shortly after the CNN interview, Kasich’s aides removed from his campaign web site a page which boasted that as governor, Kasich had “signed every pro-Second Amendment bill that crossed his desk.”

Those bills included measures which made it potentially legal to carry concealed weapons in day-care facilities and college campuses.

John Weaver, an adviser to Kasich who helped direct his 2016 quest for the Republican presidential nomination, said Kasich “is a supporter of the Second Amendment, but like many Americans – if not most – his views have evolved with the dramatic increase in school shootings and mass killings.”


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“We want our leaders to be unafraid to observe, listen and learn,” Weaver said, adding “we urge” President Donald Trump to “follow suit.”

Kasich’s abrupt reversal of his opposition to gun restrictions is yet another sign he plans to seek the presidency in 2020, either as a moderate Republican or independent. But his new stance is certain to infuriate the NRA, which has a major kick in Republican presidential primaries.

Kasich’s most astonishing shift was with the semi-automatic assault weapons. Kasich asked on CNN if anyone would “feel as though your Second Amendment rights would be eroded because you couldn’t buy a God-darn AR-15? These are the things that have to be looked at. And action has to happen.”

In 1994 as a member of Congress, Kasich voted to ban the production and sale of 19 semi-automatic assault weapons. But when he ran for president in 2016, Kasich called the ban “superfluous and we don’t need laws that are superfluous. It didn’t have any impact.”

The ban expired in 2004 when Congress failed to renew it.

(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)(Washington Bureau)

Kasich said he has formed a committee “on both sides of the issue” in Ohio to propose recommendations on gun safety. Neither Kasich nor his aides have said who is on the committee.

“If they don’t produce anything, I’ll put my own stuff out,” Kasich said.

David Pepper, chairman of the Ohio Democratic Party, said he was “glad” Kasich is on national TV and “speaking out” on guns.

“Hopefully he’s got some ability to work with the statehouse to find solutions and roll back some of the worst pieces of legislation they pushed through in the last seven years,” Pepper said.

Kasich, who has yet to introduce a bill restricting the sale of guns in Ohio, called on Trump to “lead on this,” adding “this is a great opportunity for commonsense steps that can be taken just in the area of background checks.”

“There should be no ability to do a casual sale without somebody having to find out who they’re selling the gun to and what is involved,” Kasich said. “The president should be for that.”

“When it comes to the issue of mental illness … we need to take a look across the country that, if somebody’s mentally ill, it needs to be reported,” Kasich said. “And if somebody becomes emotionally distraught, it must be immediately examined by local law enforcement or the FBI.”

At least half-dozen bills are already pending in the Ohio House and Senate that call for: safe storage of weapons at home, universal background checks, a prohibition on gun possession by those convicted of domestic violence or subject to a protection order, and other measures, according to Ohio Coalition Against Gun Violence.

Conversely, there are at least eight bills pending that would expand gun rights, including shifting the burden of proof in self-defense cases and changing the duty to retreat – a so-called ‘stand your ground’ law, according to the Buckeye Firearms Association.

As governor, Kasich signed bills into law that expanded gun rights, including where concealed weapons permitholders may carry hidden guns.

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Tennessee man cleared of conviction after 31 years in prison awarded $1 million

Published: Friday, March 23, 2018 @ 4:16 AM

A Tennessee man who spent 31 years in prison was awarded $1 million  by the state's Board of Claims.
Mark Wilson/Getty Images
A Tennessee man who spent 31 years in prison was awarded $1 million by the state's Board of Claims.(Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

A Tennessee man cleared of a rape and burglary conviction after spending 31 years in prison was awarded $1 million by the Tennessee Board of Claims, The Tennessean reported.

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Lawrence McKinney, 61, was awarded the cash after a unanimous vote by the board. He was released from prison in 2009 because of new DNA evidence that cleared him of rape and burglary charges handed down in Memphis in 1978.

