Ted Strickland: A Commonsense Way To Make Americans Safer

Today, Ted Strickland released the following Medium post highlighting Senator Portman’s vote against closing the Terrorism Gun Loophole.

It’s very hard to know what one thing could have been done to stop the horrific and despicable terrorist attack that occurred in Orlando. But as our nation comes together for an all-too-familiar process of healing and unification, here’s what we do know -- there are some commonsense steps we can and must take to try to prevent the carnage we just suffered from happening again and to make Americans safer.

One proposal is so simple and so straightforward that Congress’ failure to act on it is nothing short of irresponsible: stopping those individuals who are known or suspected terrorists from purchasing weapons, like firearms or explosives.

Opponents of this idea have many excuses why it cannot or should not be enacted. Senator Portman is amongst them, and voted against stopping suspected terrorists from buying weapons just last year. 

To them and to Senator Portman, I say: can you look in the mirror today and say you have done everything possible to prevent the terrible tragedy that occurred in Orlando on Sunday? If your answer is yes, then that is between you and your conscience. Ohio voters will offer their own judgment at the ballot box. 

For my part, I believe there can be no reasonable disagreement about making it more difficult for terrorists or those suspected of terrorist activity from obtaining weapons.

In the U.S. Senate, I would be proud to support this kind of legislation --  especially in the wake of the events we have just witnessed in Orlando --  and I have called for Congress to enact these kinds of proposals along with comprehensive background checks and other ideas that I believe will help make Americans safer. 

I grew up in rural Appalachia, and I believe in the Second Amendment. My creator also gave me eyes and ears, a heart and brain – and the capacity to use all of them to assess the challenges facing our country. There is no denying that America is facing a pressing and heartbreaking epidemic of gun violence. The victims have been school children, moviegoers, parishioners and now dancers at a nightclub. The motivation of the perpetrators has ranged from psychosis to political, and sometimes seems to be a combination of many factors. But the constant has been that these crimes are committed with guns --  and that our leaders in Washington like Senator Portman are not taking simple, commonsense steps to keep weapons out of the hands of those who would do us harm. 

Some people try and say that different parts of our state or our country are too divided or too different to reach a consensus on gun safety.  Here’s the truth from someone who grew up in Scioto county and has lived in both the rural and urban parts of Ohio: we can all agree that suspected terrorists should not have easy access to weapons.

Here’s the other truth about what Ohioans all over our state want from their leaders in these kinds of challenging moments: a real conversation about the solutions to the challenges we are facing – not hateful rhetoric or discrimination. 

All too often, Senator Portman has done what is right for the Washington power brokers and the wealthy special interests he serves instead of what is right for the people of Ohio. I hope that Senator Portman will take this moment and reverse his position on this critical legislation.

Ted Strickland is the former governor of Ohio and is running for U.S. Senate.  For more information about Ted’s proposals on gun safety please click here, and to learn about Ted’s proposals to defeat terrorism and keep Americans safe please click here.



Join Team Ted