Dayton mayor, Gov. DeWine come together in show of bipartisan support for gun control following mass shooting

Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley and Gov. Mike DeWine held a joint press conference Thursday afternoon.
Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley and Gov. Mike DeWine held a joint press conference Thursday afternoon.
Updated: Aug. 8, 2019 at 2:34 PM EDT
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DAYTON, Ohio (FOX19) - Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley and Gov. Mike DeWine held a joint press conference Thursday afternoon.

The joint conference comes a day after President Trump’s visit to Dayton where Whaley and Sen. Sherrod Brown urged him to do more to curb gun violence in the U.S., and two days after Gov. DeWine announced a proposal on guns and mental health issues.

Whaley also said in a news conference of her own Tuesday that she is in favor of DeWine’s proposal on background checks and red-flag laws.

During the news conference they discussed the healing process for Ohioans following the deadly shooting that killed nine people Sunday in Dayton’s Oregon District as well as Gov. DeWine’s proposal.

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“It’s been a tough year for us and I think most Daytonians, that’s what they’re feeling — ‘hey, this has been really tough’ — but, I’ve said this every day and I’ll say it again, the grit and resilience of this city is something people really undercount and it’s why Dayton beats odds over and over again, because this is a community that shouldn’t look the way it looks, shouldn’t have the investment that it has, and it’s because this community takes care of itself and invests in itself and bets on itself and I know we will do that again,” Whaley said.

DeWine echoed Whaley’s sentiments saying he’s proud of the way everyone has come together and the way everyone responded to the shooting.

“This really does show the resiliency of this community. Fran and I grew up 18 miles from here. Dayton is a great city, it’s got a great history and it’s got a great future, but what you’re really impressed by is just the people," he said. "All the way through yesterday we had a chance to meet the officers who saved so many lives right here, and the first responders and the fire department. Everybody, the people at the hospital, everybody just pulled it together and executed and did exactly what they should’ve done. It was phenomenal.”

People FOX19 NOW spoke with Thursday in the Oregon District are helping businesses there get back to normal.

“These people’s livelihoods depend on the fact that people aren’t scared to come down here anymore,” said Mary Ellen Batick, Dayton resident.

“It’s such a wonderful place! To come down in the middle of the day is so valuable... and then go home and talk about it,” said Mary Rose Zink, Loveland resident.

In a show of bipartisan leadership, DeWine and Whaley showed joint support for DeWine’s proposal to curb gun violence and vowed to work together.

READ MORE : Dayton Mass Shooting

“I’m very excited about the way the community has come together in a very non-partisan, post-partisan way, and the best example is the 17-point plan Gov. DeWine announced. The work — that was a lot of the lunch discussion — like, how can I help get this passed? How can I be helpful? I think that’s what makes Ohio a little more special right now," Whaley said.

"Most of the national media comes to Ohio for hyper-partisan events — that would be your history in the past 20 years — I get that’s been the national discourse of Ohio, but it is a state a state where I think the governor has demonstrated this type of leadership when he came into office where he has made a point of reaching out to people in the other party, he has been open to it. It’s not like we agree on everything, that is absolutely not the case, but there are places we can work together. That’s what I’m most excited about because I think we can really show that in this state and show some great movement from our communities and from the state as a whole.”

DeWine agreed, saying he believes this proposal is something everyone on every political spectrum can get behind.

“Ohio, I think, is a unique state. It is a state that when we work best, we are pulling together in a very bipartisan way. The proposal we put out on Tuesday — every single part of that proposal, every single element — will save lives. I know that," he said.

"Every single element, people should be able to support, republicans, democrats, independents, people who are focused on the 2nd Amendment. If you look, for example, at our proposal, how we deal with people who are a threat to themselves, who are a threat to others, people who have guns, we set up a very elaborate procedure, but a workable procedure where someone, a family member — frankly it’s usually a family member, in my experience as a prosecutor, who says ‘we’ve got a problem with this person’ — it gives them an avenue to go into court, and for the court then to have a hearing and due process to be respected. I think democrats, republicans, liberals, everybody should be able to get behind that. Everything I proposed I’m dead serious about and everything I proposed I think we can get passed.”

He also agreed that stopping gun violence is something that needs to happen, not just at the state level, but at the federal level as well.

Whaley and DeWine say this isn’t the first time they’ve worked together, and they don’t expect it to be the last either.

DeWine urged the public to speak up and say something if they see something.

The press conference ended on friendly terms similar to how it began, with the governor and mayor sharing a parting hug.

They vowed to do something to help Ohio in the wake of tragedy.

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