State Senator Cecil Thomas (D-Cincinnati) issued a call to action today for groups and individuals to organize for common sense gun control measures.
“Followed by years of inaction, these recent months of idleness and apathy coming from the Republican-controlled state legislature make clear to me that far more citizen action may be necessary in order to see genuine gun reform in this state,” said Senator Thomas.
Governor Kasich has proposed measures on gun control that have been put into bills in the House and the Senate, and already the pushback from legislators is formidable.
“At the end of the day, the laws belong to the citizens,” said Senator Thomas. “As a public servant, I want to support and amplify what we know citizens want. We saw the power of the citizen referendum during the redistricting process a few months ago, when Republicans were forced to work across the aisle because of the pressure citizens' groups and voters placed on them. A similar approach to gun control might be the only way to pass substantive, bipartisan legislation in Ohio.”
Senator Thomas’ call to action comes on the heels of clear indifference toward gun safety measures during committee hearings this week.
At a time when so many people want to see real reforms that improve gun safety, yesterday the Senate Judiciary Committee held another hearing on SB 180, also known as Stand Your Ground, which could lead to more deadly confrontations instead of fewer.
Yesterday, Senator Thomas also testified on SB 219, his bill to ban bump stocks in Ohio, in front of the Senate Government Oversight & Reform Committee. After his testimony, one Republican committee member compared shooting semi-automatic weapons equipped with bump stocks to skydiving, saying that both activities are practiced for the thrill despite being dangerous. The same senator questioned the effectiveness of a bump stock ban
arguing that, under the ban, people would still be able to use a rubber band.
“I don’t feel a sense of urgency that members are taking this as seriously as the general public,” said Senator Thomas. “These are not frivolous matters—we are talking about senseless, tragic gun deaths. Citizens’ voices need to be heard, and if the General Assembly won’t hear them, it’s time to hold them accountable.”