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The Gun Debate 
by Vice President Knight Allen 

Originally published on June 14, 2018 - reprinted with permission

     I think it best to tell you upfront that I am a supporter of the Second Amendment as I am of all the Bill of Rights. I support them in their literal terms believing they along with the Constitution itself represent the bedrock on which all our liberties rest.

    Having said that I'd like you to know I am not a member of the National Rifle Association. I don't own a gun. I never have owned a gun. Well, that's not completely accurate. Like the kid in "A Christmas Story" I did get a Red Ryder BB gun for Christmas one year. I managed not to shoot my eye out but there were some tricky ricochets along the way.

    My concern is the way these horrible incidents have happened and the very foolish ways the young people are responding. Let's take a look at some of the worse cases:

    Columbine:   Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris - Here we seem to have a borderline situation with regard to government responsibility. Harris has a run-in with police earlier but played the probation game beautifully completing the program ahead of schedule. Othe than that they were pretty much under the radar until they went on their killing spree.

    Sandy Hook:   Adam Lanza - Police were advised two years before the shooting but said there was nothing they could do because the guns were owned by his mother. Lanza then went under the radar.

    Parkland, Florida:   Nikolos Cruz - this is the one were government at all levels totally failed. He was reported dozens of times to school authorities, police and the FBI. Police responded 39 times to emergency calls at Cruz's home over a seven year period. In Feb. 2016 Broward County sheriff's deputies reported Cruz posted a picture of himself with guns and caption saying he was going to shoot up his school. The FBI knew Cruz wanted to be a school shooter since a 2017 comment on YouTube was flagged. The FBI admitted it didn't follow protocol after receiving the tip of Cruz's "desire to kill."

    Santa Fe, Texas:   Dimitrious Pagourtizis - Nothing. No interaction with authorities of any kind; neighbors describe him as a good kid. Not a single indication of what was coming.

    Las Vegas, 1 October:   Stephen Paddock - Again, nothing. No tweets or postings on Facebook, no police reports. Nothing to indicate he would perpetrate the deadliest mass shooting in US history - 58 dead, 800 injured (400 by gunfire).

   So, what do we have? Five horrible instances including the worst mass shooting in the country's history right here in Las Vegas. To what degree should the authorities be held accountable?

Parkland represents a total failure on the part of the government at all levels. Federal, State and Local. They had it all right there in front of them and basically did nothing. Heads should roll but it hasn't happened and it won't.
Accountability is not a word in the government's dictionary.

   Columbine and Sandy Hook - Here I feel we need to give the authorities a break. Yes, there were warnings years before the incidents but police did act. It is not like they ignored it. Imposing 20-20 hindsight on the police resolves nothing in my opinion.

   Santa Fe and Las Vegas - What can you say? There is absolutely nothing the police or anyone else could have done to prevent what happened.

      Stepping back and looking at the five incidents which go across the spectrum of Government's ability to act to prevent them. I sincerely believe there is absolutely no justification for the brutal assault on the Second Amendment being perpetrated by the gun controllers.

    Even worse is the manipulation of so many young people into believing the solution to this violence is more government, more laws, more ability for government to direct and control their lives. And ours, in case you haven't noticed. The kids are nothing more than pawns on the gun controllers political chessboard and may very well go through their entire lives worshipping at government's altar of self sacrifice and the greater good.

    I like to think a large percentage of those kids, perhaps even a majority of them, will grow up and realize being a lug nut in the government is god system of statism* is not really how they want to waste their lives. Maybe they will see how statism* steals from them their individuality and the glory each of them has within that makes them human beings and not door mats.

Have a great Independence Day.

Vice-President Knight Allen can be reached at:

*Statism a political system in which the state has substantial centralized control over social and economic affairs.   --Vern