VOICES: Letter from Kettering Mayor Lehner and City Council regarding HB 99

Kettering Mayor Peggy Lehner

Credit: Contributed

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Kettering Mayor Peggy Lehner

Credit: Contributed

Dear Governor DeWine:

It is with a heavy heart that in the midst of another horrific school shooting, bookended by similar incidents with fewer but no less tragic fatalities, I, along with all members of Kettering City Council — listed below — write to urge you to veto House Bill 99.

Our citizens, and most especially our children, need you, their Governor, to live up to your promise of common sense gun safety measures that you committed to in the days following the Oregon District shooting in Dayton on August 4, 2019. When you pledged to “do something” following that tragedy, we were hopeful that thoughtful safeguards would be put in place to eliminate or decrease the opportunities for these incidents to occur.

Before we resort to arming our teachers, should we not, at the very least, live up to the promise of universal background checks and civil protection orders to keep weapons out of the hands of the mentally ill? Teachers are human and carry the same, if not more, stress than most. Teaching our precious children goes hand in hand with nurturing them, loving them and worrying about them as if they were their own. And now, they are being saddled with providing unimaginable safeguards to protect their students from harm. The promise to “do something” is somehow literally falling into the hands of our educators. Do we really think minimally-prepared teachers would be even remotely prepared to deal with a mentally ill person with an assault rifle?

During the 2021/2022 school year, a 9-year-old student brought a gun to school in our city. We are grateful every day that it was discovered without a disastrous ending; but, it showed us that our city is not immune to incidents like these. While we appreciate that each school board can make their own decisions, it is time to enforce proven universal gun reform measures that extend beyond our school buildings.

Please fulfill the promise you made just two days after nine people were killed in Dayton. We believe in you. Please veto this legislation.

Sincerely,

Peggy Lehner

Mayor, City of Kettering

Kettering City Council

Jacqueline Fisher, Vice Mayor

Bruce Duke, Council Member

Tony Klepacz, Council Member

Jyl Hall, Council Member

Lisa Duvall, Council Member

Bob Scott, Council Member

More mass shootings, more empty promises?

Uvalde Strong

The recent gun violence in Buffalo, Uvalde and Tulsa dredges up difficult memories for those in our communities still traumatized by the events of August 4, 2019. We’ve published a number of different perspectives on what should be done to prevent another such tragedy throughout the last week and we are continuing that coverage in Ideas & Voices.

We have received a large number of submissions on this topic and we understand how important it is to readers. Ideas & Voices is committed to giving space to your views. If you are interested in providing a 150-200 word letter to the editor or a 500-600 contributed column, please email your submission to edletter@coxohio.com.

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Letter from Kettering Mayor Lehner regarding HB 99

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