Despite an effort to keep it light, there were serious undertones to a speech given by Gov. Michael DeWine at Tuesday’s fall fundraising dinner for the Hancock County Republican Party.

The event was held at the Hancock Hotel, 631 S. Main St., and attracted about 200 people.

During a short speech, DeWine described being at the scene of the Aug. 4 mass shooting in Dayton, just hours after the rampage which killed nine people.

“There were no bodies, but there was blood everywhere,” DeWine said.

He went on to describe seeing a food cart parked on the street, with all the food still in it, sitting abandoned next to a puddle of blood. He said the image has stayed with him.

“Someone was killed right there,” he said.

While DeWine railed against the phrase “red flag” laws, he did say his administration supports legislation that could eventually leave it up to a judge as to whether guns are removed from an individual with a history of violence, who is mentally ill or abuses drugs or alcohol, at the request of family members.

DeWine went on to discuss other initatives by his administration and next year’s presidential election.

While he didn’t give a ringing endorsement of Donald Trump as president, DeWine did praise Trump’s effort to appoint conservative judges to the federal courts. DeWine said Trump has now appointed 30 percent of the nation’s judges at the federal level.

“When you hear a Republican say, ‘Well, I don’t know about this president,’ just remind them of that,” DeWine said. “And if that doesn’t work, tell them to watch the Democratic debates.”

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