One of the great myths always being promoted by the political right, is that government is dangerous and intrusive when it comes to civil liberties. The revolting scene in Zanesville, Ohio (below) is in large measure, the result of the “less government is better government” mentality of the current conservative Republican Governor, John Kasich.
The previous governor of the Buckeye-State, Ted Strickland, understood why it was necessary to make sure that anyone convicted of abusing animals, not be permitted to own dangerous exotic animals. Towards that end, the Democratic Governor issued an executive order prohibiting felons from owning such animals. But when Strickland’s order came up renewal, Kasich just didn’t see the need.
As a result of that inaction, convicted animal abuser, Terry Thompson was able to acquire his own private zoo that included over 50 animals. Many, were large, exotic and endangered animals, native too much warmer climates. Most of Thompson’s wild animals were forced to live in tiny cages. Before taking his own life Tuesday night and with no apparent concern for the safety of his neighbors, Thompson let all of his animals go free.
For the next 24 hours, area residents were told to stay indoors; school was cancelled for thousands of children and deputies -with no training in dealing with wild animals, had to find 50 of them before someone was injured or killed. When it was all over, 30 animals were dead. Some of the fortunate animals who were captured alive are being cared for by the Columbus Zoo.
In what will surely be regarding as a classic understatement, Kasich described the situation on Wednesday, “a mess” and a “ terrible thing.”
But the Governor refused, when asked, to take any responsibility for the tragedy.
“This has to be fixed. This is unbelievable that this even existed, and what’s hard for me to understand is why Ohio over time didn’t deal with this, but we’ll deal with it now.”
How unfortunate for the 11,466,917 residents of Ohio, that their current Governor, only seems to be able to recognize the necessity of government protecting the rights of all of its citizens by placing practical restrictions on some of its citizens, after a dangerous-lethal fiasco. Just recently, Kasich signed a new law permitting licensed gun owners to carry concealed weapons into bars and taverns. Buckeyes can only hope and pray that Kasich will not have an ‘oops’ moment regarding his believing that there is no harm in mixing alcohol with guns. But then again, who is the government to limit the rights of gun owners?