Pounds: Sons of gunsWritten by Tom Pounds | President / Publisher | firstname.lastname@example.org
I suspected the race to be Toledo’s mayor would get ugly, and my expectations were confirmed with a recent tasteless bit of grandstanding. On April 3, mayoral candidate Joe McNamara and former mayor Carty Finkbeiner exploited the violent and tragic murder of Kaitlin Gerber to call for background checks for potential gun owners.
Barely a week after Gerber was slain by Jashua Perz, who later used his gun to commit suicide, McNamara and Finkbeiner stood for a photo opportunity at the Southland Shopping Center memorial site where grieving visitors have left greeting cards, flowers and other items in Gerber’s memory.
I do not question McNamara and Finkbeiner’s sincerity in seeking gun control, but their choice of venue and the timing of their exploitation is boorish and insensitive. Did McNamara and Finkbeiner ever make such a stand after one of Toledo’s myriad central city shooting deaths? Where was their outrage when 1-year-old Ke’Ondra Hooks was struck in the head by a stray bullet, killed by street violence while sleeping on the floor of her family’s Moody Manor apartment?
McNamara and Finkbeiner could have called for action without manipulating the death of a young woman to fit their agenda.
There is no question that episodes of gun violence seem more harrowing under the media spotlight. I am open to having the conversation about how to ensure gun owners are responsible, though it is clear no law or restriction would have mattered to Perz. And I have yet to hear how lawmakers can impose restrictions on guns without violating the Second Amendment.
Of course McNamara and Finkbeiner have the right to express their opinions, but choosing to stand in the freshly spilled blood of a tragic victim shows extremely poor taste and a lack of sense and judgment.
Those traits are Finkbeiner’s calling card; seeing them emerge in McNamara is troubling and a bad omen for his mayoral aspirations.
Thomas F. Pounds is publisher and president of Toledo Free Press and Toledo Free Press Star. Email him at email@example.com.