DAYTON, Ohio (WCMH) — Protesters began arriving about 10 a.m. at the corner of Fifth Street and Wayne Avenue. They carried signs reading “Dayton Strong” and “Trump is not my president.”
Lisa Batten carried a sign that read: “Ban assault weapons now.”
She came down just in case President Donald Trump’s motorcade drove through the Oregon District.
“I’m not here as a kooky look,” said Batten. “I’m here to get a point across.”
About a hundred yards to the west is where the nine innocent people died Sunday morning because of a mass shooter.
There, media from around the country surrounded a makeshift memorial waiting to see if President Trump might visit.
“I want Trump to see how I feel,” Batten said.
A pick-up truck drove past Batten and the other handful of demonstrators and yelled: “That’s your constitutional right. Good luck taking mine.”
Other drivers either honked their horns while passing them or ignored them and focused on driving.
“We need to ban assault weapons for normal everyday citizens,” she said. “The only people that need them are the military and police.”
Standing 100 yards to the west by himself was Damon Smith.
His sign read: “Dayton loves happy people.”
Smith chose not to take sides politically or on guns.
“I’m for the victims,” said Smith. “It was an interview with Ms. Betts’ (one of the nine killed) best friend when she said, ‘If there was anything you could say bad about Ms. Betts was that she was too happy.”
Written on the opposite side of Smith’s poster board: “President help us Trump bias hate.”
“What happened with El Paso and here in Dayton is just a symptom of the bias and hate we’re dealing with every day in this country,” said Smith. “It’s my duty as a disabled combat vet, United States Marine Corps, I’m supposed to support the seating commander and chief no matter what.”
As for Batten, she says she doesn’t hate either.
“I’m absolutely Dayton Strong and we’re going to get through this,” said Batten.
She and Smith were not disappointed the president did not come here.
They said they were thankful for their freedom to express their points of view.