DeWine Doesn't Want "Stand Your Ground" Without His Reforms

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine is a little odd in this country. He’s a Republican governor who has been beating a gun control drum for a while now. Granted, that drum started after a mass shooting in his state and is a likely response to the outcry that inevitably follows such an event, but he’s continued to beat it none the less.

Meanwhile, lawmakers in his state have expressed zero interest in passing the STRONG Ohio package DeWine has pushed for. In fairness, it’s about useless in any appreciable way regardless of who you ask–it’s too little for the anti-gunners, too much for the pro-Second Amendment crowd–so that’s not overly surprising.

Instead, lawmakers are considering changing the state law to remove the duty to retreat, making Ohio a Stand Your Ground state.

It seems that DeWine has an issue with that.

Gov. Mike DeWine said Wednesday that state lawmakers should not send him bills loosening restrictions on guns at a time when they’ve refused to pass reforms he proposed in the wake of last year’s mass shooting in Dayton.
But he stopped short of using the word “veto.”
“I’ve made it very clear that we can’t be looking at other gun bills until we take some action on some of the things I’ve proposed,” the Republican governor said in an interview with The Blade.
He said he still holds out hope that proposed “stand your ground” legislation and other bills sought by gun-rights supporters might include some of what he has proposed, particularly increased penalties for those who use or possess a gun when they are legally forbidden to have one.
“I’ve set the priorities,” Mr. DeWine said. “My experience in any lame-duck session is that stuff does happen at the last minute sometimes…. We’ll see. Got to remain optimistic.”
Both the House of Representatives and Senate have variations on “stand your ground” bills positioned for potential votes Thursday, possibly the lame-duck session’s last day. They would expand scenarios in which a person could use a gun in self-defense without a legal duty to first try to retreat from the situation.

Except, DeWine needs to remember that lawmakers don’t answer to him. They answer to their constituents. If those constituents want a Stand Your Ground law, then the lawmakers are going to pass it.

Since many of those constituents also elected DeWine, he might want to think about that.

Then again, I suspect he has. That’s why he didn’t outright threaten a veto of a Stand Your Ground measure. That might just mean political suicide, after all. Assuming, of course, he hasn’t already committed it with this Quixotic quest to pass a gun control package pretty much no one wants.

Of course, then the question becomes what will he do if the legislature does pass Stand Your Ground without his gun control proposals. Will DeWine veto it? Does he see his push as a futile gesture and accept that? Is he making public noises when privately he’s a little relieved that STRONG Ohio hasn’t passed? Or does he really think his proposals will accomplish all that he promises?

Honestly, I don’t know, but it’s something that bears watching. I guess we’ll find out soon enough.