Published on March 16th, 2018 | by Swing State Voices


Gun Laws The Focus of Student Statehouse Visit

On Tuesday, an article appeared in the Columbus Dispatch about plans by “hundreds of high school students” to descend on the Statehouse Wednesday to lobby for stricter gun laws. Tuesday night, Senate leadership abruptly cancelled a planned session. The House had already pulled down its planned session for Wednesday, leaving students with two empty chambers.

Students were, understandably, unhappy.

From Wednesday’s Gongwer Report:

“I’m deeply disappointed by the Ohio Senate leadership’s decision to cancel today’s session after learning of our plan to attend and experience as students and constituents what goes on in our Statehouse. If our elected officials cannot even take the time to start a dialogue, how can we begin to solve the issue of gun violence?” [Cincinnati student Micah Kraus] said.

Session was canceled because President Larry Obhof (R-Medina) is under the weather, his spokesman John Fortney said.

So… about that. Why shut the chamber down just because the Senate President is out sick? There is literally a position in Senate leadership entitled “Senate President Pro Tempore” where pro tempore is a latin term meaning “for a time.” It’s basically the President Pro Tem’s job description to fill in for the President, chairing Senate sessions in his or her absence. Why do the taxpayers pay Senator Peterson if we’re not going to let him do his job?

Is it because some lawmakers didn’t want to be seen in photos or viral video having uncomfortable conversations with children upset at the terrible job they’re doing enacting sensible policies to reduce gun violence?

Speaking of those photos and videos, the kids themselves were highly impressive and should get the spotlight today, not snowflake lawmakers. Here are some highlights of their visit:

Students gather in the statehouse to ask for stricter gun laws

Photo credit: twitter user @JeremyCronig


Walnut Hills student, Matt Youkilis, who lost his cousin in the Parkland shooting speaks with State Senator, Democrat Cecil Thomas

Walnut Hills student, Matt Youkilis, who lost his cousin in the Parkland shooting speaks with State Senator, Democrat Cecil Thomas. (Photo credit: @bhamrick_wlwt)

It wasn’t all Democrats, at least according to reporters:

We’re so impressed by these students and disappointed but not really surprised by the reception they got from Statehouse Republicans. It’s an important lesson to the next generation of voters. If your elected officials don’t care enough to listen to you and would prefer to belittle you on social media than pose for a photo, they aren’t there to represent you. It’s time to #VoteThemOut.

Well done students. Less great, adults.

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