Josh Sugarmann (Executive director of the Violence Policy Center) and Paul Helmke (President Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence) will be all over this story like a cheap suit in three, two, one . . . To be fair, so are we. And why not? It’s not every day that an Ohio judge tells the public to take up arms in defense of their lives and property. The AP report is pretty clear on the subject on the judge’s motivation: “One judge’s solution for citizens feeling less secure because of budget cuts in an Ohio county: Carry a gun. Judge Alfred Mackey of Ashtabula County Common Pleas Court advised residents Friday to arm themselves because the number of deputies has been cut about in half because of a tight budget. He also urged neighbors to organize anti-crime block watch groups.” Over at the story’s source (WKYC.com), there’s no embed code. But Judge Mackey has a moral code . . .

“Be very vigilant,” he tells the camera with weariness measuring 8 out of 10 on the sigh-o-meter. “Because we’re going to have to look after each other.” Yes, well, vigilance (vigilante-ism?) begins at home. The TV station reports—without a single hard stat—that residents have been buying more guns and training since the law enforcement was cut. The talking head also stresses that the surge is not about a lack of faith in cops, simply their scarcity. Believe it or don’t. Oh, and he calls for MORE taxes, of course. As will Sugarmann and Helmke, without using the “t” word.

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