McKinney will receive $353,000 up front to pay his attorney fees and debts and also to buy a vehicle, the Tennessean reported. The remaining $647,000 will be distributed in a monthly annuity that will pay McKinney $3,350 per month for life beginning on May 1, the newspaper reported. 

The payment is guaranteed for a minimum of 10 years. If McKinney should die within that span, the balance will be paid to his wife, or his estate if she also does not survive, the Tennessean reported.

The $1 million award is the maximum amount the board was allowed to allot for McKinney. Gov. Bill Haslam granted an executive exoneration to McKinney in December.

“We want to thank the board and the governor for standing by this man and seeing that justice was done,” said David Raybin, one of McKinney’s attorneys. "No amount of money can compensate somebody for that long a time (for wrongful imprisonment), but it's the statement that it makes that is important as well …”

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One in critical condition after being shot in the mouth in Trotwood

Published: Friday, March 23, 2018 @ 12:32 AM
Updated: Friday, March 23, 2018 @ 3:47 AM

UPDATE @ 3:45 a.m: One person is in critical condition at Miami Valley Hospital after being shot in the mouth in Trotwood early Friday morning, according to officials.

OTHER LOCAL NEWS: Two suspected metal thieves caught red-handed at Hewitt Soap Factory

The incident occurred in the 4700 block of Knollcroft Road just after midnight, per initial reports.

The suspect vehicle, believed to be a black Lincoln SUV, was towed away shortly after the shooting occurred and one person was arrested while officials were on scene. 

No word on if the person arrested is the suspected shooter or just being taken in for questioning.

We will continue to update this story as details become available. 

UPDATE @ 2:25 a.m: Officials continue to investigate after a person was shot in the mouth in Trotwood early Friday morning.

Initial reports indicate the shooting occurred in the 4700 block of Knollcroft Road just after midnight. 

The suspect was not on scene when authorities arrived, but officials are describing the suspect vehicle as a black Lincoln SUV. 

The victim was transported to Miami Valley Hospital on unknown conditions.


Crews are responding to the 4700 block of Knollcroft Road in Trotwood on a reported shooting that occurred early Friday morning.

The incident was dispatched around 12:20 a.m., per initial reports.

We will continue to update this story with more details. 

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West Carrollton police cruiser reportedly hit during pursuit on I-75

Published: Friday, March 23, 2018 @ 3:24 AM

A West Carrollton police cruiser was reportedly hit during a short pursuit on southbound I-75 Friday morning, according to officials.

OTHER LOCAL NEWS: Officials investigate after person is shot in the mouth in Trotwood

The pursuit started around 2:45 a.m. and ended shortly after at the 43 milemarker near the I-675 exit ramp, per initial reports. 

No injuries were reported as a result of the hit and one person was reportedly detained at the scene.

No word on the severity of the damage to the cruiser. 

The Ohio Highway State Patrol are assisting with the incident.

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Airline crew member caught with 9 pounds of cocaine taped to legs

Published: Friday, March 23, 2018 @ 3:34 AM

In this photo supplied by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, a crew member of Fly Jamaica Airways is shown with tape on his legs. Federal agents said the man smuggled nine pounds of cocaine into the country.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection
In this photo supplied by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, a crew member of Fly Jamaica Airways is shown with tape on his legs. Federal agents said the man smuggled nine pounds of cocaine into the country.(U.S. Customs and Border Protection)

Federal agents arrested a crew member of Fly Jamaica Airways for allegedly attempting to smuggle bags of cocaine into the United States by taping them to his legs, according to a statement by U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

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On March 17, the man was taken to a private search room at JFK International Airport, CNN reported. The flight had arrived in New York from Montego Bay, Jamaica.

Agents said they found four packages taped to his legs, with nine pounds of cocaine with a reported street value of $160,000, CNN reported.

The man has been charged with federal narcotics smuggling, CNN reported. He will be prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

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