This Tuesday, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine released a series of policy proposals aimed at reducing gun violence statewide. He addressed the issue from both major perspectives, outlining ideas to ensure better mental healthcare services and to implement gun control reform legislation.
The legislative reforms are broad in scope and include many policies that the federal government has been unable to implement up to this point. Within the 17-point plan released by the Governor’s office, he called for required background checks, increased penalties for possessing a firearm, and a safety protection order, often known as a red flag law, which takes away weapons from any individual who is deemed potentially dangerous.
The announcement from the governor followed a series of mass shootings over the weekend, including in Dayton, Ohio where ten people were killed and twenty-seven were injured within thirty seconds by an automatic weapon. In addition to the Governor’s response, many Democratic legislators and activists demand comprehensive gun reform, with many calling for the Senate to return to session to vote on gun control legislation.
Governor DeWine’s response differed from many other prominent Republican figures that have mostly focused on the personal aspects of the shootings and resisted any calls for legislation to help prevent further horrendous attacks. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy blamed video games for the mass shootings, mirroring President Trump’s response to the shooting in Parkland, Florida last spring when he sought out anti-video game advocates to blame the horrendous violence on a game. Republican commentator Sean Hannity suggested an increase in guns, proposing placing armed guards throughout public places.
Many states have already implemented gun control legislation similar to DeWine’s proposal. Just one week after the deadly shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, Oregon lawmakers passed a new gun control bill that bans domestic abusers from purchasing or owning firearms. Women’s rights advocates claimed the bill as a victory since more than 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men will be the victim of intimate partner violence in their lifetime. The chance of a woman in an abusive household being killed by her partner quintuples when a gun is in the home.
Media Resources: Feminist Newswire 3/1/18; Vox 8/4/18; The Hill 8/4/19; Washington Post 8/6/18; Governor Mike DeWine 8/6/19