Johnson County sheriff wrong on gun safety
The Kansas City Star
Johnson County Sheriff Frank Denning wants his constituents to know he will not — ever — support legislation that restricts access to weapons and ammunition better suited to massacres than hunting or home protection.
The very idea, Denning said in a vehement news release, would have the Founding Fathers “spinning in their graves.”
Denning is entitled to his opinion, even if it appears to come directly from a National Rifle Association playbook. As a public official, however, he can’t make up his own “facts.”
The sheriff is wrong when he asserts that “in past (mass shootings), the most effective response…has been resistance by gunfire or the presence of a gun in the hands of a potential victim….”
The newsmagazine Mother Jones analyzed 62 mass shootings and found that none was stopped by an armed civilian, although several were halted by police or trained security officers, and one by a U.S. Marine. At least two armed civilians who attempted to stop rampages were themselves shot, one fatally.
Denning’s contention that measures proposed by President Barack Obama would do nothing to abate gun violence is unfounded. It puts him at odds with area police chiefs and with the National Sheriff’s Association, which has cautiously applauded the president’s efforts.
The sheriff’s strident viewpoint also runs contrary to the aspirations of the many citizens who choose to live in Johnson County because of its reputation for safe communities and schools. They understand that those goals would be better served with fewer deadly weapons in circulation, not more.