Ohio Governor Mike DeWine has been trying to walk a tightrope. On one hand, he’s a Republican. On the other, following the mass shooting in Dayton, he’s trying to appease anti-gunners.
He hasn’t really done a particularly good job of keeping everyone happy.
That said, he did sign the Stand Your Ground law sent to him by the legislature, something many didn’t see happening with his repeated pushes for gun control.
Despite signing it, though, he wants people to know he’s still not giving up on gun control.
A day after signing a controversial gun rights bill into law, Gov. Mike DeWine pledged Tuesday to again push for reforms that he says will reduce gun violence — a promise he made after many Daytonians shouted “Do Something” at a vigil following the Oregon District mass shooting.
“I’m not giving up — far from it. Far from it. I’m coming back to the Legislature again,” he said. “I am persistent. I am stubborn. I’m back to my friends in the Legislature to say, ‘We can do this.’ I’m confident it’s going to get done.”
In October 2019, DeWine and his allies introduced the Strong Ohio bill that called for a slate of reforms, including improving gun background checks, expanding 72-hour mental health holds and increasing penalties for crimes committed with firearms.
The legislation, however, stalled in the Ohio General Assembly where pro-Second Amendment legislators had little interest in DeWine’s package.
On Tuesday, DeWine reiterated his support for fixing the national background check system by requiring adding outstanding felony warrants to the database and making other changes. He also stressed the need to hand down tougher sentences for violent criminals who illegally possess guns.
“These are things that need to happen,” he said.
The problem with DeWine’s proposals is that they don’t actually do anything except allow him to pander to a group of vocal yet ineffective anti-gunners in his state.
Plus, he’s deluding himself if he believes that capitulating to demands by gun control advocates will buy him any goodwill. It won’t. Even if he’s successful, they’ll turn and keep pushing to take more and more of Ohioans’ constitutionally-protected rights.
Of course, there’s also the possibility that DeWine doesn’t actually want this to pass. It’s possible he’s not really pushing this all that hard, but instead throwing something to Ohio’s gun grabbers so they’d settle down thinking the governor is on their side when he’s really not doing anything for them.
But that’s really too convoluted to actually be the reality.
In truth, DeWine is most likely just trying to appease both sides. He signed Stand Your Ground because he knew the majority of Ohioans wanted to see it become law. He still wants his gun control package passed without seeing any real contradictions between the two positions. For many, though, that’s a problem. After all, you can’t claim to support gun rights while also working to feed the beast that wants to take those gun rights away, which is precisely what DeWine has been trying to do for months now.