Selected Columns Published in


 by Chuck Klein



DUTY BEFORE LOYALTY, How we can improve the police



















18 Jun 1990


As a card-carrying member (35 years) of the National Rifle Association (NRA) — wait, don’t stop reading; I have a different bent — I would like to offer a more realistic approach to the problems associated with guns in our society.  I have, so far unsuccessfully, been unable to influence the NRA to give up its longstanding hard line of no gun restrictions ever. However, I feel so strongly that something must be done that I am risking the ire of the (my) association by tendering this treatise to the public.

 I don’t think I’m any different than most other Americans. I want the right to be able to protect myself if for no other reason than it makes me feel secure. FDR put it best when he broadcast his famous Four Freedoms speech, which included the right to be free from fear. We all have that right. As it stands now, with the present level of firearms ownership in this country, we could never be occupied by a foreign people should it be attempted. Like our forefathers we would be able to repel any invading army by numbers alone. This was not the case for citizens of most European countries during the great world wars.

If we lost the next war, then our great body of laws would become moot anyway. 

Just like Europe  If some of the anti-gun fanatics have their way in eliminating all weapons from American homes we wouldn’t be any better off than Europe, circa 1938. “History . . . not learned . . . doomed to repeat.” Of the 6 million Jews slaughtered in the Holocaust, if only half of them had had guns and if only a tenth of that number had been able to kill a Nazi storm trooper when the knock on the door came, then the “final solution” might have been just another one of Hitler’s pipe dreams.

There are generations of people in this country who have no concept of what it’s like to live in an occupied country under a totalitarian regime. They believe this will never happen here because we have our Constitution to protect us; but when martial law is declared, the Bill of Rights, as well as all other civil rights, is suspended. Of course, if we lost the next war, then our great body of laws would become moot anyway.

The war when it comes, and it will surely come, won’t be the trench warfare of World War I or the mechanized confrontations of World War II. The next world war will most likely be in the form of invading wpves of starving masses who will, because of their own inabilities at population and pollution control, descend on us for our precious and dwindling resources.

Another worst-case scenario could result from the expansion of the criminal gangs, ala Bloods and Crips et al., and Mafia organizations that become so large and greedy on their own that they force a civil insurrection. Couple this with the steady stream of illegal aliens, many of whom have no respect for our system of laws, and Helter Skelter becomes a realty.

The time for this could be ripe in a few years should our already overburdened criminal-justice system finally thrown in the towel. A population without a means of self-protection will surely be conquered. Now this might not happen in my lifetime, but I’m not willing to put all my eggs in the one basket of the U.S. military. Even barring a nationwide catastrophe, the courts of this country have ruled that the police don’t have a duty, per se, to protect us. That should be reason enough to secure weapons of self-protection. Maybe I’m paranoid, but I shouldn’t have to be: I’ve got a right to be “free of fear,” haven’t I?

 On the other side of the coin, there are too many of the wrong people in possession of firearms as evident in the numerous gun-related deaths of innocent persons. A solution to this could begin with the federal government’s mandating guidelines to ensure that the citizens of each state not be subjected to unrealistic restrictions of self-protection without giving up the states’ rights of weaponry control. These strictures could begin with the passage of legislation to ensure the right of all adult citizens to possess a legal firearm in their own home.

This won’t bestow any rights to purchase or carry this firearm, only the right to keep one weapon in their home — not an arsenal, just one gun. Of course, with this guaranty a provision should be attached to the bill to hold the gun owner accountable, both civilly and criminally, for the misuse of the weapon. The proviso should be written so as to place the burden of proof on the gun owner, requiring him to show that he had maintained the weapon in a safe place and manner in the event of injury resulting from the negligent use of this firearm.

 For any person to be able to purchase a firearm he should be required to obtain a state permit which would entail a waiting period of sufficient length for the police to do a background check on the applicant. This permit would then be good for the purchase of firearms of all kinds for a given period of time without further waiting. This license could have different levels such as a basic license for one homeowner gun only, a shotgun.

Class 2 permits could be issued to target shooters/collectors and those desiring multiple gun ownership. A third level of registered citizen permits could be for those who can demonstrate proficiency and knowledge of the laws of use of lethal force may carry concealed weapons.

 In addition, guidelines should be established for the implementation of mandatory firearms safety education for grade-schoolers as well as those seeking a license to carry. Any state-issued permit should convey the same reciprocity between the states as an automobile driver’s license does now.

 For enforcement of these laws the police should be given the power to stop and frisk anyone, anytime, anywhere on public property. To appease the civil libertarians, this new police right, if exercised solely for weapons discovery, shall preclude tile arrest of the person searched if other contraband is found.

There are far worse things than being shot by some deranged gunman — like being forced to live in an authoritarian society or the fear (real or imagined) of not being able to defend yourself, much less your family, from a terrorist or an intruder bent on doing you harm. We don’t need more control on the inanimate guns; what is required is more control on the people who feel the need to own them without usurping their rights and endangering the security of this country.

 Chuck Klein is a licensed private investigator and the holder of an unrestricted permit to carry a concealed weapon. He is a member of the Switzerland County (IN.) sheriff’s department and author of Instinct Combat Shooting Defensive Handgunning for Police. He lives in Patriot, IN.


24 Apr 1992 

DUTY BEFORE LOYALTY, How we can improve the police

Notwithstanding the many admirable Cincinnati Police Division officers on the force now, as in the past, there is one major problem that is not being addressed. The problem is not the fault of the beat officers, but of those who are empowered to establish, by example, training and edict, rank-and-file attitude.

The other day while visiting a friend in an area retail business a white Cincinnati police officer, off duty and in street clothes, came in to order his consumer goods. The officer and the store owner, my friend, were acquainted and conversed in small talk. The proprietor asked this officer, who had recently graduated from the police academy, how things were going. He began a 30-minute dissertation on his duties since becoming an officer.

Many of the anecdotes or descriptions of encounters with the public and criminal element might have been humorous if not for the fact that the jokes were all at the expense of one minority or another. These encounters indicated a negative attitude (contempt) toward these people. In response to a direct question as to whether he had received training on how to deal with minorities he stated, “We had some professional gays come in and talk with us.” This officer was very talented in mimicking stereotypical black, “hill-billy” and gay dialects.

Questionable judgment: However, as a member of a religious minority group myself, I question not only his judgment in performing in front of strangers, but the circumstances that allowed this prejudicial attitude. Professional comics, close friends and members of the same minority can poke fun at each other but outsiders, and especially our police, shouldn’t.

Why, after all this country has been through from the lunch counters of the ‘50s to the riots of the ‘60s to the gay rights of the ‘80s, do we still produce police officers with a negative attitude toward select groups of citizens? It should be obvious that the current training might be successfully teaching officers how to identify minority groups and how to handle them to reduce lawsuits while failing to instill a positive attitude about people as human beings.

