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Ohio activist tells Biden 'we still have more to do' to fight gun violence

Dion Green in front of the White House.
Dion Green
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As he met with President Joe Biden on a day some gun control activists hailed as a victory, Dion Green said he wanted to let the President know they’re still focused on the future.

“Our message to the President is ‘We still have more to do,’” Green said shortly after his meeting with Biden.

Green was in Washington, D.C. Monday to meet with Biden as the President signed the Safer Communities Act, a package of moderate gun control laws pushed through Congress in the wake of the mass shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas.

Green started advocating for tighter gun laws in 2019 after his father Derrick Fudge died in the mass shooting in Dayton’s Oregon District. Green was with his father the night of the shooting and said he held him in his arms as he died.

When he's not advocating for stricter gun laws in Ohio and other states, Green is traveling around the country to meet with other gun violence survivors and family members of victims of mass shootings. This year he's met with families following shootings in Uvalde, Texas, and Buffalo, New York.

While he and many survivors of gun violence used the Monday bill signing to “bask in the moment” of what he calls a minor victory, he quickly pivoted to what work lies ahead, including tighter laws on the ownership of assault rifles like the AR-15.

“These assault rifles are plaguing our country and it needs to end,” Green said.

Green said a federal assault weapon ban appears unlikely given the makeup of Congress, and any new gun controls appear even less likely in Ohio where Republicans control every level of state government and limit what city leaders can do. But, he says, “there’s always hope.”

As for what’s next, Green said he’s considering a trip to Highland Park, Illinois, the site of a mass shooting during an Independence Day parade.

“I always keep saying, 'Don’t think this can’t happen to you,’” said Green.

Steve Brown grew up in nearby Richwood, Ohio and now lives there with his wife and sons. He started his journalism career as a weekend board operator at WOSU while majoring in journalism at Ohio State, where he also wrote for the student newspaper The Lantern and co-founded the organization Students for Public Broadcasting.