Bipartisan effort the way to go

Ohioans have a specific reason for concern about mass murderers. The current round of angst regarding them was sparked in part by the deaths of nine people in Dayton, at the hands of a deranged gunman who was prevented from killing even more by the swift action of police, who shot him down.

But in contrast to the attitudes of some in Washington and in other state capitals, Ohioans seem to be proceeding in a bipartisan manner toward legislation aimed at reducing, if not eliminating, the potential for future massacres. Gov. Mike DeWine even hopes to “set a good example for other states.” Let us hope his wish bears fruit.

It may. DeWine, a Republican, and Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley, a Democrat, think a package of legislation aimed at preventing mass murder can be crafted in a way that will attract bipartisan support in the General Assembly.

One way to make that happen would be to focus on effective measures, not window-dressing that would accomplish little other than to pacify the anti-gun crowd.

DeWine and Whaley could start with semantics. In the wake of mass killings in Dayton and El Paso, Texas, there have been calls for “gun control” from throughout the nation. But control of inanimate objects — firearms — is not what is needed. Some means of keeping those to whom violence appeals — and referring to them as “mentally unbalanced” may not be entirely accurate — from using anything to kill is required.

That is a much tougher proposition than slapping a few new restrictions on firearms ownership.

For now, DeWine seems to be aiming for upgraded background checks on those who wish to purchase guns. That could help, but only a little. Many of those who launch homicidal rampages have no criminal records.

Good for DeWine, Whaley and all others involved for trying in a bipartisan manner, however.