Bruce Plante Cartoon: G.T. and the hot potato - SMALLER

Mayor G.T. Bynum isn’t saying what he thinks about a petition proposing to repeal the state’s forthcoming permitless carry law.

The petition drive — which wrapped up last week and may or may not ultimately lead to a statewide vote on the law scheduled to go into effect Nov. 1 — got the signature of Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt, an old friend and ally of Bynum’s and a fellow Republican. In a Twitter posting, Holt didn’t endorse repeal, but said “a vote settles the debate.”

When the Tulsa World asked Bynum if he had signed the petition, he responded with a Facebook post that says he won’t be saying what he thinks about the petition ... or a lot of other controversial things.

Not taking a position on the latest controversies of the day in letters, petitions and social media posts sometimes angers his friends, Bynum wrote, but he said his responsibility is to pick the battles he enters with the best interests of Tulsa in mind.

“As a citizen, you should feel free to do all of these things. As a citizen, I have opinions on all of them too. But as mayor, I have a responsibility to pull our city together so we can move it forward,” Bynum wrote.

That’s consistent with mayoral candidate G.T. Bynum’s refusal to say who he planned to vote for in the 2016 presidential election.

It may not seem as consistent with Mayor G.T. Bynum’s Facebook post this week endorsing Gov. Kevin Stitt’s Tuesday comments concerning local school districts raising property tax rates without being penalized in state funding.

We agree with the mayor that he has to pick the fights he enters carefully, but we’re not convinced that the open carry repeal petition isn’t an issue of significant local importance.

Guns are a politically sensitive issue in Oklahoma, and Bynum has shown courage in the past by taking potentially unpopular public stands on issues that are just as divisive.

Tulsans on both sides of the issue deserved to hear his thinking on the petition, and we’re disappointed that he skipped a chance to provide that local leadership.


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