During a candlelight vigil Sunday night honoring the nine victims killed in a mass shooting in Dayton in the morning, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine was challenged by protesters to “Do something!”
DeWine addressed hundreds gathered in the city’s Oregon District, the entertainment area where 24-year-old Conner Betts opened fire outside a crowded bar.
The governor, a native of the Dayton area, praised the city’s residents for their “love and resiliency” in the wake of the tragedy.
Shortly after a round of applause, however, several protesters began chanting “Do something!” and “Make a change!”
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The chants persisted as DeWine tried to continue his remarks, and became so loud that many attendees had trouble hearing the Republican leader, Cleveland’s WKYC-TV reported.
Later Sunday afternoon, DeWine told reporters that “everything’s on the table” when it comes to gun-policy changes, including background checks.
“We’re open to discussion,” he said, according to Cleveland.com. “This is a debate that certainly should take place.”
“We’re open to discussion. This is a debate that certainly should take place.”
DeWine, 72, a former U.S. senator, congressman and state attorney general who campaigned for governor last year as a pro-Second Amendment defender of gun rights, reportedly declined to speak at length about specific gun reforms that the state could enact out of respect for the victims and lack of details about the shooting.
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Any gun reforms need to be constitutional, he said, and must be able to pass the state’s Republican-controlled legislature.
The governor did, however, signal confidence in so-called “red-flag” legislation, which he unveiled in April. The measure would allow authorities to confiscate guns from those deemed a threat to themselves or others.