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Crime Control Not Gun Control

  

March 15, 2018 

JASPER, IN: In the wake of February’s shooting at a Parkland, Fla., high school, Congress is talking about creating a special committee to assess gun violence, expanding background checks before most gun sales and empowering federal researchers to evaluate gun violence as a public health issue. 

         While there is nothing wrong with “studying” gun violence, my suspicion is that such a committee will reflect the biases of the gun-control crowd.  The Republicans will buckle and the Democrats and media will have their way. This means there will be no meaningful solutions. 

         The answer is not gun control but crime control. Below follows my plan for making American safe again, with emphasis on our schools, although not limited to that, without compromising the rights of law-abiding citizens to arm and defend themselves. 

         In the Parkland tragedy, we witnessed massive failure of government at the federal level (the FBI) and local law enforcement in Broward County, Florida that received repeated warnings about the eventual killer but did nothing to prevent the tragedy.  We also learned about the four officers who remained outside the school while the killing occurred, a disgrace. 

Under federal law, a person aged 18 or more who passes a background check may purchase a rifle from a gun dealer. Eighteen year olds can vote and join the military. Yet because negligent government functionaries failed at multiple levels failed to prevent a massacre, the call goes out to ban rifle sales to millions of law abiding Americans 18 and above. The most popular rifle favored by millions of Americans is the AR-15, which is a semi-automatic and fires one shot per trigger pull and is not a military rifle.  The Supreme Court ruled in DC v. Heller (2008) that the 2ndAmendment protects the arms that are typically possessed for lawful purposes by responsible citizens, which includes the AR-15.  Yet the call goes out to ban this rifle.  The expired 1994 Clinton ban on “assault weapons” – a propaganda term for modern sporting rifles – had zero effect on crime. A Department of Justice study verified that.  Yet a similar ban is now advocated because government failed to act and prevent the murders. (Stephen P. Halbrook, Ph.D., J.D.) 

  From this and other examples, it is apparent that government cannot be relied on and that local schools must undertake measures to protect themselves. 

         I would borrow from Israel, a nation that has been very successful at protecting their schools from violent Muslim terrorists.  Such measures include lock downs, intercoms, video cameras with comprehensive access control of all entry and exit points.  There should be unapologetic profiling of potential terrorist or violent criminal suspects.  Designated, trained, and armed individuals that carry concealed should play a role. These could be teachers, coaches or others that volunteer and have a suitable background in the military or law enforcement with additional comprehensive training.  Metal detectors are a consideration.  Active shooter drills, like fire drills, should be practiced.  

         The goal is to reduce response time. Waiting for police to arrive even under the best of conditions involves a minimum of 6-8 minutes or more.  With an armed good guy in the school, the response time can drop down to 30 seconds, potentially saving many lives.  

         It is time to eliminate “gun free zones” by abolishing the “Gun Free Schools Act of 1994.” This is where so many of the mass shootings occur, as they are an attractive target for killers.  Implement “red alert laws” for threatening or unstable individuals and gun violence restraining orders (GVROs).  Detention and notification by local authorities and/or FBI of area gun stores and schools of problem individuals.  Mandate that all states share significant crime incidents and convictions (including all violent felonies) with the NCIC (National Crime Information Center) (currently 38 states give less than 80% of such information). In this way, potential threats can be recognized at the point of sale in gun stores during background checks. 

         Re-open mental institutions. Implement mandatory court-ordered detention and treatment for individuals professionally determined to be a threat to themselves or others (with proper attention to individual rights and liberties).  

         We should not ignore the filth and violence emanating from Hollywood and other venues and the impact on young people.  Even more important, is the breakdown of the culture and the two-parent intact married family. Most if not all of the perpetrators of such mass shootings were without fathers and therefore lacked strong paternal discipline in their upbringing. Also, we must acknowledge the role of the media that for political reasons and ratings glorifies these killers thus potentially creating copycat mass shooters.    

         Historically, including right up into the sixties and beyond, schools had rifle and gun clubs with training in the shooting sports. Children brought their own weapons to school without incident (our culture and family structure were much stronger then). Even today 4H clubs teach the shooting sports using guns and live ammunition with children as young as eight years old. 

         We must also acknowledge that the overwhelming majority of gun violence occurs in our inner cities that have strict gun control yet have the equivalent of Parklands occurring on a weekly basis. That is where the attention needs to be. School shootings like the tragedy in Parkland are a very small percentage of gun related deaths in the country as emotional and traumatic as it was. 

         It is also ironic that as we speak Congress is debating criminal justice reform, which will release violent criminals into our streets, even as they demagogue more gun control measures.  Such “reforms” may have played a role in Parkland as existing grants and mandates deincentivize local schools and law enforcement from apprehending and detaining potential juvenile threats like Nikolas Cruz.  Sanctuary cities and states protect illegal alien criminals including violent MS13 gang members. Thanks to DACA, illegal immigration, and sanctuary cities, many of our cities and towns are over run with violent drug dealers from Mexico and Central America.  Our federal courts have unlawfully stopped Trump’s efforts to prevent immigration from terrorist nations even as many of our mass shooters in recent years have been Muslim terrorists. These measures together hardly make sense in terms of reducing gun violence and threats and show the hypocrisy of the gun-control crowd who have supported them all.       

         Do not rely on another law or the government to protect you. They will not. Local institutions are far better equipped than Washington DC to take effective measures if they choose to do so. The focus should be on measures that local schools can undertake to protect themselves and paying attention to our inner cities where most gun violence occurs.

         I will also emphasize that our 2ndamendment, perhaps our most important civil right, is not up for grabs.  I will defend the rights of law-abiding citizens to keep and bear arms and to defend themselves – while fighting for measures that will truly make our schools and America safer. 

 

Dr. Richard Moss is a board certified head and neck cancer surgeon and was a candidate for Congress in 2016. He graduated from the Indiana University School of Medicine and has been in practice in Jasper and Washington, IN for over 20 years. He is married with four children. 

 

For more information visit RMoss4Congress.com. Contact us at hq@rmoss4congress.com. Find Moss For Congress on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

 

 

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