After massacre, Dayton residents demand political action on guns

After massacre, Dayton residents demand political action on guns


So, less than 24 hours after the carnage in
El Paso, another tragedy. Our Yamiche Alcindor reports from Dayton,
Ohio. YAMICHE ALCINDOR: Thirty seconds, nine shot
dead, and a community reeling from yet another mass shooting. This time, the violence unfolded early Sunday
in a busy nightlife district here in Dayton, Ohio. Police fatally shot the 24-year-old gunman
soon after he opened fire with an automatic weapon. He was just steps away from entering a popular
bar, Ned Peppers, in the city’s Oregon District. Anthony Reynolds had just left the bar when
the shooting began. ANTHONY REYNOLDS, Shooting Witness: I know
it’s gunfire, so I’m looking around. And I’m like, OK, what’s going on? But then what you right after it’s just repeated,
like, shots, high-powered shots, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom. So we just start really running. I’m grabbing my cousin. We’re running. And I just started yelling at the people in
front of me, like, that’s a mass shooter. YAMICHE ALCINDOR: At one point, he was just
10 feet away from the shooter. The shooter’s own sister is among the dead. The motive is still unclear. Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley said the quick response
by the Dayton police prevented scores more from dying. NAN WHALEY, Mayor of Dayton, Ohio: I’m completely
grateful for the Dayton Police Department. Six police officers, five of whom have only
been on this force for three years, ran toward the shooter heroically, not with the kind
of weapon he had, but with the weapons that we have given to them to stop — stop this,
and they did that in 24 seconds. YAMICHE ALCINDOR: The shooter wore full body
armor and carried a .223-caliber rifle with magazines holding nearly 250 rounds of ammunition. Hours later, police tape outlined the epicenter
of the massacre. Yellow cones marked the 41 shell casings found
in the area. A pile of mismatched shoes scattered the sidewalk,
evidence of the rush to escape the scene. Also in the aftermath, shock, sadness and
calls for action. PAM BROOKS, Dayton Resident: You don’t expect
that to hit you at home. But, unfortunately, it’s become the reality
of our world. YAMICHE ALCINDOR: Pam Brooks lives in a high-rise
building in the Oregon District. From her window, she witnessed the chaos. She now feels moved to personally push for
change. PAM BROOKS: I have seen people tell you to
get in touch with your congressman and that kind of thing, and I have never reached out
to anyone representing me. But that has changed already. I sent off some e-mails and text messages
this morning voicing my concerns and asking them to get back to their jobs and get some
legislation in place so that other people don’t have to go through this. YAMICHE ALCINDOR: Sunday night, the community
held a vigil near the scene of the shooting. Some, like Teresa Smith, were still in shock. TERESA SMITH, Dayton Resident: I know love
is greater, but there is so much bad and evil and divide. And it doesn’t have to be that way. All of these people are innocent people who
just want to live and enjoy life. And it’s like it’s been cut down. YAMICHE ALCINDOR: Susie Lane heads the Dayton
chapter of the pro-gun control group Moms Demand Action. She hopes the mass shootings will spur both
Congress and Ohio legislators to act. Susie Lane, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense
in America: Right now, in Congress, there is a universal background check law that the
House has passed, and the Senate has not taken it up yet. That’s a first step. We also need that cultural change, where we
understand that guns aren’t the answers to our problems. GOV. MIKE DEWINE (R-OH): I’m representing all the
people of the state of Ohio. YAMICHE ALCINDOR: Meanwhile, earlier at the
vigil: MAN: Do something! GOV. MIKE DEWINE: We’re here tonight… (CROSSTALK) WOMAN: Do something! MAN: Do something! MAN: Do something! YAMICHE ALCINDOR: The group shouted over Republican
Governor Mike DeWine. They demanded he pursue gun control legislation
immediately. After the vigil, DeWine told a Columbus Dispatch
reporter that he is open to discussing gun control policies, like expanded background
checks. That willingness to enact some reforms was
shared by other Ohio Republicans. GOP Senator Rob Portman Sunday: SEN. ROB PORTMAN (R-OH): There aren’t enough laws,
and, in fact, no law can correct some of the more fundamental cultural problems we face
today as a country. YAMICHE ALCINDOR: Reynolds, who witnessed
the shooting, said he is hoping President Trump will himself seek change. ANTHONY REYNOLDS: Well, he has to change his
tone from the top, because you’re in a seat that is powerful. You’re in a seat that means everything. It represents this country. So if you’re not holding it up for everybody,
then that’s a problem. YAMICHE ALCINDOR: He added that all of the
country’s lawmakers must act to prevent these massacres. ANTHONY REYNOLDS: After these cameras cut
off, we still got — we are still forced to sit here and work with each other and figure
it out, because these camera’s ain’t going to be here forever and the light ain’t going
to be on Dayton forever, because with the rules that we got in place, this is going
to happen somewhere else real soon. YAMICHE ALCINDOR: Everyone I have talked to
here in Dayton is just shocked this took place in their hometown. Many fear that, just around the corner, another
mass shooting could unfold in another city — Judy. JUDY WOODRUFF: So, Yamiche, we heard Anthony
Reynolds tell you he’s concerned with President Trump’s rhetoric. How much of that sort of frustration are you
hearing from people on the ground there? YAMICHE ALCINDOR: Over and over again, I have
been hearing from people that the president’s rhetoric, as well as his inaction on gun reform,
is part of the problem and part of the reason why they feel like these mass shootings continue
to happen. People here in Dayton are juggling a lot. This is a city that has a booming and rising
immigrant population — immigrant population. There’s also largely white suburbs that are
opposed to a lot of the city’s pro-immigrant policies here. And then you have the city really dealing
with a number of things that have really, really hurt the city here. You have the city dealing with a KKK rally
that stirred up a lot of emotions. You also have the city dealing with a string
of tornadoes that hit it and caused a lot of damage in May, and then now you have this
mass shooting. So there are people that are looking to the
president to change his tone and really help with the healing in a city that’s just dealing
with so much. JUDY WOODRUFF: And, Yamiche, you know about
the challenges in that community. You were there just last week reporting on
— talking on it — talking to voters. How much hope do you pick up from people that
maybe these two terrible shootings could lead to some change? YAMICHE ALCINDOR: People here definitely want
to see change, but they don’t feel as though there’s going to be a lot of change. And that’s mainly because people have been
telling me, after Newtown and after the shooting in Parkland, Florida, people thought there
was going to be this big momentum and that Washington was going to pass all sorts of
gun laws, and that just didn’t happen. So now they’re hopeful that lawmakers will
at least hear their voices. But they’re not sure whether or not they will
actually be able to really make real change. JUDY WOODRUFF: Yamiche Alcindor, reporting
for us tonight from Dayton, Ohio, thank you, Yamiche.

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