DeWine's Dem opponent says he gave up on gun issue

(AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

I’ve given Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine a lot of grief. After all, despite being a Republican, he kept pushing his gun control package.

Now, in fairness, his STRONG bill wouldn’t have done all that much, which means it was ultimately going to be less than popular with all sides.

That bill came in the aftermath of the Dayton shooting. Now, three years later, his opponent is trying to use that timespan to attack him.

Almost three years after the Dayton mass shooting, when a gunman killed nine people and injured 27 more, legislation pushing for gun control faces little love from Ohio’s majority-GOP legislature.

But it’s been getting attention in the governor’s race, where voters will choose this November between Republican Gov. Mike DeWine and Democrat Nan Whaley, the former mayor of Dayton. Whaley was mayor when the tragedy happened on Aug. 4, 2019.

Over the past year, focus on guns has been given renewed attention in light of the Uvalde school shooting that killed 19 children, among a spate of other recent gun violence.

The former Dayton mayor on Wednesday criticized DeWine for not pushing forward gun control and instead signing laws loosening regulations around firearms, three years after the Dayton shooting.

“He gave up without a fight when the politics got too hard,” she said.

The DeWine campaign disputes that claim.

“It’s disturbing that Mayor Whaley is using a horrific shooting as a political stunt to promote herself and myopic policies,” said Tricia McLaughlin, a campaign spokesperson. “Governor DeWine is taking action to get guns out of the hands of criminals and violent offenders.”

Of course DeWine would say that. After all, it is pretty disgusting of Whaley.

Look, say what you want about DeWine–and I have. Repeatedly–the truth is that he pushed his very limited gun control as hard as he could. The truth was the legislature had no interest in passing it. There’s only so much a governor can do.

That’s something Whaley should be aware of if she thinks she’s cut out for the job.

But why this particular tactic? Why now?

Well, part of it is that today does mark the three-year anniversary of those horrible events. Anti-gunners love to use these anniversaries to try and pressure people to adopt their way of thinking on the Second Amendment, so there’s that.

However, a bigger issue may well be the fact that Whaley is being trounced in the polls. DeWine currently has a 15-point lead over Whaley. While polls aren’t necessarily a perfect predictor of how an election will go down, a lead that big is pretty indicative of things not going well.

For Whaley, though, she’s barking up the wrong tree.

It seems that most of Ohio either supports gun rights or is at least ambivalent toward pro-Second Amendment legislation. That’s why DeWine signed constitutional carry, for example. He recognized that even if he, personally, was against it, the rest of the state didn’t feel the same way.

Whaley is pushing gun control in part because of what happened in Dayton. The rest of the state, however, isn’t interested in curtailing their rights because of the actions of a drugged-out whack job.

I can’t help but think that the fact that she doesn’t get that and is trying to attack DeWine for not passing gun control isn’t going to help her come November.