Ohio Governor Mike DeWine is proof that being a Republican doesn’t mean you’re not willing to push for gun control if you think it’s politically expedient.
After all, in the wake of a mass shooting in Dayton, DeWine stepped into the gun control battle with his own plan that, while not as comprehensive as anti-gunners would prefer, also isn’t something pro-gunners could tolerate. In fact, DeWine managed to create a plan that damn near no one actually liked.
It’s kind of impressive, really.
Now, he’s DeWhining about how the legislature isn’t moving on his proposals.
As Gov. Mike DeWine uses his twice-weekly bully pulpit to detail Ohio’s fight against the coronavirus, the Republican chief executive has also continued his so-far unsuccessful crusade against gun violence.
After laying out pandemic stats and and warnings about masks and social distancing safety measures, the governor typically also pleads with fellow Republican lawmakers to act on his legislation addressing gun violence in the state, although he skipped that routine this Tuesday.
He proposed the measure last year in the wake of the Dayton mass shooting that killed nine people and injured more than two dozen.
“We should all be sick and tired of picking up the newspaper and seeing the things that we see literally every single day — our fellow Ohioans injured or killed through senseless violence,” DeWine said on Oct. 6, noting at least 42 people had been shot in the past week and more than half died.
He’s made similar points week after week, usually on Tuesdays, though this Tuesday was an exception as he cut his normally 90-minute briefing to an hour to begin brainstorming calls with leaders of three Ohio counties seeing high rates of coronavirus spread. The governor wanted to leave plenty of time for reporters’ questions, said spokesman Dan Tierney. As far as the governor’s gun violence message, “he’s done it on different days each week,” Tierney said.
So far, Republican leaders remain cool to DeWine’s pleas. House Speaker Bob Cupp, a Lima Republican, said last week there are concerns the legislation would impinge on gunowners’ constitutional rights. He said he doesn’t think there’s enough time left this session to give the issue the “great deal of study and balance” that it requires.
What DeWine doesn’t seem to get is that many of those legislators represent people who understand that as awful as Dayton was, gun control laws on the books actually failed to prevent that attack. As such, backing DeWine’s plan would mean they’re not listening to their constituents. Do that enough and it’s a good way to become an ex-legislator.
Violence is plaguing every city, but let’s put things in perspective. If 42 people are shot in an entire state over a week, that sounds like a lot…if you don’t live in Chicago, anyway. Then, it’s just a weekend.
Regardless, though, DeWine is going to keep beating this particular drum until he’s out of office. It might not be a bad idea for someone to provide him with a primary opponent to potentially help speed up the process at this point.