This attitude problem within the Cincinnati Police Division has roots at least as far back as the 1960s. Chief of Police Stanley Schrotel, used to say at every media opportunity that the Cincinnati Police Division was “a top-rated police department.” Trouble was, he never told who rated them and the media never asked. The truth was they rated themselves because there wasn’t any rating system in existence. They soon began to believe this PR job themselves and thought that as long as they were “top-rated” they didn’t need to seek improvement.

I know that you’re thinking, “What does he know — he’s not a cop.” True, I’m not a police officer now, but I paid my dues back when discrimination was a little more open. My law-enforcement experience totals over 11 years.

Being a police officer is more like a bed of roses than most jobs — it can smell sweet some of the time, but the thorns are always present. It is a most unforgiving profession. For this reason police tend to pull in and to be introverted as a group. This constant circling of the wagons only deepens the them-vs.-us mentality. To further insulate themselves certain unwritten rules are espoused. Some of these agency edicts are: Always cover for a fellow officer if at all possible and never arrest a fellow officer if you can keep the offense from the public. Understandable? Yes. Acceptable? No.

A few years ago I was conversing with a Cincinnati police officer, a longtime acquaintance, about the then-current investigation into two officers charged with covering up another officer’s involvement in a fatal drunken-driving accident. My friend, knowing of my police background and referring to the two officers under investigation, said, “There, but for the grace of God, go you or I.” Wrong! Never would I or any of the suburban officers I ever worked with condone, much less cover up, a felony. Looking the other way when a fellow officer’s car is illegally parked is one thing, but for officers, sworn to uphold the law, to help, even one of their own, get away with a crime, especially a felony, is, as we learned in our police academy, malum in Se.

In order to alleviate the deep-seated problem outlined herein it is suggested that the Cincinnati Police Division consider the following suggestions:

Encourage social events with the public such as golf, tennis or other outings.

Arrange for civilian guest speakers to address roll calls with short talks about their interests or businesses.

Make a concerted and bona fide effort to look at the civilian as the decent and basically honest person that most are.

Reduce the emphasis on kudos for numbers of arrests. An officer who is able to keep the peace without an arrest should be the epitome.

Reward officers for social intercourse in civilian circles, such as membership in Kiwanis, chamber of commerce, et al.

Develop 30-day officer-exchange programs with other agencies.

Encourage lateral entry.

Select the chief from outside the agency.

Seek advisers who have some police exposure but are not predominantly police-oriented.

Review training procedures to ensure that recruits are impressed with the concept that sworn duty comes before loyalty, and assimilating with the public is part of the job.

Chuck Klein is currently a licensed private investigator and author of Instinct Combat Shooting, Defensive Handgunning for Police (second edition due out 1992) and the novel Circa 1957. He is in his fifth year as the equipment columnist for P.1. Magazine.


22 Sep 1994


Other than hiding our president in an underground tomb, there is really no way we can protect him from all types and kinds of attacks. Though the small plane that crashed into the White House (Sep 12) damages only the pilot and his plane, it could have been worse. There will always be accident and there will always be people ben on killing themselves and/or others.

How safe are the president and our other elected leaders from a serious and large-scale attack on their persons and offices?

Consider a worst-case scenario that could easily be brought about with the know-how and money of any semi-sophisticated foreign entity. Suppose some enterprising and well-heeled cartel timed their attack when most of our military, elected officials, including the president and other leaders, were all gathered in the same room at the same time. This happens once each year for the State of the Union address. Though there are many other times that Congress is in session when these same dignitaries are close by, address night is the most opportune.

How hard would it be to obliterate them and send this country into chaos? Think large-scale, not car bombs, hidden explosives charges or single-engine kamikaze planes.

Imagine that a country, for whatever its motive, outfits a Boeing 747 or other similar plane with bomb-bay doors and the markings of, say, a British Airlines commercial passenger plane. This bomber-in-disguise, flying in close formation with a fighter plane so as to appear as one on radar screens, could intercept its twin somewhere over the Atlantic and shoot it down. The fighter would veer off while the bomber takes the place of the British Airliner on the radio and radar scopes. If this scheduled flight is to land at Dulles International around the time that those in power were securely sequestered in one building, the rest will be easy. Even Wheel of Fortune fans shouldn’t take long to grasp that this bomb-carrying plane could feint steerage malfunction, and just sort of glide over the House of Representatives for a one-shot bomb disposal.

I know, planes have individual transponders and our air force is standing by and rumor has it that Secret Service agents man the rooftops armed with surface-to-air missiles. 

The transponders can be explained away as a malfunction, but who is going to shoot down for all intents and purposes, what appears to be a bona fide, citizen-packed, commercial airliner of a friendly nation.

Of course, if the pseudo-passenger plane is carrying a nuclear device, well, then shooting it down anywhere near the target would not only obliterate the principals, but most of Washington, including the Pentagon as well (this could make a great movie).

Americans have always placed a very high value on life. I don’t think there is a service person, military or Secret Service, who could shoot down any plane sans positive enemy identification or clear indisputable sinister purpose.

Short of restricting all flights within 500 miles any time Congress is in session, or blasting anything out of the sky a la John Wayne an asking questions later, we really can’t guarantee absolute safety for our top leaders.

However, this state-of-the-art expertise that permits the above assault also yields methods of protection. Technology could be utilized to establish remote clusters of legislators who could interact, debate and vote via life-sized TV cable or satellite links.

Establishing a dozen or so “mini” Houses and Senates at strategic locations throughout the U.S. could protect us against annihilation of the government. An added benefit of these cloistered seats of power would be that these elected officials would then be closer to their constituents.  

Chuck Klein is currently a licensed private investigator and author of Instinct Combat Shooting, Defensive Handgunning for Police (second edition due out 1992) and the novel Circa 1957. He is in his fifth year as the equipment columnist for P.1. Magazine.


 25 Oct 1995


In my mid-50s, and not a very large man to start with, I am finding that the physical strength I once had as a young police officer is waning. This, coupled with a touch of arthritis, sometimes causes apprehension when out in our increasingly violent society.

Earlier this year, the Ohio Senate passed a carrying concealed weapons (CCW) bill (SB 68) by an overwhelming majority. Currently, the Ohio House of Representatives is considering this bill which allows for properly trained citizens to apply for a permit.

Those who oppose a civilian right to go armed champion the belief that sanctioning of CCW will only add to the number of fire arms-related injuries and deaths of innocent victims. Those in favor mostly chant the line from the Second Amendment about the right to keep and bear arms. It isn’t that simple.

there are many reasons why ordinary citizens have become so enthralled with the notion of arming themselves:

* Fear of criminal attack. It should be adamantly clear that the past 30 years, experiments of  social adjustment and coddling of criminals has failed to protect the citizenry. These old methods of alternative sentencing and wrist-slaps have only produced new generations of more “street smart” criminals. Most law-abiding and responsible citizens are not subject to criminal attack on a dail basis. However, an increasing number are; plus many more are subject to the fear of attack. Nobody should have to live in fear.

