CLEVELAND– In the wake of the shooting in Connecticut, some Ohio lawmakers are responding to calls for new restrictions on certain weapons.
“We can’t tolerate this anymore. These tragedies must end,” said President Barack Obama during a vigil on Sunday. 26 people died at Sandy Hook Elementary School, including 20 children, when a gunman entered the building last Friday with three high-powered guns.
However, while President Obama is calling for stricter gun laws, Ohio Governor John Kasich will sign legislation in the coming days which makes it easier to carry a gun into places like the parking garage in the Ohio Statehouse.
State Representative Nickie Antonio, D-Lakewood, opposed the measure. “I don’t believe that, at this point in time, we need more guns nearer to us. I don’t believe that guns are gonna keep us safe.”
In a statement provided to FOX 8 News, Governor Kasich said: “I’m a Second Amendment supporter and that’s not going to change. There are a range of issues at play here involving mental health, school security and a culture that at times fails to reject the glorification of violence that can desensitize us to the sanctity and majesty of life. Going forward, we need to pay close attention to what the experts conclude from this incident in order to see if there are lessons to be learned and applied here in Ohio.”
During an event at the Cleveland Foodbank, Congressman-elect David Joyce, a Republican, called on people to hold off on the debate. Joyce is currently the Geauga County Prosecutor in Chardon, where a gunman killed three students at the high school in February.
“I know how much this can hurt a community and it’s just God-awful to see what happened to those children. Let’s let the nation heal. We’ll have that discussion, but now’s not the time,” said Joyce.
On Tuesday, DICK’S Sporting Goods announced a change in the sale of some guns. In a statement, a spokesman said: “Out of respect for the victims and their families, during this time of national mourning we have removed all guns from sale and from display in our store nearest to Newtown and suspended the sale of modern sporting rifles in all of our stores chainwide.”
When asked on Tuesday, a White House spokesman called gun control a complex problem but said something must be done. “It is clear that we cannot once again retreat to our separate corners and to our stale talking points because that inevitably leads to an impasse,” said Jay Carney. “That is why, as I think you saw reported, the president yesterday afternoon had discussions with members of his cabinet, members of his senior staff and the vice president to begin looking for ways or at ways that the country can move forward and respond to the tragedy in Newtown.”
“It is time to have a national discussion on gun control and I think the (GOP) conference is ready to have that in a respectful way and respectful would be how do you get at preventing as many of these things as possible,” said outgoing Ohio Congressman Steven LaTourette.
A new grassroots group, Newtown United, sent a delegation to Washington on Tuesday to meet with The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, and families of victims of the 1999 shooting at Columbine High School.
Click to read more on the Connecticut shootings.