Wednesday, August 12, 2020 Elyria 62°
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Mass shootings topic at commissioners meeting

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ELYRIA — After the recent mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and closer to home in Dayton, Lorain County commissioners talked Wednesday morning about making sure they don’t happen here.

A combined 31 people died and more than 50 were injured in less than 24 hours as a result of the two shootings. The shooter in Dayton was killed by police; the El Paso suspect surrendered to police and is jailed.

Commissioner Sharon Sweda said efforts need to be taken to prevent such tragedies.

“My prayers go out to El Paso and Dayton, all their victims and families, but also for us that we aren’t the next community, that we can continue to survive without those kind of attacks within our communities,” she said, adding that she’s hopeful “we can work daily to find more reasons to love than hate and hopefully we can find the wisdom and the strength to end this violence.”

Although she advocates for stricter gun laws, Sweda said there should be more than just one solution to the crisis facing the United States. An additional solution she said might help would be to label more of the mass shootings as domestic terrorist attacks instead of lone wolf attacks and ensuring that websites that encourage hate groups and incite violent actions are held accountable. If those are done, Sweda said, those on those websites will be seen as “co-conspirators instead of cheerleaders of evil-doing.”

Commissioner Matt Lundy agreed with Sweda about focusing on preventing mass shootings and said people his age never had to worry about mass shootings in schools and churches or had to practice lockdowns and active-shooter drills. Lundy said state legislators will be the ones to make changes to prevent future mass shootings.

“I don’t know what it’s going to take to get a shift in how we approach this whole issue, but something has got to change and if the public and Dayton said do something, something’s got to be done,” he said.

Lundy urged people to write to their state representatives and senators to reform the state’s gun laws.

On Tuesday, Gov. Mike DeWine announced a series of proposals to combat gun violence. According to the Associated Press, DeWine called on the Republican-led Legislature to pass laws requiring background checks for nearly all gun sales, allowing courts to restrict firearms access for people perceived as threats, and improving access to inpatient psychiatric care for those who need it most.

Contact Bruce Walton at (440) 329-7123 or bwalton@chroniclet.com. Follow him on Facebook @BWalton440 or Twitter @BruceWalton.


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