Writer questions Rep.’s policies, interaction


Editor:

The Register Herald published the upcoming office hours of J. Todd Smith, local pastor and representative for Ohio House District 43.

In the article Representative Smith says, “Office hours are a great way to communicate with people face-to-face…,” and I have experience doing just that.

Recently, I met with him to advocate against H.B. 178. If passed it would alter current law to allow permitless carry, meaning Ohioans age twenty-one and older without a felony conviction would no longer be required to complete eight hours of firearms training and pass a criminal background check before legally carrying a concealed weapon.

The bill would also cease to require individuals engaged in encounters with law enforcement to notify officers if they are carrying a concealed weapon. While repeatedly referring to H.B. 178 as “constitutional carry,” Representative Smith admitted he had not read the bill and disingenuously insisted he did not have a position on it. Instead, he brought up his involvement on the Valley View School District Security Committee as he advocated for ending all gun-free zones.

In response I explained that my children attended an Ohio school during the time it experienced a fatal school shooting, and I referenced H.B. 178 by asking how I could tell my children they would be safe in public if the law allowed more people to legally carry hidden weapons without any training. Although he brought up school shootings, he interrupted to accuse me of being off-topic and “chattering on.”

His dismissive condescension is unworthy of the office he holds as a representative, and his constituents deserve to know who J. Todd Smith is and how his policies endanger them.

Natalie Ogle

Massillon