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Gun law difficulties50 centsWASHINGTON (AP) One early focus of new gun regulations by President Barack Obama and some lawmakers would reinstate a federal ban on assault weapons, a law widely regarded as imperfect. The ban, which existed for 10 years until 2004, would have made it illegal for the young gunman in Connecticut to use the 30-round magazines that allowed him to shoot so many elementary school students before he reloaded. But the ban and other U.S. gun laws wouldnt have prevented his mothers purchase of the powerful assault rifle or the especially deadly ammunition that he used to kill 26 people. A generation of U.S. gun

The Crescent-NewsDHS goes to Rossford, WhitmerThursday, December 20, 2012laws and the inherent compromises intended to balance constitutional gun rights and public safety reflects the intricacies of applying government policy to stem acts of mass violence. Since July, there have been at least four mass shootings that killed 47 people and wounded dozens more in Connecticut, Colorado, Oregon and Wisconsin. The killing of 20 children and six adults in a Newtown, Conn., elementary school appears to be a tipping point that pushed Congress and the White House toward tackling new gun laws. Obama on Wednesday directed Vice President Joe Biden to produce recom GUn, Page A12

ON THE ROAD

SPORTS | B1

Defiance, Ohio

hrist mas

special

Policies have attempted to stem acts of mass violence

Jack Palmer/C-N Photo

After two years of personal tragedy and chal- Christmas. They are pictured with their two chillenges, Paul Drasutis and Francine Meyer-Drasutis dren, Andrew Meyer (left) and Josh Meyer, as are eagerly anticipating a normal and relaxing well as their English bulldog, Benny.

lemonade CHRIstmasCouple readjusting after plane crash, Afghanistan deploymentmaking an emergency landing near the intersection of Christy and Nagel roads, about seven miles north of Defiance. hey have endured a plane We had just started dating, said Francine. Both crash, his 12-month tour of of us were lucky to survive. Afghanistan and the death of Paul spent just one night in the hospital, but both their fathers. Francine wasnt as fortunate. And thats just since 2010. I broke my back and left arm. They took me to With those onerous days Defiance Regional Medical Center and transferred behind them, Paul Drasutis and me that same day to Toledo Hospital. I spent three Francine Meyer-Drasutis are weeks in the hospital and had two surgeries. Doctors looking forward to a normal and put two rods in my back, and 16 screws and a plate relaxing Christmas. in my arm. They said the recovery period would be Im still adapting, its only been three months long and that I would have to learn how to walk all since Ive been home from Afghanistan, said Paul, over again. who works at the local GM plant and is a member of With three minor children at home, Francine had the Ohio Army National Guard. Coming home after other concerns besides her condition. being gone a year is a huge readjustment. The first time Paul visited me in the hospital he The two of us have been through a lot the past told me not to worry. Not only would he take care of couple years, added Francine. Now its time to me, he offered to move into my house and take care make lemonade out of all those lemons. of my three kids (at that time a high school junior, The Defiance couples tumultuous times began on sophomore and fourth-grader). For a man without a bright Sunday afternoon in May 2010 when Pauls children to offer to do that, well, that was really speKitfox Speedster fixed-wing aircraft crashed while cHrIstmAs, Page A12 By JACK PALMER

Ohio AG open to arming trained school staff membersBy MARC KOVACC-N Capital Bureau

COLUMBUS Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine indicated Wednesday that he is open to local school boards arming trained teachers, principals and staff as a means of responding quickly to shooting incidents. If I was on a school board ... I would seriously

T

palmer@crescent-news.com

MIKE DeWINE consider having someone in that school who may be an ex-police officer, someone who has significant train DewIne, Page A12

Holiday lighting contest

Charity care goes down a bitBy DARLENE PRINCEprince@crescent-news.com

Jenny Derringer/C-N Photo

Defiance Citizens in Action hosted a holiday lighting contest this month, with top winners chosen in the categories of traditional, contemporary and characters. Winning displays belonged to Bonnie Shock, 800 Wemor Ave., tra-

ditional; Dave and Loretta Schroeder, 721 Emblanche Drive, contemporary; and Robert and Cheryl Yeo, 1064 Valley Forge Drive, characters (pictured). Proceeds from the contest will benefit Relay for Life of Defiance.

Charity care provided by not-for-profit hospitals has been on the increase in some parts of the state, particularly in the northeast, but appears to be going slightly down in this area due to an improving economy. According to the Ohio Hospital Association (OHA), in Ohio by state law, families with incomes at or below the federal poverty level receive free, medically-necessary care from

hospitals. In 2010, Ohio hos- those below it. (The federal pitals provided more free poverty line is $15,130 for care to individuals above two people and $23,050 for the federal poverty line than cHArItY, Page A7

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Township trustees have good news Paulding 4-H looking for new members Hicksville woman to be sentenced

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FREE DELIVERYtal defective or has been committed to any mental institution from buying a gun. Yet Jared Loughner, who has pleaded guilty earlier this year in the deadly 2011 attack on thenRep. Gabrielle Giffords in Tucson, Ariz., and has at times been forcefully medicated to treat his mental illness, was not ruled by a court to be mentally ill before the attack. Investigators are still sorting out the past of 20-yearold Adam Lanza, the gunman in the Newtown school killings. But since he didnt buy the guns his mother owned the firearms and kept them in the familys home federal laws wouldnt have affected Lanzas access to them. Tom Diaz, a senior policy analyst at the Violence Policy Center, said lawmakers should focus on a weapons firepower. In the Colorado theater shooting and the deadly attack at a suburban Portland mall, police said the accused shooters used AR-15 assault rifles, versions of which were outlawed under the 1994 ban. Diaz said bullets fired from those types of guns are powerful enough to pierce all but the highestgrade, military-style, bullet-proof vests. Its designed for battlefield use, Diaz said. Gun control long has been a politically difficult subject. The fact that this problem is complex can no longer be an excuse for doing nothing, Obama said. The fact that we cant prevent every act of violence doesnt mean we cant steadily reduce the violence. The president, who expended little political capital on gun control despite a series of mass shootings in his first term, bristled at suggestions that he had been silent on the issue during his first four years in office.

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ing, who had access to a gun in school, he said. But youd have to be very careful about it. Im not saying everyone in school should be armed, but someone who knows exactly what they are doing and who has that gun under lock and key but who can get to it instantly out of their office. Thats something that