 * Fear of civil insurrection. Contrary to what the National Rifle Association and some pro-gunners claim, hunting and target shooting are merely prima-facie reasons why people own arms. The underlying reasons are for self-protection and fear of civil insurrection.

 * Fear of losing all guns. Some proponents of “gun control” want to remove all firearms from society. This would disarm the law-abiding, as they are the only ones who tend to suffer the rule of law. The criminal, by his very nature — just like he ignores current CCW laws — will certainly never surrender his weapons.

 * Status symbol. This factor can’t be overlooked. Many macho men, and some women, want to possess the coveted CCW license even though they will seldom, if ever, actually carry a weapon concealed on their person. Additionally, many will want this “badge of honor” as a reward for being a responsible citizen. Holders of CCW permits will be able to show to their friends and neighbors conclusive proof that they have no criminal history, mental illness or drug dependence. In states that have provided for CCW by the private sector, only a small percentage actually go to the trouble of securing the permit. But, the citizens of these permit states know that if trouble develops they can, and that’s a big comfort.

 * Walter Mitty-ism. The American male, more than any other human being, has this I-want-to-be-a-hero mystique.They feel hindered when crimes are committed in their presence and they are unable to assist, to be a hero.

 * Current state law is unfair. Ohio law forbids anyone from CCW, unless the carrier has a reason that would justify a reasonably prudent person in going armed. The problem with this law is that it is arbitrary and requires the carrier to prove, in a court of law, he had sufficient reason to be CCW. Most police officers realize the unfairness of this law and just look the other way. This perpetuates a good-ol’-boys “permit system.” Much to the chagrin of the anti-gunners, there have not been O.K. Corral-type shoot-outs or gun battles over parking spaces, etc., in states that have adopted CCW permits.

Neighboring Indiana, a permit state for more than 20 years, has a much lower crime rate than Ohio. Florida’s murder rate dropped dramatically after the introduction of CCW laws. I live adjacent to and regularly walk through the highest crime rate area of the city. My greatest fear is to be in a location with my children or other loved ones when an armed robber or crazed killer goes berserk. For any or all of the above reasons, surely my state, should allow me, a law-abiding former police officer, to protect myself. You might not want to carry a firearm, but wouldn’t you feel safer if there were guys like me who did?

Chuck Klein is a former police officer and licensed private investigator. He is a certified firearms instructor and firearms editor for P.L Magazine, a contributing editor for Guns & Weapons for Law Enforcement and author of Instinct Combat Shooting. Defensive Handgunnlng for Police. He is a member of the American Society of Law Enforcement Trainers. He lives downtown.




It’s midnight and from a deep sleep I’m awakened by? I rush to the window. The noise, bouncing off the office buildings, apartments and row houses in my historic downtown neighborhood is loud, frightening and not recognizable. There is at least one other pajama-clad neighbor standing at his window.

 Nothing is obviously out of order — no raging fires, emergency vehicles or a crowd of people. I continue to watch and listen. After about a minute, the sound begins to move. Now I see it — it’s the sheriff’s helicopter. The next day I check the papers and local television news. Surely there must have been a manhunt or other catastrophic happening to warrant the use of the county’s helicopter in the city’s bailiwick at such an hour.

Nothing. Nada. Zilch.

What’s going on? Law enforcement aircraft, on-board computers, police cameras on street corners, block-watch organizations, light-the-night-programs,’ community policing, officers on horseback, bicycles, ATVs, foot-patrols, sobriety road blocks, police boats and two-man scout cars that are either marked, unmarked, four-wheel drive or surveillance units. And this is just the regular police. SWAT, tactical and other special units have their own equipment — not to mention the myriad of state and federal police toys.

 What is going on is an overabundance of police officers and public monitoring devices. The proliferation of technology, coupled with a flush economy, has swelled the police ranks and equipment lockers to overflowing, which, in turn, demands use-justification.

 Case in point: Recently, all three southbound lanes of 1-75 were brought to a complete standstill by a police roadblock. On the evening news, I learned the reason was an auto accident where a passenger car had gone off the highway and crashed into some trees, pinning the driver in the car. All southbound lanes were closed for four hours. During on-site investigations, police, for reasons of protecting emergency personnel, sometimes must close all lanes of modern expressways. But four hours for a one-car accident that is not even on the paved portion of the roadway? Perhaps the reason was enhanced with the mentality of, ‘Why not, since we’ve got enough officers and cars to block the road and ramps. And besides, it’s a great training exercise for times when we really need to close it all down.’

 Maybe that’s what the sheriff’s helicopter was doing: ‘Just practice, guys don’t worry if we inconvenience the common citizen - it’s for their own good.’ If not practice, maybe they’re expanding situations to evaluate officer performance for consideration of promotion.

Enough, already.

 Chuck Klein lives downtown and is an author of police books and novels.


 19 Nov 2000


 Why do we, through our governments, tend to always do things backward or after the fact?  Like the proverbial closing the barn door after the horse is gone, we wait until the schools are falling down before seeking repair funding instead of championing a preventive maintenance program; or we wait until after a catastrophic event to hire additional emergency personnel; or we work to disarm the citizenry in the false belief that the criminal element will somehow give up their guns, knives and clubs.

An article in a recent edition of the Enquirer explained that because the census determined the city’s population has dropped, fewer federal funds will be available for highways, economic development and basic necessities. Communities whose populations increase, meanwhile, will receive more funds.

It should be obvious that a city on the decline, people-wise, would have a lower tax base from which to sustain its standard of living, and would be at a significant disadvantage when it comes to attracting or keeping residents. On the other hand, suburban areas that are growing would have an increasing influx of cash from building fees, an economic boost from construction work, and a lowering of the ratio of resident taxpayers to resident non-taxpayers.

It’s an economic fact that the needy don’t move from the city to the country, and as the. ratio of indigent to economically empowered increases, the now-downsized city will need even greater funds to maintain the status quo. In other words, it’s backwards — towns that grow are rewarded while the center metropolis is penalized.

Our prison system works much the same way. Inmates are granted special privileges — and in some prison systems time off is awarded for good behavior. After many years of this indoctrination, inmates tend to become Pavlovian. Released back into the community, they expect rewards for being good. Society, of course, doesn’t work this way. Citizens are expected to be good and are punished for not being good.

The confused ex-con soon realized his good behavior at holding a job, not committing crimes, etc., brings no special privileges. Soon he becomes frustrated and resorts to committing crimes as a way of rewarding himself or, subconsciously, trying to be re-incarcerated into a system that does reward him for being good.

Perhaps, if government policies penalized communities that encourage urban sprawl and remunerated cities that worked to keep its citizenry, we would all benefit. Those who just must have the new ticky-tacky home in East Overshoe, at the expense of adding to the deterioration of established neighborhoods, shouldn’t be rewarded with federal or state infrastructure funding.

