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Commissioners' Statement on the Mass Shooting in Orlando, Death of Governor Voinovich

Sunday, June 12, 2016
Tyler Lowry, Franklin County Commissioners, 614/525-6630
Robin Ross, Franklin County Commissioners, 614/525-2392

In the coming days, more and more details will emerge about exactly how and why a man shot more than a hundred people last night at a nightclub in Orlando. In the meantime, we know that it was an act of hatred and an act of terror, made possible in part by easy access to military-style weapons. Whether we think of this massacre as a hate crime against the GLBT community, as a political act of terrorism, or as the inevitable result of gun policy written by gun manufacturers, the results are predictable and terrible.

Mass shootings have become a way of life in America, but we will never become inured to them. We stand with the victims and their families. We stand with America in its global and domestic struggles against terrorism; and we stand in favor of common sense gun laws to help keep weapons of war out of the hands of those who would use them against their own romantic partners, against school children or theater goers, against their own elected leaders, or against people who are simply different from themselves. None of these are easy problems to solve, but we stand ready in Franklin County to continue the fight against terror, against bigotry, and against violence in all its forms even we mourn for the shattered lives in Orlando.

It is with sadness that we also note the passing of former Ohio Governor George Voinovich. Voinovich served the residents of Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, and Ohio for more than four and a half decades, and was never afraid to challenge his party’s establishment when he felt that it was in the best interest of the people. Governor Voinovich is said to have been elected to more offices than any other Ohioan, from County Commissioner to Senator, and was long known for his mantra of “working harder and smarter, and doing more with less.” As Mayor, he helped spur a renaissance in Cleveland, and as Governor, Voinovich helped shore up Ohio’s finances. He was an early and enthusiastic supporter the federal auto industry bailout, while Senator, helping to save tens of thousands of Ohioans’ jobs. George Voinovich was a tireless public servant whose impact will be felt for generations across the State of Ohio.