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Opinion: Jay Edwards’ sponsorship of these bills is questionable at best

In early February, Ohio representative, State Rep. Jay Edwards, R-Nelsonville, decided to sponsor bills HB62 and HB94 to the House State and Local Government Committee, raising some questions regarding his legitimacy as a representative of Ohio’s 94th District. 

Edwards has already left a questionable impression on the people of Athens and these two bills should raise more concerns regarding Edwards’ political agenda. 

Both bills are on their way to the House State and Local Government Committee. The decision still stands unknown but, hopefully, neither bills see a passing in their future.

HB62 is designated to make Ohio a Second Amendment Sanctuary State. A Second Amendment Sanctuary State is a state that prohibits or opposes gun control legislation, that’s what Rep. Edwards wants to make of Ohio. 

The Second Amendment has been a controversy for years on end and it's not an argument that will end anytime soon. With this decision to support this bill, Rep. Edwards is asking for a response. 

In the past several years, the violent crime rate involving a gun and gun-related deaths in Ohio has increased substantially. In 2019, 1,578 citizens living in Ohio fell victim to a gun-related death, whether it was unintentional, suicide or homicide. Considering in 2019 Ohio led the Midwest in gun-related deaths, there is a lot more that Ohio needs to accomplish in regards to its lackluster gun laws. 

Gun violence in America is a serious problem and making Ohio a Sanctuary State will not be leading the path to solving gun violence but simply putting the state several steps back in the process. 

The act would be named the Ohio Second Amendment Safe Haven Act, which sounds more like an oxymoron.

The next bill sponsored by Rep. Edwards, HB94, proposes legislation that would designate June 14 as “President Donald J. Trump Day” in Ohio. Rep. Jay Edwards is a sponsor of this bill.

June 19, also known as “Juneteenth,” is a commemoration for the day slaves were told they would be freed. With “President Donald J. Trump Day” planned to be only five days before, it is comical considering that this designated day completely goes against everything Juneteenth stands for. To take away the spotlight from such a monumental day in history for the remembrance of an unpopular and regressive president is tone-deaf. 

Trump’s administration has been infamous for its racially insensitive standpoints in the past. These views did not go away with the termination of his presidency, so it’s ludicrous to argue there should  be a day that remembers him, let alone one so close to a holiday like Juneteenth.  

Beyond the bill’s insensitive timing, in the past year, COVID-19 has taken the lives of over 17,000 Ohioan citizens and thrusted Ohio into a recession. It is unfortunate that our representatives care more about creating a designated day for one of the most divisive presidents in modern history rather than working to help the citizens they represent in the midst of a global crisis. 

Trump created controversy and it seems that is what Rep. Edwards was trying to accomplish with supporting this bill as well.

A designated day for Trump stands for more than just a day — it’s an act of power. Trump’s name did not leave a positive impression on America for many, so why would we create a day for him? Presidents don’t receive their own days just because of their term in office, and, quite frankly, Trump is not deserving of his own day. 

With the knowledge of these bills, the people of Ohio and residents of District 94 have the opportunity to voice their opinions. Rep. Edwards and the other Representatives need to be questioned about these bills and justify why they are beneficial to their areas.

The obvious neglect Rep. Edwards has shown toward the people he represents should be an immediate wake-up call for anybody who is supporting him or possibly considering supporting him. It is important for people to support representatives who will support them back and Rep. Jay Edwards has proven once again to be quite the opposite of a reliable supporter for the people of Ohio. 

 Kayla Bennett is a freshman studying journalism. Nicholas White is a freshman studying political science. Please note that the views and ideas of columnists do not reflect those of The Post. Want to talk to Kayla and Nick? Tweet Kayla @kkayyben and Nick @nicholaswhiite. 

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