Here’s why this Oregon District restaurant owner says he started the ‘do something’ chant following mass shooting

“I’ve heard the same pabulum before,” Bob Mendenhall said. “I didn’t want to hear it anymore.”

Credit: Jim Witmer

Credit: Jim Witmer

Hours before he started a chant that prompted Ohio’s governor to roll out a gun violence and mental health proposal, an Oregon District business owner stood by as firefighters washed still-fresh blood from the sidewalk in front of his restaurant.

>> RELATED:  Red-flag laws are close to threshold for support in Ohio legislature

Bob Mendenhall, the co-owner of Blind Bob's and Lily's Bistro, says he was angry.

Still, Mendenhall said he did not plan to start the "do something" chant that interrupted Gov. Mike DeWine's address to a crowd that nearly stretched from one end of Fifth Street to the other.

>> Commentary: No, we are not fine 

The Sunday, Aug. 4, address came just hours after a 24-year-old Bellbrook man killed nine people  —  Derrick Fudge, 57; Lois Oglesby, 27; Saeed Saleh, 38; Logan Turner, 30; Nicholas Cumer, 25; Thomas McNichols, 25; Beatrice Warren-Curtis, 36; Monica Brickhouse, 39 and Megan Betts, 22  —  in one of the worst mass shootings in the state's history.

Credit: Scott Olson

Credit: Scott Olson

Mendenhall’s feelings rose to the surface as the governor spoke. The words “do something” emerged from his mouth.

“I’ve heard the same pabulum before,” Mendenhall told this news organization Sunday, Aug. 18, inside of Blind Bob’s. “I didn’t want to hear it anymore.”

>> What do lawmakers in your county say about the proposed gun control laws? 

The tavern and other businesses in the historic neighborhood were pushed into the national spotlight due to the shooting that injured dozens, either from bullets or the process of fleeing the scene.

>> Oakwood graduate: ‘I never thought I’d be running for my life

The gunman, Connor Betts, was shot and killed by police.

Shoes, purses and cellphones were abandoned as people ran.

Bartenders, revelers and bouncers helped first responders attend to those who were hurt.

>> Ned Peppers bouncer recalls looking at gunman, thinking ‘I’ll die before you come in here’

Mendenhall said one man chanting “do something” is one thing. Action came with others joining in.

“It is not about me,” he said. “It is about everyone else out there.”

Gov. DeWine on Aug. 6 announced a list of policy proposals to fight gun violence, including red-flag laws and tougher background checks.

>>  RELATED: Ohio lawmakers mixed for law changes from shooting

“I understand that anger,” DeWine said in announcing his proposals. “Some chanted ‘do something’ and they were absolutely right. We must do something and that is exactly what we are going to do.”

>> ‘The smoke hasn’t cleared, and they are rushing outside to help people,’ Ned Peppers general manager said

A survey conducted recently by a coalition of Ohio newspapers — including the Dayton Daily News — found 10 Republican legislators and 31 Democratic members of the Ohio General Assembly saying they support DeWine's "red flag" proposal.

>> RELATED : Who where the victims of the Oregon District mass shooting? 

Mendenhall said he does not intend to "bad mouth the governor."
"If he does something, I will give him all the credit in the world," he said.

About the Author