Kasich calls for new gun laws, defends media at Buckeye Lake ribbon-cutting event

Ohio Governor John Kasich with ODNR Chief Engineer Hung Thai at the Buckeye Lake ribbon-cutting event Thursday November 8, 2018. (WSYX/WTTE)

Governor John Kasich called for new gun reforms in Ohio and defended the media during a ribbon-cutting event in Buckeye Lake Thursday morning. The governor was there to unveil the new dam to preserve the state park and surrounding community.

Kasich ordered the water in the lake to be lowered in 2015 after engineers said the dam was at risk of flooding. The project to replace the dam was scheduled to take five years and cost nearly $150 million but it was completely two years early and for $43 million less than projected.

“This sat at risk for many, many years because politicians were afraid that they were going to get criticized," Kasich said. "You have to listen to what the people want of course and then at the end you have to make up your mind.”

The governor also renewed his support for "red flag" legislation he's been trying to convince the Ohio legislature to pass for nearly a year. That legislation would create a system to take away firearms from people who pose a risk to themselves or other people. Republicans in the Statehouse have refused to pass his package of gun reforms.

“If somebody is unstable in the workplace or your family and they pose a threat to other people, they shouldn’t have a gun and once they get stabilized they can get their gun back," Kasich said.

Kasich also hinted about what his future plans may be once he leaves office in January when defending the media from frequent attacks by President Donald Trump.

“I love the media," Kasich said. "I’m probably going to end up at some point back in the media again. The media is absolutely invaluable. The media is designed to keep those in power accountable to the people and anytime you erode the media, anytime you weaken the media, you make the big shots more powerful.”

He went on to criticize the president for repeatedly calling the press the "enemy of the people".

"This language of ‘enemy of the press’ is some of the most outrageous language I’ve ever heard out of a political leader, let alone the president of the United States," he said. "It’s terrible and I reject it.”

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Follow Ben Garbarek on Facebook and Twitter: @benwsyx6

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