Breaking News
More () »

Cleveland's Leading Local News: Weather, Traffic, Sports and more | Cleveland, Oh | WKYC.com

Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan: 'Mitch McConnell needs to get off his ass and do something'

Ryan also called out President Trump
Credit: WKYC

DAYTON, Ohio — Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan didn't restrain his emotions Monday morning while speaking from Dayton, where nine people were killed in a mass shooting early Sunday.

Ryan met with the media for interviews, and made it clear that he's had enough of the country's mass shooting problem. Sunday's tragedy in Dayton occurred less than 24 hours after another mass shooting in El Paso, Texas that killed 20 at a shopping center.

"I think most Americans go from tears to rage, and I'm one of them," Ryan said.

Ryan also called out Congress for lack of action on gun control, adding that President Donald Trump and Sen. Mitch McConnell need to be "dislodged" from the Senate in order to achieve gun reform.

"Ultimately, the shooter is responsible," Ryan said. "But government actions can help prevent somebody from getting access to these kind of weapons. These weapons of war should not be on the street killing our citizens, and it's time for Mitch McConnell to get off his ass and do something. We have passed legislation from the House. It's sitting on the steps of the Senate. He won't do it, because he's in the pocket of the NRA."

Ryan also called for more action from Trump, who tweeted Monday that he wants legislation providing "strong background checks" for gun users, but provided no details and has reneged on previous promises to strengthen gun laws after mass shootings. 

"I think you show up at one of these places," Ryan said. "You show up in El Paso or you show in Dayton. You put your arms around the American people and you tell them you love them, you care about them and this is not going to stand anymore."

Over the weekend, Trump tried to assure Americans he was dealing with the problem and defended his administration in light of criticism following the latest in a string of mass shootings.

"We have done much more than most administrations," Trump said, without elaboration. "We have done actually a lot. But perhaps more has to be done."

Ryan also reacted to Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine's refusal to discuss specific gun reform measures. DeWine's speech at a candlelight vigil in Dayton was drowned out by chants of "Do something!" from the crowd.

DeWine said he's open to discussion on gun policy changes while speaking with reporters, but added that more details are needed before decisions should be made.

"That's bullshit," Ryan said. "I mean, let's be honest, that's horseshit. Go explain that to these families. We've had more mass shootings and more people killed in the last 10 or 15 years than we lost in 9/11. What are we studying? There's nothing to study anymore."

The alleged shooter, identified by police as Connor Betts of Bellbrook, Ohio, drove to Dayton's Oregon District with his sister, Megan Betts, and another man. Sometime after his arrival, Connor Betts separated from his sister and their third companion. Police believe it was during this time that Connor Betts retrieved his weapon, an "AR-15 like" rifle.  

Wearing a mask, vest and hearing protection, Connor Betts approached 5th Street, where he killed his first victim in an alley. He continued down 5th Street, where he fired dozens of rounds, killing his sister and seven others. 

Officers heard the gunshots at 1:05 a.m. and immediately responded. Within 20 seconds, six officers engaged Connor Betts, shooting him dead just as he was about to enter the Ned Pepper's liquor store on 5th Street.

MORE | 9 killed in 30 seconds: Timeline of Dayton shooting  

The Associated Press contributed to this story.