Pensacola, Florida
Monday May 28th 2018

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Outtakes—End The Wild West

By Rick Outzen

On Wednesday, Aug. 26, reporters Alison Parker, 24, and Adam Ward, 27, were gunned down during a live morning broadcast on WDBJ-TV in Roanoke, Virginia. A woman the journalists were interviewing, Vicki Gardner, also was shot and had to undergo surgery.

The killer, who later died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, was Vester Lee Flanagan II. He worked under the name Bryce Williams as a reporter for the same station until he was fired two years ago.

The same morning Parker and Ward were killed, Minneapolis police found three men and a woman shot, victims of a home invasion. Before the month ended, there were five more mass shooting incidents.

On Aug. 29, law enforcement agencies reported three mass shootings across the South. One man was killed and three others wounded in a parking lot shooting in Smith County, Texas.  In Bristol, Tenn., a gunman killed three relatives in a surprise attack witnessed by several children in a home. The 19-year-old attacker was shot and wounded by another family member during his getaway and was captured a short time later. Four men were shot in Macon, Ga. outside of the city’s Memorial Park Center.

The next day, two more incidents were reported. In Memphis, Tenn., one person was killed and four others were injured after an early morning shooting. The lone shooting that happened over the weekend above the Mason-Dixon line occurred in Muskegon Heights, Mich. where four men in their late teens were shot. Two were in critical condition.

August 31st was the 243th day of 2015. As we finished the month, our nation had recorded 252 mass shooting incidents for the year. We are averaging more than one mass shooting per day.

It’s time we talk about guns. There are reasonable restrictions on most of the Bill of Rights, except the Second Amendment. Guns have become sacred. Every time we have a mass shooting, such as Sandy Hook, Virginia Tech, and Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in downtown Charleston, S.C., the typical response has been we need to arm more people, not tighten up on our gun laws.

That makes no sense.  Heck, when Richard Reid was caught trying to detonate explosives packed into the shoes he was wearing on an airplane, the airlines immediately began requiring passengers departing from U.S. airport to pass through airport security in socks or bare feet.

It’s time we apply the same level of precaution with gun permits.  More guns in more hands aren’t the answer.