Choya Hawn, 51, Erie. That is how my name appears on the Register's Web site along with the names of the other holders of Concealed Carry Permits issued by Erie County. Since you are convinced the public needs to know such information, allow me to expand. I am a 27-year veteran of the Ohio State Highway Patrol. I have served 21 years as a certified firearms Instructor for the Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy, and I am a five-time Gold Medallist in the combat pistol event at the Ohio Police and Fire Games. However, in May 2004 I retired from the Highway Patrol and became a regular citizen. Unlike most citizens, I have nearly three decades of law enforcement experience and firearms training, but I am still required by law to obtain a CCW permit to carry a firearm.
In all my years in law enforcement I was never forced to shoot another person. I was prepared to do so if necessary to defend my life or another's. As a regular citizen my background, training, experience and attitudes are unchanged. I am prepared to step forward to defend innocent life at any time and any place -- the schoolhouse, the courthouse, the park, the playground or the all-night convenience store. But unfortunately, these are all places where a law-abiding citizen cannot legally carry a firearm.
So to those people convinced they need to know the names of people with CCW permits and may carry a gun because they are a threat to your safety, you are wrong. The only threat to your safety is that instance where you need someone with the courage, skills and willingness to defend you or your loved ones and find that they cannot because they are unable to carry the one tool necessary. As far as the Register's explanation for publishing the list, I quote Col. Sherman Potter of M.A.S.H. 4077: "Road apples".
Choya Hawn, OSHP retired