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Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley Testifies Before House Committee On Assault Weapons

Mayor Nan Whaley testified before a House Judiciary Committee Hearing on Assault Weapons.
Mayor Nan Whaley testified before a House Judiciary Committee Hearing on Assault Weapons.

Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley testified on Capitol Hill Wednesday in support of stricter gun controls.

Speaking before a House Judiciary Committee Hearing on Assault Weapons, Whaley called on lawmakers to take assault weapons off the streets to stop shootings similar to the one in the city’s Oregon District that left nine people dead and nearly three dozen others injured.

“The massacre that happened in Dayton and has happened in too many communities across this country demands a response. We must ensure that no American, neither young person on a casual night out nor a police officer on patrol, has to face down weapons capable of so much destruction,” the mayor said.

She described the weapon used by a 24-year-old gunman outside Ned Peppers bar as "an AR-15 pistol variant," telling Congressional lawmakers the shooting transpired in a matter of seconds. 

"In those 32 seconds the shooter's weapon did exactly what it was designed to do: kill or injure as many people as possible in the shortest amount of time. It was a weapon designed to inflict maximum damage to human beings. It left a trail of destruction, not on some foreign battlefield," Whaley said, "but down a historic brick street in Dayton, Ohio." 

Whaley said first responders should not be forced to risk their lives confronting a weapon that can, "kill nine people in 32 seconds. No one should."

More than half a dozen people testified before the committee chaired by New York Democrat Jerrold Nadler, including some gun-rights supporters.

Among the witnesses was Dr. Alejandro Rios Tovar, a surgeon who treated victims of the August mass shooting at an El Paso Walmart.

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Jess Mador comes to WYSO from Knoxville NPR-station WUOT, where she created an interactive multimedia health storytelling project called TruckBeat, one of 15 projects around the country participating in AIR's Localore: #Finding Americainitiative. Before TruckBeat, Jess was an independent public radio journalist based in Minneapolis. She’s also worked as a staff reporter and producer at Minnesota Public Radio in the Twin Cities, and produced audio, video and web stories for a variety of other news outlets, including NPR News, APM, and PBS television stations. She has a Master's degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in New York. She loves making documentaries and telling stories at the intersection of journalism, digital and social media.