Instead, the depopulating city’s slice-of-the-pie should be augmented. This would not only help to reverse the detrimental trend of urban flight, but will reduce traffic congestion, lower smog levels, preserve farmland and instill a sense of community pride.

One solution might be to legislate a Satellite Cities Ad (SCA). The SCA would reverse the method of apportionment and entitlement revenues so that distribution of government funds would be inversely proportionate to population. Under SCA, urban sprawl communities, most of whom benefit directly or indirectly from the core city’s water, sanitation, safety, education and cultural and sports amenities, will be assured these services will not be compromised.

 Chuck Klein lives downtown. He is a private investigator and author of eight books. He describes himself as a staunch supporter of constitutional correctness as opposed to political correctness. Chuck Klein is a member of the Enquirer’s Local Voices panel, which. contributes columns to the opinion pages twice a week.


13 Dec 2000 


Cincinnati has a unique opportunity to overcome three obstacles with one public works project. The community needs a place to hold the 2012 Summer Olympics shooting events. The city needs a new firearms training facility and the land known as Broadway Commons is an eyesore. 

With the naming of a site for the Summer 2012 Olympics on the horizon, we should use this opportunity to further our chances of being named the sponsor city. Building a Cincinnati Shooting Sports Complex (CSSC) on Broadway Commons would surely gain the attention of the selection committee while yielding additional benefits for the community. Funding for this multi-purpose facility could come from the cash we receive for sale of the Blue Ash Airport.

The CSSC would be completely indoors (required under Olympic rules) and its ranges would be designed for handgun and small bore (.22 caliber and C02) rifles only. No high- powered rifles or other noisy armament would be sanctioned in the compound. Tori Svenningson, of USA Shooting, the organization charged with training America’s Olympic shooters said, “You can’t hold a summer Olympics without shooting events. Having a training and practice facility in the eastern part of the country would be a great benefit to American competitors.”

A Cincinnati shooting sports complex would:  Enhance the city’s status by showing our serious intent to host the 2012 Olympics. Provide for a regional, year-round, world-class training facility for those interested in honing their Olympic skills. When not being used for the Olympics of Olympic training, the facility could be used as a much needed Cincinnati Police Division training and practice range. The police range is now located at an outmoded, 50-year-old range  in Evendale.

The facility would bring in added revenue in the form of hotel and restaurant taxes for Olympic and police competitors who travel here to use the facility for training and competition.

The facility’s naming rights could be sold to generate other revenue. Other revenue could be generated by leasing retail space to firearms shops and repair facilities.

Historically, one of the problems facing summer Olympic sites is being able to handle the many different disciplines of the shooting sports. Coupling this proposed shooting complex with the world’s largest trapshooting range in Vandalia, Ohio, would give Cincinnati a powerful bargaining tool to lure the 2012 Summer Olympics.

Finally, the city might be able to offer incentives, such as limited free rent, to entice a firearms related manufacturer to relocate in the complex. Of course, if the city is slow in acting on this opportunity, perhaps some local entrepreneur will build the complex with private funds and operate the for-profit parking garage, while leasing the ranges to the police department

Chuck Klein is a member of the Enquirer’s Local Voices panel, which contributes columns to the opinion pages twice a week.  Chuck Klein lives downtown. He is a private investigator and author of eight books.


13 Jun 2001 


  In a quest for half the truth, I pondered how a selection of local and national figures might answer the age old question: Is the glass half full or half empty?

I think some respondents would see things other than a glass of water.

* Democrats: “Publicly, we say the glass is only half full. This way we can get more taxes. Privately, we’ll leak the position that the glass is almost empty, and that we blame it on the Republicans.”

* Republicans: “If we say the glass is completely full, we can fool most of the people - and that’s always worked before.”

* The Cincinnati police: “Our position depends upon whether the glass is white or black, perceived to be armed, wearing a seat belt. . . .

* Cincinnati F.O.P. President Keith Fangman: “If a Cincinnati police officer said a glass, either half full or half empty, jumped up and hit him, we’ll go to the wall defending that officer.”

* Hamilton County Commissioner Todd Fortune: “Any glass that is not completely full or completely empty is broken, and I have an opinion on how we can fix...”

* Sheriff Si Leis: ‘Half full or half empty makes no difference, it might contain contraband. Therefore, we’ll confiscate the glass, the car, the house or anything else near it to help pay for our helicopters, boats...”

* Larry flynt “It’s kind of sensuous if you think about it….

* Bill Clinton: “Say, you’re right, Larry. I’m getting excited. Hey, Hill, Did you see...”

* Hillary Clinton: “Shut up, you twit.”

* Al Gore: “I’m not a loser. I won the elec...”

* Mike Brown: “To the common spectators, it’s overflowing. To the Brown Family Empire it’s nearly empty.”

* Brown & Williamson Tobacco Co.: ‘There is no memo on this. You can’t prove it’s our glass or that the contents are addictive.”

* Downtown Cincinnati Inc.: ‘The glass was almost full until those @#$%&* protesters started upsetting the status quo.”

* Frank at the Cincinnatian Barber Shop: “Iraqis going to bomb Egypt”

* FBI agent investigating the CPD: “Why do you want to know? We ask the questions here, Klein. This is going in your file - but I didn’t say that.”

* Mayor Charlie Luken: ‘The glass could be half full. Then again it might be half empty I don’t want to offend anyone. Could you give me a hint as to which answer you prefer?”

* The Rev. Damon Lynch, III: “Why did you ask me last? Did you poll at least 43 percent of African-Americans? And if you did, how would you know they were African Americans unless you used racial profiling?”

Chuck Klein lives downtown. He is a private investigator and author of eight books. He describes himself as staunch supporter of Constitution correctness opposed to political correctness.


 2 Sep 2001


The root of the race issue can be boiled down to one word: assimilation. Those who fail to assimilate, to meld into the melting pot, are doomed to being the outcast. Almost all minority groups that came to these shores learned to speak English clearly and without an accent, shortened hard to pronounce family names, swore allegiance to the flag - Americanized themselves. They, with minimal help from the Government, cast off the "old country" ways, embraced their new home and become as much like a WASP - for their public interactions - as possible. Almost without exception each kept religion and heritage personal and private. The Jewish people even invented Reform Judaism to justify the forsaking of black clothing and hats, untrimmed beards and Saturday (Sabbath) activities. Each group, from the Asians to the Vietnamese, also faced discrimination based violence, name calling, employment rejection and ostracism. 

The lone exception to this unwritten rule of Americanization is the Negro race. Though this class of immigrants arrived as slaves, they were set free at the cost of many non-slave citizen's lives. At least since the 1950s the remaining barriers to equality have fallen, yet these descendants have resisted joining the club. Instead of embracing Americanized names, attitudes and work ethics too many of the children of the slaves try to force their ethnicity on the rest of populace. 

