BELLEVUE, WA – In what may be an effort to raise his political profile, State Rep. Willis E. Blackshear Jr.—a candidate in the 6th District State Senate race—has come up with a new term to demonize semiautomatic firearms, but it still won’t fool Buckeye State voters, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms says.

Blackshear, a Dayton Democrat, now calls modern rifles “mass casualty weapons,” as though the gun, rather than some deranged criminal who might create mayhem, is somehow responsible for a hideous crime. According to a news release from his office, his bill is a response to a tragic 2019 shooting in Dayton’s Oregon district.

“This is just another attempt by a politician running for higher office to make a campaign headline, while using new terminology to alarm or even terrify the public,” said CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb. “It has been nearly five years since killer Connor Betts was fatally shot by police, bringing an end to his senseless rampage, but instead of pointing to his deranged fantasies about mass shootings, his far left political leanings and his sympathies for Antifa, Blackshear focuses on the firearm the madman used.

“Let’s see now,” Gottlieb continued. “The gun prohibition movement has tried the terms ‘assault weapons’ and ‘weapons of war,’ and even ‘weapons of mass destruction.’ Now, all of a sudden, Rep. Blackshear has come up with something new to incite the same old anxieties anti-gunners have always had over the fact that Americans like firearms and dislike the efforts to ban them.

“Why did it take Blackshear all this time to introduce his bill,” he wondered. “Could it have anything to do with the fact that he’s in a three-way race for the state Senate position against two other Democrats who also favor restrictive gun laws, and he wants a headline?

“In the final analysis,” Gottlieb concluded, “Blackshear wants to ban a certain class of firearms which are enormously popular and commonly-owned, not just in Ohio but across the country. He can call them whatever provocative name he wants, but it still comes down to a gun ban effort. Perhaps instead of guns, Blackshear should focus on getting rid of criminals. That would be an effort Buckeye State gun owners could get behind.”