"Owners Are Responsible For Their Guns"
By Capt. Fred Davis
Published: Friday, June 26, 2015

If you watch the news, read the newspaper, listen to the radio or turn your PC to news, you get the same news. The problem with this is that if you get your news on TV, you get the same verbiage, videos and interviews. Usually, over and over and yep, over again. This is the case on all major news stations — CNN, FOX — no matter where you flip to, it’s the same.

As I pen my weekly column, the days breaking news is the massacre at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina. Every news channel carried the same interviews with grade school classmates and high school chums regarding the shooter, Dylann Roof. They all agreed the young man was very quiet. In most cases, numerous interviews shed a variety of opinions but they all concluded the same. Each person thought the man was quiet and sort of timid. They all believed he was not the kind of person who would commit such a horrific act.

Roof admitted taking the lives of nine church members and when asked why he responded, “to start a race war.” He said the reason he went to the church was he had been invited to attend a bible class by a female friend and he “wanted to kill blacks.”

As I continue my column I’ve decided to wait until my Tribune arrives to get further information, only once, that will be right to the point not full of endless interviews.

As I see it, many of the news gathering activities of late have been focused on mass killings, such as the movie theater shooting in Aurora, Colorado July 2012 and the Boston Marathon bombing in April 2013. Both killers waited years to go to trial.

I have a hard time understanding how or why so much time passes before punishment is delivered, especially when there is no question of guilt. Crime and ugly events seem to fill our screens and papers. Shootings lead the list, (Detroit had its share recently) with killings occurring daily.

The big news coverage of the jailbreak in New York is an exception to killings, and fortunately no one has been shot — yet.

Of course, the subjects that escaped are killers. Everyone is fully expecting to see someone killed before the men are captured.

I must agree with officials speaking out that there is no way to control gun sales and most persons carrying a CCW (concealed weapons permit) have taken classes. Those who took the time to take the classes are trained on proper handling of a gun. They have also been thoroughly background checked to be certain they are not a felon or have never been involved in a shooting.

Responsible people are not the ones we are hoping to control with additional gun legislation. Legislation will not stop mass shootings such as the recent one in South Carolina. Enforcement of laws already on the books could help. A person, with or without a CCW permit, should be held accountable for the use of their weapon. If their child, other relative or friend uses their gun they should receive a stiff fine, loss of the gun and their permit. If the gun did not have a trigger lock installed, the fine should be greater and the loss of a permit permanent.

Another responsibility that should be placed on a gun owner is the safe keeping of it. If they are not carrying their gun, it should be in a locked area to avoid theft. If a theft occurs, the CCW holder should be fined and made to repeat the class due to improper safekeeping.

Any enforcement officer who encounters a person with a gun should attempt to take possession of the weapon and turn it in for disposal. If the person is without a permit, they should be given a stiff fine.

If a shooter pleads temporary insanity, as Roof has, when the investigation takes place and he is found to be insane or have a mental disability, the provider of the gun should be held responsible. If Roof is found to be mentally disturbed and his father had any knowledge of his problems, he should be heavily fined for providing funds to purchase the gun.

People need to accept the facts: if they buy, lend, lose or give away guns, they are responsible for their use.


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