WESTERVILLE, Ohio — John Kasich may no longer be Ohio's governor but he is still an Ohioan and shares the pain felt this week by the residents of Dayton.
"You know I look at these people and the anguish that they have and I can relate to it, I've been through tragic things that happened to me," Kasich said recalling the loss of his parents 32 years ago this month to a drunk driver. "I hope we're going to get action now."
Kasich supports Governor DeWine's 17-point plan of reforms to gun laws and penalties for gun-related crimes while increasing funding and access for mental health care to address issues before they rise to the level of violence.
Last year Kasich sent to the legislature six recommendations, including a Red Flag law, given to him by a bi-partisan group he assembled after the 2017 Las Vegas shooting. While Kasich was able to use executive order for some, the legislature failed to act on the others.
"I always felt that at some point these things were going to happen, so we just went out there and we plowed the ground and now I hope they're going to be able to get this done."
Kasich applauded President Donald Trump's comments Monday when he addressed the nation. "To talk about Red Flag laws, to say that he's open to a lot more suggestions," Kasich said. "The question is follow through," he said referencing the president's tweets that reflected a different tone.
"I mean that just undercuts all the things that he said."
Kasich said it's still a little frustrating that people still don't understand why he didn't go to the Republican Convention in Cleveland or endorse Trump in the general election or why he has spoken out like he has.
"Do you know why?" Kasich asked. "Because this division was going to lead us to a very dark place."
"So when Republicans say 'what about his policies?' I always say to them well what about his values?"
These days Kasich can be found working out of an office at Otterbein University, traveling the country giving speeches and working as a commentator for CNN which he sees as his chance to tell it the way he sees it.
"It's not to be biased one way or the other, it's to try to be like an umpire. Do umpires have biases towards certain pitchers? I assume they do but the process of calling balls and strikes shouldn't take away from that."
Kasich's fifth book will be released this fall and he's started his own company which is designed to take the lessons from when he was governor and help business people to avoid certain things he's seen or ways they can be more successful in changing their culture.
"I'm having a great time," he said. "I'm now as busy or in some respects busier than I was as governor because I have so many multiple things happening."
As for his consideration whether to challenge President Trump for the Republican nomination or run as an independent Kasich said he considered it like climbing a mountain.
"If you're going to climb a mountain, you're walking and if you can't see a path to get to the summit you abandon your climb only a fool would go forward right? So we just don't know what's going to happen or what's going to change. I haven't ruled anything out but I just don't see a path at this point."