Yeah, I know what you're thinking: "What does he know, he hasn't walked a mile in my Reeboks." Maybe so, but my Florsheims have covered a fair distance. I can't personally relate to any of the six million of my people that were exterminated - in my life time - just because they were Jews. But, I can recount personal experiences such as: upon approaching the end of my probationary period as a police officer, the Lieutenant wrote to the Chief, "Patrolman Klein would be better off with his own kind of people." To say the Lt. made life difficult and tried to set me up for failure, would be an understatement. Or, the roofing nails in my driveway and the threatening phone calls after I, and a Black friend, stood up to the KKK. 

I won't discount the fact that the American Black, per se, has been duped by its own government - more exactly by the Democratic party as far back as the 1960s. Lyndon Johnson, while he was President, set this country, and especially the Blacks, back one hundred years. His "Great Society" program was designed to enslave the Negro - to obligate all African-Americans to the government and make them beholden to the Democrats. Johnson's anti-assimilation plan of giving educational degrees and welfare funds has destroyed at least two generations. The Democrats' placate-to-stop-the-riots (circa 1965), coupled with the break-up of the family unit by rewarding women for having babies out of wedlock and encouraging such anti-assimilation practices as African haircuts and ebonics was a master stroke of genius. Brilliance, inasmuch as the over-whelming majority of African-Americans still vote the Democratic ticket. Recent proof is found in Democrat Mayor Luken's handling of the April riots. The Mayor, following party lines of old, tendered money for meaningless summer jobs, promised street cleanings (placating) and ignored criminal conduct (anti-assimilation) by Black "leaders" during council meetings.

America and Americans are not perfect and there will always be some level of discrimination. Governments can pass all the laws they want, but they can never force people to mix with those with whom they don't wish to associate. I don't believe it makes anyone a racist if they don't want to live next to or go to school with or frequent a business where certain persons flaunt an attitude, dress in prison garb, use foul language, trash the neighborhood, commit crimes or force their music on them, none of which have anything to do with skin color. 

The overwhelming majority of African-Americans are law abiding, hard working citizens - just like other melting-potters. However, being law-abiding and hard working is not enough in and of itself. Being a "good" American not only entails conduct that doesn't offend your fellow man, but a willingness to help your brothers and sisters assimilate - to become Americanized.


 28 Sep 1993


During national holiday services and other selected public events, scores of U.S. military veterans have made many honorable Americans uncomfortable by the disrespect and contempt they have shown to President Clinton. These honored warriors jeered and booed this commander-in-chief of all military branches solely because he had never been a member of their non-exclusive society.

 Had it not been for the Bill Clintons, those who had the courage and strength to protest the unjust war in Indochina, we might still be there — sacrificing more men. It took the conviction of tens of thousands of active protesters, men and women like Bill Clinton, to effectively force an unprecedented change of our foreign policy. Sure, there were cowards and draft dodgers just like there were malingerers and AWOL goldbrickers in combat, but the vast majority of these conscientious objectors were just that.

This nation has learned from its past by not repeating the historical mistakes of unilaterally and arbitrarily waging war. The once unpopular conviction of no unjust wars is now the moral backbone and military policy of this great nation. This rebel position has provided the impetus for calculating and formulating plans which have ensured victory, at a minimum of American lives lost. Because we were forced to look at how we dispatch our troops, we were able to keep from being bogged down in Grenada, Panama and the Persian 1~ulf without jeopardizing our resolution to win the Cold War.

 Had it not been for the “hell-no-we-won’t-go” crowd, the Clinton detractors might have had their own tour of duty extended, maybe long enough to involve their younger siblings. This is not to say that we don’t owe our thanks to the men and women who put their lives on the line, for whatever reason: draft, duty, machoism ... couldn’t get a job in the civilian world. To these brave soldiers we all say thanks for keeping the bad guys at bay until the unpaid combatants, the ones who have to provide their own medical coverage, pay for their own schooling and don’t get that extra 20% on civil-service tests, could change the way Americans look at war.

 Right or wrong, inauspicious or virtuous, Bill Clinton is our fully-paid-up-in-dues, legal, freely chosen president and deserves not only our support but our respect. On the basis of his political battles alone it is evident that Mr. Clinton is no coward, and has certainly never shirked his dedication to serving this country.  If you must deride someone, pick on those who cause war — the oppressors of freedom; the drug lords who enslave generations to addiction, poverty and crime; the bully dictators who subject their people to famine and pestilence; the polluters of our planet...

 Better still, join something that works to make change for the betterment of all. Or at least kwitchyerbellyachin. The rest of us are embarrassed for you and your uniform.  Just because you wore the vestment of this country doesn’t make you a hero. To be a hero one has to do something heroic — above and beyond what is required or contracted for. There were military heroes in Vietnam just as there were in other wars, but it is no less an honor to be a civilian hero.

 The Bill Clintons, peaceniks, protesters, anti-war demagogues without a contract or obligation, other than to their own conscience, have earned the right to be hailed as heroes of that era and deserve our respect. The next time you’re called to color you might stick a flower in your own rifle barrel as a gesture of’ thanks to the Bill Clintons who did more to reduce war casualties than any army ever did.

 Chuck Klein, a former Cincinnatian who resides now in Patriot, IN, is the firearms editor of P.I.Magazine, and author of Instinct Combat Shooting, Defensive Handgunmng for Police (Paladin Press, 1992).


 28 Mar 2001


 Does the Second Amendment and/or the Ninth Amendment acknowledge an unconditional right to keep and bear arms? The answer is both yes and no. The controversy of the Second Amendment exists because, erroneously, some have insisted that the right to keep and bear is a state (as in Ohio, Texas, Florida) right and not an individual right. However, it is clear that the first clause, “A well regulated  militia, being necessary to the security of a free State,” means a free America.

The word “state” means nation/country, such as ‘The state of Israel” or ‘the Arab states” or ‘Secretary of State.” In other words, the nation can best form a well-regulated militia (army/navy) if its militia (originally, men between the ages of 18 and 45) are free to keep and bear arms.  In addition, upon examining the Ninth Amendment (the enumeration in the Constitution of attain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people), it is obvious the framers intended to recognize certain natural rights such as The right to life.

Of course, if one has this right but is denied the means (use of arms) to defend and protect this life, then this right has been disparaged.  At the time of the Constitution’s inception the framers, all  men in a “man’s world,” clearly gave little thought to anyone other than the man as the defender of family, property or country.

Whereas in 18th Century England, only the aristocratic (the ruling class) were empowered to defend honor and country. This concept of all men being full “citizens” and having the right and obligation to serve and protect was unique to America.  A citizen, circa 1785, was considered to be any white American male over the age of 21 and not a felon. The idea of civilian gun controls was unconscionable. It was also inconceivable that a Thomas Jefferson or a James Madison would refuse to take a musket away from a drunk, a child or someone conspicuously deranged. Had one been able to ask these learned, most-sacred -document-framers of the conflict of such a restrictive action, they most likely would have replied with words to the effect that the drunk or mental incompetent were, at least, temporarily not citizens. A child was, of course, not a man and a felon had forsaken his citizenship.

