Brown asked Trump to call on Senate Majority Leader McConnell to bring the legislative body back to vote on universal background checks
U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan to lead ‘caravan’ today to rally in Louisville, Ky.
Pain and anger from the weekend’s mass shooting were visible and audible Wednesday as people in Dayton greeted President Donald Trump’s visit with the city’s new rallying cry: “Do something!”
Trump’s visits to Ohio and Texas, where a combined 31 people were killed and dozens wounded in less than 24 hours over the weekend, were regarded warily by local officials concerned about the often-combative president’s rhetoric while emotions are raw.
Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley, a Democrat, had questioned the visit and expressed disappointment in the Republican president’s remarks in the shooting’s aftermath that included an erroneous reference to Toledo instead of Dayton.
Some 200 protesters gathered outside Miami Valley Hospital as the president and first lady Melania Trump met with medical staffers. There were smaller demonstrations elsewhere around the city.
U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown said he asked Trump after the president got off Air Force One to call on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to bring the legislative body back into session to vote on universal background checks on all firearms sales and to ban the sale of assault weapons.
Brown, a Cleveland Democrat, said the president only told him: “We will get things done.”
Brown said the president added that he wanted to give awards to Dayton police officers who responded to the shooting.
The senator said he responded: “The most important thing you can do for those police officers is take these assault weapons off the street.”
Brown said he initially wasn’t going to see Trump in Dayton, but changed his mind.
“I decided I have a responsibility to Ohioans to use this opportunity to look the president in the eye and urge him to do the right thing,” he said.
Meanwhile, U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan said he would lead a “caravan” today of Ohioans to McConnell’s hometown of Louisville, Ky., to urge him to have the Senate approve gun-control bills approved by the House.
Ryan of Howland, D-13th and a Democratic presidential candidate, said he was working with Moms Demand Action to bring Ohioans to a gun reform rally. Ryan said he’s starting in Niles at 6 a.m. and stopping in Cuyahoga Falls, Westerville, Dayton and Cincinnati before arriving in Louisville for a 7:30 p.m. rally.
Trump’s Dayton visit came days after a 24-year-old gunman opened fire early Sunday in the city’s popular Oregon entertainment district, killing nine and injuring 37 before police patrolling the area fatally shot him within 30 seconds of the melee. Authorities said 14 people were treated for gunshot wounds and the other injuries were sustained while people were fleeing the scene. Three people remained hospitalized at Miami Valley on Wednesday in stable condition and one person was in fair condition in another hospital.
Holding a sign that said “Not Welcome Here” outside Miami Valley, Lynnell Graham said she thinks Trump’s response to the shootings has been insincere.
Dorothee Bouquet stood in the bright sun with her two young children. She says she told them the protest was “to tell grown-ups to make better rules.”
They also chanted “Do Something!” That chant began as the state’s Republican governor spoke at a Sunday evening vigil.
Among the victims of Connor Betts was his 22-year-old sister.
The family of Betts and his sister, Megan, released a statement through police Tuesday night, saying they are devastated and cooperating with law enforcement’s investigation.
It’s unknown whether any of the Dayton victims were targeted.
The FBI announced Tuesday it’s opened an investigation into Betts’ desire to commit a mass shooting and his interest in violent ideology.
GOP Gov. Mike DeWine said it’s clear Betts exhibited anti-social behaviors in high school that should have alerted those around him to a problem.