Heroes honored as lawmakers debate how to prevent gun violence

President Donald Trump awards the Medal of Valor to six Dayton Police Department officers...
President Donald Trump awards the Medal of Valor to six Dayton Police Department officers (Source: CNN).(GRAYDC)
Published: Sep. 9, 2019 at 6:43 PM EDT
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The president officially recognizes six Ohio police officers as heroes.

"God calls the bravest to action," President Donald Trump said Monday, as he awarded the Medal of Valor to the Dayton Police officers who responded to last month’s mass shooting in the city’s downtown.

"The shooter murdered 10 people and injured 27 more – and the tragedy could have been far deadlier if officers had not responded in seconds," said Trump.

Following the ceremony, we asked Lt. Gov. Jon Husted (R-Ohio) what he thinks leaders in Washington should do to address gun violence in the state, and country.He said cash could help Ohio's efforts to improve technology, as could better information sharing within the background check system.

"Every indication we have is that the Trump administration wants to work with us, to help us get this done," he said.

While Husted said it’s critical that Ohio improves and expands its background checks, he did not call for the same from Congress. "What the federal govt. does, the federal government does," he said, "but I believe we have an Ohio solution that we need to get done here in the coming months."

But, Mayor Nan Whaley (D-Dayton) and U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) said expanding federal background checks to private sales is a critical first step to addressing gun violence in America.

"We know that no bill is going to be perfect, and solve every single issue," said Whaley, "but we should start with one that nine out of ten Americans agree on, and we know it will make our communities safer."

"We can’t even get [Republican leadership] to agree to this even though President Trump promised to our face he was going to move something big," said Brown, "so we get what we can do now, we move on this, we get it done, [and then] we move on to other things."

For Brown, those things include re-instituting the federal government's ban

on assault weapons, and banning those on terrorist watch lists from buying firearms.

While the President has promised a package of reforms – he has yet to provide any details. Senate G.O.P. leaders said they won’t touch the issue until they know what the president will support.

The expanded background check bill passed the House earlier this year, with almost every Democrat in favor and Republican opposed. U.S. Rep. Mike Turner represents Dayton in Congress and voted against the bill. He has an 'A' rating from the NRA but since Dayton's tragedy has voiced an openness to expanded background checks among other proposals.

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