 With the ratification of the 13th, 14th and 19th Amendments, all of-age Americans were recognized as full, ruling-class citizens. Arms possession was, and still is, the signature of being a citizen — not a subject to some monarchy and most assuredly not mentally inept, a child, a felon or a substance abuser.

So, yes, and until such time as the Constitution is amended, keeping and bearing arms is an intrinsic and absolute right for all citizens.  While on the other hand, noncitizens do not have an absolute right to a firearm -  however temporary that condition might be. The American ruling class (also known voters), if it so desires can change the definition of citizen or establish any restrictions it wants on guns — but only by amending the Constitution.

Chuck Klein is a plaintiff in a lawsuit to over-turn Ohio’s law against carrying concealed weapons. He is a private investigator and author of eight books. He describes himself as a staunch supporter of Constitutional correctness as opposed to political correctness. Chuck Klein is a member of the Enquirer’s Local Voices panel. which contributes columns to the opinion pages twice a week.


  7 Mar 2001 


Schools — curriculum, funding, discipline or busing — there never seems to be a lack problems. Trouble is, most proposed solutions come down to the “just throw money at ‘em” syndrome. Perhaps what we need are some innovative ideas.  There shouldn’t be many learned persons who will disagree that our basic family and school discipline/learning structures are in need of a fresh approach. Couple that with the number of latchkey children who come home to empty single-parent or two-wage-earner homes and the problem is obvious. These busy parents, plus parents who don’t care, generate generations of adults who not only have failed how to learn, but lack the basics in social graces. This collapse of the family as the source for manners, civility and the desire to learn places an undue demand on our teachers, school systems, and ultimately, the courts/police/corrections systems.

What might turn the recidivism tide could be a long-term teacher-to-student program. Selected instructors would stay with a class for 12 years. What this means is that a first-grade teacher would continue to teach the same group of students every year until graduation. This way, each child would have at least one long-term responsible adult to identify with and relate to during his/her formative years.  A teacher, as a role model for 12 years, should have a very positive effect on any child.

Parents, and this special teacher, would become de facto partners in the development of a competent citizen. This teacher if acting exclusively as a "homeroom/social graces” teacher, should not have to undergo yearly teaching updates in order to be able to keep abreast of curriculum changes. In addition to monitoring the students, the teacher would assign after-school community service projects. All students would be required to do some form of neighborhood aid after regular school hours and/or on weekends. Even those involved in sports and other sanctioned after-school events would have to pay their dues in service to their community.  Parent/teacher approved community service could entail duties such as liter patrol, reading to the elderly, or even assisting their own parent in home beautification projects.

Probably the most beneficial attribute of this program is that the special instructor would also be in the unique position of being able to monitor his or her students for signs of parental abuse or other problems by observing year-to-Year changes. A child who develops negative attributes would be easier to spot if observed over a long period of time. Likewise, year-to- year counseling (befriending) would have a greater and more positive impact when applied for the long term.

Two significant changes might be necessary to implement this plan: 

1) The school districts would have to return to neighborhood schools, and

 2) Teachers selected for this special 12-year commitment should receive extra incentives such as one full year off — with pay — for each 12-year stint.

Over a period of years, the bonding between students and teacher would evolve into a friendship-based relationship. And, what could be more beneficial to children than to be friends with one of the most respected members of society — a teacher?

 Chuck  Klein lives downtown. He is a private investigator and author of eight books. He describes himself as a staunch supporter of constitutional correctness as opposed to political correctness. Chuck Klein is a member of the Enquirer’s Local Voices panel, which contributes columns to the opinion pages twice a week


 15 July 2001


 There is only one left in America. One original, authentic, floating, still operating riverboat theater — and she is in danger of being defiled and desecrated — The Showboat Majestic, hand built in Pittsburgh in 1923 by Captain Tom Reynolds, is as unique to Cincinnati as the Roebling Suspension Bridge or the Tyler Davidson Fountain. For her first 20 years, pushed by a small tug, the Showboat Majestic cruised the Ohio River and her tributaries.

The captain and his family, acting as cast and crew, lived on board while performing one-night stands at river towns, cities and burgs. At the end of World War II, Hiram College and Kent State University leased the Majestic as a summer stock location for their theater students. Indiana University, beginning in 1960, continued the tradition until 1965 when the Safety at Sea Act prohibited wooden-hulled vessels from transporting casts and crew overnight.

 Enter the City of Cincinnati. For the grand sum $13,500, sans pilot wheel, anchor, calliope and name board, the city permanently tied up the Majestic on the central riverfront. Though the initial purchase was admirable, allowing those accompaniments to be lost was the first incidence of deflowering. The next assault/insult was replacing the wooden hull with a steel barge. Gone were the proportional freeboard and graceful wood railings. In their place, the oversize welded and gray painted steel shell was fitted with common iron plumber’s pipe to act as railings. The renovators didn’t even  bother to cover the steel deck with wood to at least give the appearance and feel of a wood hull.

Today, the Cincinnati Recreation Commission and its administrative arm, Landmark Theatre Productions, are seeking a federal grant “to improve and renew our Showboat.” Though the current owners may be well-intentioned, their record speaks for itself. What if they decide that it would be an “improvement” to cover the weathered and characteristic siding with vinyl, or replace the decorative upper deck wood railings with iron pipes or take the boat out of the river and moor it on land?

The recent show The Baker’s Wife (June 13-July 1) lacked the usual accompanying live music of past musicals and is indicative of the operators’ lack of a sense of history. For this production, the company used canned music — a CD playing over loud speakers. What’s next, big screen TV in lieu of live performances?

As a longtime patron of this majestic lady, I find the painted-over tin ceilings, curtain-less stage and other amenities of history add to the ambiance of familiarity and originality. The integrity of this historic slice of America will surely suffer if the federal grant, available through the National Park Service’s Save America’s Treasures program, is given to those whose definition of improvements does not mean, exclusively restoration. Besides federal funds come with a lot of attached strings. We are but temporary mortal caretakers of such uniquely American artifacts. Everything doesn’t need to be “improved.” Let it be. Let local funds keep slapping paint on the now-rounded facades. Let her age gracefully.

 Chuck Klein lives downtown. He is a private investigator and author of eight books. He describes himself as a staunch supporter of Constitutional correctness. Chuck Klein is a member of the Enquirer’s Local voices panel which contribute columns to the opinion pages twice a week.




 With almost 60 years of life behind me, I have experienced my share of truths, half-truths and including, but not limited to, common, outright, white, slight, almost and damn lies. From this, coupled with my police/Pl background, I have formulated a few observations.

* The Constitution should be amended to say: For every new law, statute or ordinance — two must be repealed.

 *Framing the 10 Commandments in our schools might work for some, but posting the first 10 Amendments would work for all.

* Unless we voluntarily return to pre-1900 world population levels, global warming, pollution and/or famine will do it for us.

 * The quality of the reading material in any waiting room is inversely proportional to the length of the wait.

