Opinion: ‘Making decisions that put my life in danger and then reducing my ability to defend myself and my loved ones? That just doesn’t make any sense to me’

Clark County Today Editor Ken Vance discusses the effort of some lawmakers to prevent law-abiding citizens from owning guns

Clark County Today Editor Ken Vance discusses the effort of some lawmakers to prevent law-abiding citizens from owning guns

Since the May 24 tragic shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, two teens have been taken into custody at Clark County area high schools after possessing handguns on school grounds.

Editor Ken Vance
Editor Ken Vance

On Tuesday (May 31), a student at Skyview High School was arrested for having a handgun on campus. The juvenile stated to school officials he had brought the firearm to school for self-defense. On May 26, just two days after the shooting in Uvalde claimed the lives of 19 students and two teachers, a student at Heritage High School was arrested for having a gun on school property. That student told law enforcement officials he had no intention of hurting himself or anyone else.

Thankfully there were no casualties in either of the incidents here in Clark County. However, the Uvalde shooting has once again raised the conversation about the need for greater gun control in this country, just as was the case after the 1999 Columbine High School shooting in Littleton, Colorado, as well as the 2018 Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida.

Earlier this week, we published a story from the WND News Center that revealed the plan of Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives to force greater gun control measures in the United States. Rep. Mondaire Jones, from New York, was the most outspoken.

“Enough of your thoughts and prayers,” ranted Rep. Jones during a House Judiciary Committee meeting. “You will not stop us from advancing the Protecting Our Kids Act today. If the filibuster obstructs us, we will abolish it. If the Supreme Court objects, we will expand it. And we will not rest until we have taken weapons of war out of circulation and our communities each and every day.”

A report from Fox News pointed out that Jones was demanding that “gun control will happen,” apparently no matter what.

I appreciate the fact that lawmakers want to do whatever they can to keep tragedies like the one that took place in Uvalde from happening in the future. Basically, we all can agree on that. However, doesn’t it seem absolutely ludicrous that the answer to gun violence by criminals and those with mental illness is to take guns out of the hands of law-abiding citizens? That makes absolutely no sense to me.

In recent years, liberal Democrats have had some success implementing their agenda against law enforcement and the prosecution of criminals, including those who have committed crimes with guns. The Defund the Police movement has led to increases of criminal activity all over this country, including cities like Portland. Last fall, Willamette Week reported that in its 2020 crime statistics report, the FBI reported that the United States saw about 21,500 homicides in 2020, 4,901 more than 2019. It’s the largest jump in homicides since the FBI started recording national data in 1960. The numbers represented a 30 percent increase nationally. Portland showed a far greater increase. In 2019, there were 29 homicides and 53 in 2020, an 83 percent increase.

Those numbers only got worse in 2021, as OPB reported a record year for homicides in Portland. In 2021, Portland recorded 90 homicides amid a surge in gun violence, shattering the city’s previous high of 66 set more than three decades ago, stated the OPB report.

Adding to the problem is the fact that in many Democrat-controlled cities like Portland, prosecutors are going soft on crime, refusing to prosecute many cases that are presented to them after law enforcement arrests. Rogue prosecutors all over the United States have arbitrarily decided that many misdemeanors should not be prosecuted and they also advocate for the elimination of cash bail.

Getting back to violent crimes in schools, the liberal agenda has also included the drive to eliminate uniformed school resources officers (SROs). Here in Clark County, a then member of the Evergreen School District Board of Directors angered area residents and law enforcement officials with comments she made during a May 25, 2021 meeting. Rachael Rogers, a Clark County chief deputy prosecuting attorney, spoke for about five minutes about why she is not in favor of having police officers in the district’s schools serving as SROs.

“They are not making our kids safe,’’ Rogers said. “Our SROs are trained police officers. They are trained to look at people as threats. They are looking at our kids as threats. Data shows that schools with more police, more SROs, are more likely to refer kids to law enforcement which leads to charges and leads to arrests. Black students are more likely to be arrested than all other students while at school.’’

Rogers was speaking in general terms. The Clark County Sheriff’s Office does not currently have any officers serving as SROs in Clark County.

“Having a police car out in the parking lot of a high school on a daily basis, just think of the impression that that sends to the children as they are walking into that school,’’ Rogers said. “Yes, I agree it would be great if all of our children had a wonderful relationship with the police. But the fact of the matter is that policing in the United States is biased. Something has to change systematically, significantly, in order for that to change for our kids and our schools. We are sending our children of color into a school where they are seen as a threat. Whether it’s consciously or not by the SRO, they are seen as a threat and as someone to protect against not to protect.’’

Rogers later resigned her position on the Evergreen School Board, effective Jan. 11.

To recap, I think it is absolutely ridiculous for liberal Democrats to take measures that make our lives less safe – such as defunding the police, refusing to prosecute those who commit crimes and removing law enforcement personnel from schools. And, as if those efforts weren’t detrimental enough to our quality of life, they also want to take away the ability for law-abiding citizens to legally protect themselves by possessing a gun.

If anyone wants to have a discussion in this country about keeping guns out of the hands of criminals, I’m all for it. Background checks, mental evaluations, assessment of competency – I have no problem with each of those elements being a part of the discussion. But, making decisions that put my life in danger and then reducing my ability to defend myself and my loved ones? That just doesn’t make any sense to me.

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