“I don’t know”: Ohio governor stumped when asked if his bill to arm teachers will stop shootings

"My job is to try to do things," Mike DeWine said. "We have done a number of different things"

Published June 14, 2022 12:30PM (EDT)

Mike DeWine (Getty Images)
Mike DeWine (Getty Images)

This article originally appeared on AlterNet.

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine (R) on Monday announced that he had signed a bill into law that would allow teachers to be armed in schools. But when a reporter questioned DeWine during a press conference if the legislation effectively addresses calls from the public to take meaningful action to reduce gun violence after the 2019 mass shooting at Ned Peppers Bar in the Oregon District of Dayton, DeWine was unable to provide a concrete response.

"After the Dayton shooting, members of the crowd said 'do something.' Do you feel what you're doing today is exactly what those people intended you to do?" the journalist asked.

"I don't know," DeWine replied. "My job is to try to do things and we have done – and I outlined them for you a moment ago – we have done a number of different things."

DeWine then abruptly changed the subject.

"What I didn't mention, for example, another one that we have done without legislation, another thing that we have done is by talking to local law enforcement, we've gone from about 10 percent of the outstanding warrants that are entered into the national database to 85 percent," he said.

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National Public Radio noted that "the new law dramatically reduces the amount of training a teacher must undergo before they can carry a gun in a school safety zone. Instead of more than 700 hours of training that's currently required, school staff who want to be armed would get training that 'shall not exceed' 24 hours, House Bill 99 states."

NPR also pointed out that "both the Ohio Federation of Teachers and Ohio Education Association urged DeWine to veto the bill, saying it is 'dangerous and irresponsible' to put more guns in schools in the hands of people who aren't adequately trained."

The organizations said in a joint statement that "House Bill 99 will make Ohio's students less safe in their schools."

Additional opposition to House Bill 99 became apparent in a torrent of criticism on social media.

Skepticism swirled around the implementation and potential repercussions of House Bill 99.

By Brandon Gage

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