 * Klein’s First Law of Survival: The second to last thing a morally responsible, prudent person wants to do is kill another human being regardless of how reprehensible, villainous or dangerous that person  might be. The last thing this morally responsible, prudent person wants to do is be killed by that reprehensible, villainous and dangerous person.

 * Klein’s Second law of Survival: All the rules, statutes, 911 calls, hand-to-hand combat technics, aerosol spray Mace or other pseudo-protective measures will never equal the effectiveness of a firearm when faced with an unwarranted and deadly criminal attack.

* The Secret to life is the ability to adapt to change. 

* living outside the lines tends to spawn euphoric frustrations which offtimes is the only route to deep personal satisfaction.

* It is a blessing if our parents are spared the pain and anguish of outliving us. We are, however, always astounded to be blessed so soon.

* Any firefighter or police officer who doesn’t believe that cowardice is a fate worse than death is in the wrong business.

* The police code of conduct means unconditional honesty — not blind loyalty to your agency or fellow officers.

* judges who impart their charge or instruction to a jury violate the Constitutional right to an impartial trial.

* Klein’s Law of Government: The number of voters impacted by government-originated funds is directly proportional to the proliferation and power of government and inversely proportional to ideals of the republic.

* Klein’s Law of Laws: We are not a nation of laws. We are a nation of constitutions. Laws, statutes, court decrees, executive orders are subservient to constitutions.

* Politicians attempting to legislate “social causes” are nothing more than communists. Voters who support them are nothing less than dupes.

* The problem is not the Al Sharptons or the Bill Clintons, as their kind will always be with us; it’s our neighbors and fellow citizens who continue to support or excuse such unconscionable behavior.

* Attention liberals and bleeding-hearts: Nowhere is it written in any constitution that life is fair — so stop whining.

* Cops never seem to be around to catch the jerks who speed — except when you’re the speeding jerk.

 Chuck Klein lives downtown. He is a private investigator and author of eight books. He describes himself as a staunch supporter of Constitutional correctness as opposed to political correctness. Chuck Klein  is a member of the Enquirer’s Local Voices panel which contributes columns to the opinion pages twice a week.


 30 Dec 2001


  Wow, what an honor — being selected to serve as a juror. Some may not relish the duty for a variety of reasons, but I looked forward to serving my community and, besides, it would be an education.

The first day there was a lot of waiting, but overall the process was very efficient By 2 p.m., I was juror No. 3. All seemed to be going well as I answered questions about my experience as a former police officer to the satisfaction of both sides.

 The problem began when the question was posed, “Will you swear to follow the judge’s instructions and apply the law as he gives it to you?” I was the only one raising my hand to voice a question. At this point, the judge, who had been shuffling papers, perked up. I explained that I have written extensively about the legal precedent known as jury nullification/prerogative, a recognition of the juror’s right and duty to judge the law as well as the facts of a case.  After a sidebar between the parties, the judge questioned me directly. I further explained I would not make judgments of law based upon my feelings or belief that a law was unfair or not a good law, but only upon the law as measured against the Constitution. Following a second sidebar, I was dismissed.

 This is one of the dirty little secrets of the judicial system. Judges not only won’t tell jurors they have the right to judge the law, but will resist any juror who dares to question this power that judges have unilaterally and, I believe, unconstitutionally delegated to themselves.  Judges officiate in criminal proceedings for the primary purpose of ensuring a fair trial. They are referees or umpires to pass judgment. In fact, the Six Amendment clearly states, “In criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury. . ." It doesn’t say by a judge; it specifies an impartial jury.

It is my belief that a government employee, using his or her powerful position to “charge” or instruct” a jury, is violating the Sixth, 10th and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution and Article I, Section 20 of the Ohio Constitution. A jury that has been subjected to this usurpation of power is no longer impartial — it has been influenced by the judge’s bias.

Many precedent-setting rulings, dating from the decade of this country’s inception to as late as 1972, have confirmed that jury prerogative is a bona fide right and power of a jury.

 “The jury has a right to judge both the law as well as the fact in controversy.” — John Jay, first chief justice of the United States (1789).

 “The law itself is on trial quite as much as the cause which is to be decided.” — Harlan F Stone, chief justice of the United States (1941).

 “The pages of history shine on instances of the jury’s exercise of its prerogative to disregard instructions of the judge.”— U.S. v. Dougherty, 473 F.2d 1130 (1972).

It is obvious that a jury has both the right and the power to appraise any law a citizen is charged with violating. And the only standard to which laws or statutes can be measured is a constitution. It is not a right of a juror to decide if a law is bad or good based on his or her personal feelings about the law.

I find it doubling having to remind a judge that we are not a nation of laws, we are a nation of constitutions — laws, statues, even judge’s decrees are subservient to constitutional articles and amendments.

 Chuck Klein lives downtown. He is a private investigator and author of eight books. He describes himself as a staunch supporter of constitution correctness, opposed to political correctness. Chuck Klein is a member of The Enquirer’s Local Voices panel which contributes columns to the opinion pages twice a week.


6 Feb 2002


 It's just after 8 p.m. and there's no place to park. Of course, there would be room if some of those who are, shall we say, parking challenged, hadn't taken up so much space. Almost every night the cars looking for parking spots appear to be playing a motorized version of musical chairs.

I live in a row house near downtown — near, as metered parking is one street south. A common problem facing me, my neighbors and anyone living in an older urban area, is parking. The streets are narrow and the houses, having been built before the age of the automobile, are sans driveways and garages.  As our neighborhood approached 90 percent gentrification, tempers began to flare over coveted street parking spaces. In an effort to calm fears and find solutions a few meetings were held with police, traffic engineering, local business and residents. Those with a vested interest had plenty of ideas such as making the street one way to allow angle parking, painting parking spaces on the street and making a vacant lot into a parking lot. All were nixed by city agency rules, regulations, precedents, technicalities and/or government double-speak.

 Soon thereafter, one enterprising resident took it upon himself to paint strategic yellow lines signifying the most economical parking arrangements. This seemed to work very well, at least until some bozo with a gargantuan recreational vehicle called the city to complain, The city, with all its bureaucratic power, threatened the line painter with a fine and possible jail time if he didn’t paint over his yellow lines. And the city wonders why they are losing population to the suburbs.

It seems bozo, and a few others, thought they should be entitled to use the public street as their own private storage berth for off-road vehicles, campers and assorted loser-mobiles. Not to admit defeat, I, with the blessing of others, began placing very friendly notes on the windshields of those who have difficulty in logistics. From some of the hate notes and verbal assaults generated over these neighborly reminders you’d have thought we were challenging the integrity of the driver’s mother.

Everybody knows, or should know, not to park within ten feet of a driveway or intersecting street. Regardless, some of the parking challenged were parking too close to the child day-care center driveway. This made egress and ingress impossible for the middle-of-the-night Dumpster emptying. The result of which, by weeks’ end, was overflowing, pungent, rat-attracting odors. Still others, with a parking comprehension affliction, have difficulty judging distances particularly when placing their 15-foot car in the middle of a 40-foot space instead of at either end.

