COLUMBUS — Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine called for “Democrats, Republicans, liberals, conservatives - everybody” to come together to support his 17-point plan to curb gun violence.
But will they?
State Sen. Cecil Thomas (D) and Rep. John Becker (R) discussed DeWine’s plan on 9 On Your Side at 7 Tuesday night.
SEE what they said in the video player above.
There’s no guarantee that the Republican-controlled statehouse will back all or any of DeWine’s provisions, but two Republican U.S. lawmakers from Southwest Ohio, Sen. Rob Portman and Rep. Steve Chabot, showed some enthusiasm.
Democrat Thomas said it’s time for lawmakers to “set aside our D's and R's and focus on why we were elected, and that was to serve the people."
DeWine's plan calls for getting to the root of the problem. He’s asking for action to increase mental health help and a measure of gun restrictions.
WATCH Paola Suro's report:
Dr. Stewart Bassman, a local psychologist, said the profile of a mass shooter is “a person that has so much hate inside of them - so much emptiness inside of them, and they're alienated from themselves and others that they act out in a form of desperation.”
Bassman said there needs to be early intervention and increased access to inpatient psychiatric care.
“Just as we do that with physical illnesses, we have to do that with emotional psychological illnesses,” he said.
Gun law reform is also necessary, Thomas said.
“It’s unfortunate that it's taken the Dayton incident to get everyone’s attention,” said Thomas.
DeWine's plan would require background checks and would increase penalties to criminals.
“The NRA says 20% of the guns get on the streets illegally by gun show loopholes. Others say it's 40%,” said Thomas. “Whether it's 20% or 40%, the fact of the matter is if they're getting on the streets illegally through the loophole of not getting background checks.
“We need to close that loophole!"
In statements, Portman said, in part, that the proposals “could be a positive step forward … and should be addressed at the federal level, too.” And Chabot said, "We need to put politics aside and find a way to end the cycle of senseless violence in our country. I agree with Gov. DeWine that a crucial first step in that process must be a careful evaluation of our mental health system."
Thomas said it shouldn't have taken this long for change. But he believes that now there is enough energy to move this plan forward.