DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Mayor Nan Whaley addressed the media Tuesday in front of Ned Peppers in the Oregon District, the site of the Sunday morning mass shooting.
Mayor Whaley addressed a number of topics, including Gov. Mike DeWine’s call for increased background checks on all gun sales in Ohio, as well as President Trump’s visit to the Miami Valley on Wednesday.
Mayor Whaley said she was pleased with the steps that Gov. DeWine took Tuesday morning.
“I think he has listened to the people of Dayton,” Mayor Whaley said. “Of course, are they steps as big as I’d take? Of course not. You know, we all walk in different strides. But considering that last year I was fighting the state legislature about not having guns in daycare centers and House Bill 178 is a bill that is getting rid of concealed carry, I am pleased that we’re talking about a conversation in a direction that I think is more appropriate around common sense gun reform.”
With President Trump expected visit Dayton Wednesday, the mayor said she’d welcome him as her official capacity as mayor.
“He’s the President of the United States and as he has an official capacity as president and I have an official capacity as mayor, I will greet him here,” Whaley said.
The president’s visit has prompted some to protest in Dayton, which the mayor says she’s glad they’re exercising their right to do so.
“I”m glad they’re using their right to give a free speech comment,” Mayor Whaley said. “And look, you know, I know he made this bed and he’s got to lie in it. His rhetoric has been painful for many in our community and I think people should stand up and say they’re not happy if they’re not happy that’s he’s coming.”
“I think they fell really short,” Whaley said. “He mentioned gun issues one time. I think from watching the President the past few years on the issues of guns, I don’t know if he knows what he believes, frankly.”
Trump’s remarks were notable for mistaking Dayton for Toledo in the closing moments of the statement, for which Mayor Whaley said it’s an issue of people on the coasts thinking that all Ohio cities are the same.
“It’s an exhausting issue that we have all the time and if we had power center that invest and pay attention in our community, we’d all be better off,” Whaley said.
Not enough is being done at the federal level at gun control, Whaley said.
“What do you see happening in D.C.? A lot of nothing on a lot of stuff,” Whaley said. “Common sense gun reform is definitely example of nothing happening.”
Whaley has been a supporter of a ban on assault weapons, even before the shooting, calling it a “problematic issue.”
“The issue is if he didn’t have a gun like that we wouldn’t see so much fast death that happened in 30 seconds that it occurred,” Whaley said. And I shared that with the President when he called me Sunday evening.”
Finally, Whaley addressed State Rep. Candice Keller, who claimed on social media that open borders, homosexuality and video games are just some of the reasons for mass shootings, calling her comments “heartbreaking.” The Ohio GOP has since called for Rep. Keller to resign.
“Here, you have a woman who lives 40 minutes from here, and for her to spew such hate in a community; our community is about inclusiveness, our community is about diversity, our community is about bringing people together,” Whaley said. “To say that on the heels of these deaths; I think she just represents what’s so disgusting about American politics today.”
Whaley also said she plans on visiting victims in the hospital Tuesday afternoon.