The day-care center has its own parking lot, but that fails to register with some of the parking challenged moms and dads when dropping off or picking up their charges. During these heavy traffic times many just double - in both directions! The police have been advised, but they say they can’t be there every day. Besides, the cops have told us; unofficially, that if we force them to babysit the baby-sitters they institute a neighborhood letter-of-the-law crack-down on violations of all city laws.

That’s scary. Some of the city's laws are very oppressive, such as the over-time parking regulation. This ordinance requires each vehicle to be moved every 14 hours — talk about musical chairs! The Fourteenth Amendment’s equal protection clause notwithstanding, police usually enforce this law only if a complaint is made or as blanket punishment if the officers are aggravated, i.e., forced to be baby-sitters.   Even as I watch my wife circle the block, I am convinced all is not lost, the black paint (over the yellow lines) is wearing off and the bozo’s house is for sale. 

Chuck Klein lives downtown. He is a private investigator and author of eight books. He describes himself as a staunch supporter of Constitutional correctness as opposed to political correctness. 


22 Jun 2003


The current Ohio bill (H.B.12) to establish a concealed fire-arms permit system is the epitome of insult. The draconian measures tendered by our elected officials and police hierarchy conclusively show the distrust they have for decent, law-abiding Ohioans who need to protect themselves and their families.

Carrying defensive arms is necessitated for some because these same officials are unable to provide a safe environment. The absurdity of H.B. 12 is best summed up in this real-life scenario: If I had a license to carry under this new bill and responded to pick up my grandson after school (as I did all year), I would have to place a jacket or shirt over my holstered handgun in order to walk to my car parked on a public street (it must be “concealed” so as not to panic any observers — a crime).

Before entering my vehicle, I would have to remove the coat because the law mandates that holstered guns must be unconcealed while the carrier is in a motor vehicle. Before driving onto the school’s property, I would, somehow, have to exit my car in order to unload the gun and place it in a locked trunk. Because my grandson is under 18 years of age, the gun must remain in the trunk of the vehicle — where it would be of no use should I need it to protect him or myself.

 If our destination was the county court house, I could, upon parking my vehicle, reload the firearm and place it back into the holster under my jacket/shirt. At the court house, and upon disclosure that I am armed, a deputy would secure the gun while I conduct my business.

Back on the street and again armed with a concealed gun, another dilemma occurs if I need to visit the county administration building or any other government building. All such buildings, under H.B. 12, are designated as “self-defense free” zones. Unlike a court house, where the sheriff is required to hold my gun while I’m there, there is no such provision for other buildings. In other words, it is an impossibility to protect myself and my grandson while visiting the property my taxes support.


1) What danger do I, a law-abiding, firearms-trained citizen, present to the public, much less my grandson, when I carry a concealed, legal firearm in a car, school parking lot, public building, restaurant or anyplace else?

2) Why do some people feel more comfortable in public and private places where criminals might be armed, but law-abiding, firearm trained, decent citizens are unarmed?

3) Why are members of the Ohio police hierarchy so set against anyone but themselves being armed?


1) None.

2) I’ve asked this question of many anti-gunners. The general consensus was they have a perception that any and all guns are a danger to them. However, none were able to articulate how firearms in the hands of trained, law-abiding people create this danger. Mystifying is that all stated they don’t feel uncomfortable when they visit Kentucky or Indiana, where citizens are permitted to carry concealed arms.

3) In the recent and successful constitutional challenge to Ohio’s concealed weapons laws (Klein vs. Leis), the defendant police did not present any evidence to show that armed, law-abiding citizens are any danger to them or anyone else. Maybe, it’s because carrying a gun (by Ohio police) is the last bastion of the “old boys’ club.”

 The right to carry a concealed firearm is not an absolute, but H.B. 12 goes far beyond what is reasonable, legal and constitutional.

Chuck Klein is a Enquirer Local Voices columnist, licensed private investigator, certified firearms instructor, plaintiff in Klein vs. Leis and the author of several books (www. chuckklein. com).




Indiana has been siphoning off millions of Ohio – especially Cincinnati -~ dollars. This Ohio revenue, showered on their three riverboat casinos, has funded major infrastructure projects, boosted police ranks and equipment and provided a host of social services. In the early 1990s, during the debates over the pro and con of permitting gambling in this southeast corner of the Hoosier state, three observations were raised:

* One, the significant taxes generated by the boats would benefit schools, highways, public buildings and the entire community in general.

* Two, visiting patrons would revitalize downtown core areas.

* Three, the operation of a business devoted to slots, craps, roulette and poker would cause the communities to become modern-day Sodoms and Gomorrahs.

 Only one of these three scenarios came true. Tax revenue has very positively impacted all three communities. However, the downtowns of Vevay, in Switzerland County, Lawrenceburg, in Dearborn County, and Rising Sun in Ohio County, did not flower and grow, though they did benefit from the general county-wide prosperity of the hugely successful gambling boats.

Predictions of church closings, prostitution and rampant drug/alcohol induced crime waves or even general corrupting of the local citizenry also has not occurred. Instead, the unemployment rate bottomed out and welfare roles decreased.

 Recently, in an effort to stem the flow of Ohio dollars going to Indiana, there has been a push to allow slot machines (no craps, roulette or blackjack) at Ohio racetracks. Installing slots at race tracks will, for the most part, only divide up the entertainment money of the track regulars rather than attract a significant new crowd to the races, not to mention zero benefit to the downtown area.

 Cincinnati, its downtown foundering, could capitalize on Indiana’s success and learn from its mistakes by promoting its own casino operations. The miscalculation our sister state made was restricting gambling to boats only. This did nothing for the downtown areas, being out of the way and requiring a separate trip, with the inherent time consuming, aggravations of ingress, egress and parking, patrons of the boats have ignored downtown shops and eateries.

 Based on the timeless premise, “Fight fire with fire,” Cincinnati should seek land-based casinos in the downtown urban area of the city. With professional gambling/entertainment havens restricted to the core area of our downtown, we reclaim the money Ohioans would spend in Indiana, revitalize our downtown and create an inducement (shorter drive), for Northern Kentuckians to patronize us rather than Indiana.

With an influx of young — childless — adults moving into refurbished former office/warehouse buildings in the downtown area, casinos are a natural and an entertainment option to the Newport-on-the-levy and other Northern Kentucky lures for our recreation dollars. There is a wealth of available rental spaces in the core area that might attract the casino operators — especially since a land based operation should be much less expensive to set up and operate than a floating palace.

 We missed the “sports boat” by locating the ballpark outside of the core area. Let’s not waste this opportunity, lest Northern Kentucky beat us to it — as they did with the aquarium.

 Chuck Klein, Downtown, is a private investigator and a Enquirer Local Voices columnist.