Ohio Governor Mike DeWine was under a great deal of pressure to present a plan in response to the deadly mass shooting in Dayton. However, he also knew he needed to present something that would stand a prayer of actually passing, if for no other reason than to preserve his political capital as much as possible.
However, Republicans are very reluctant to make any moves that gun control proponents would actually approve of. That means DeWine was in a really tough spot.
Earlier this week, he revealed his plan. It seems it actually garnered some bipartisanship, which is saying something in this day and age.
Dayton residents this summer demanded Gov. Mike DeWine to “Do Something” after the mass shooting that killed nine and wounded 27. DeWine agreed, and six weeks after the tragedy, he’s doing something. But nobody seems really happy with it.
Pro-gun rights activists will not endorse any new restrictions, while Democrats and gun control advocates say the governor’s “STRONG Ohio” plan is too weak. Though a vast majority of Ohioans approve of universal background checks, his plan only calls for voluntary checks.
DeWine’s bill also does not include a “red flag” gun seizure law. Instead, it creates a formal process for taking the guns of some people already getting mental health treatment.
Yeah…you almost had to see that coming, didn’t you?
The problem is that DeWine tried to walk what he saw as a moderate line in a very immoderate world. Gun control advocates are upset that DeWine didn’t acquiesce to all of their demands, particularly regarding red flag laws–a bill that DeWine knew would never make it through the GOP-controlled legislature.
Gun rights supporters, on the other hand, aren’t interested in meeting anti-gunners halfway on anything. We did that time and time again in the past and all that it did was give us a little time before they started demanding still more gun control. When you cut something in half enough times, eventually you’re splitting atoms and gun rights supporters know that. They’re done splitting their rights in the name of appeasement.
So DeWine managed to upset everyone with his proposal.
That doesn’t mean it won’t pass, mind you. While a good compromise is one where everyone walks away happy, most tend to be where everyone walks away feeling a little screwed. That might well be the case here.
For what it’s worth, I don’t actually have an issue with voluntary background checks. I suspect a lot of people would make use of those willingly, even people who vehemently oppose mandatory background checks.
As for the rest? Well, that remains to be seen and I suspect that’s going to be one of the many measures up for debate in Ohio in the coming months.
The real question is whether or not DeWine has the political might to actually push something like this through. His style tends to be to find consensus and make things happen rather than to bully it through like prior Governor John Kasich. That means it’ll be a far harder challenge.
It should be interesting to watch what happens.