Wednesday, March 09, 2011

County Commissioners Give Okay to Open Carry in County Parks, KGW Slants Report

All across the nation, citizens’ second amendment right to not only own a personal firearm, but to carry one when there might be a need is being restored. From the US Supreme Court down to Vancouver City Council and now, Clark County Commissioners are complying with laws allowing open carry of a firearm in many areas, primarily parks.

Carrying guns now OK in county parks

Since I see no need that I must have a gun on my person at all times, I really haven’t paid that much attention to this and quite frankly, didn’t realize they were banned after seeing the Vancouver City Council agree to change signs in city parks expressing that firearms are permitted, just so long as you don’t discharge one, except under limited conditions, such as self defense.

The thought of carrying a gun to Esther Short Park and taking target practice is ludicrous, what with the park being surrounded by apartment buildings, the Hilton Hotel and the New City Hall Building. No responsible gun owner would shoot a gun just for shooting sake in the park.

However, on the off-chance that a meth addict or some other criminal decided to shoot up the park, since they are noted to pay much heed to laws anyway, one or two other people armed could very well stop a tragic event from unfolding, as has happened numerous times over the years.

School shootings always make headlines and the usual knee-jerk reaction to ban guns follows. Left out of the reports are any coverage of incidents such as the Pearl, Mississippi School Shooting in October 1997 or the Appalachian Law School Shooting in January 2002, both of which others retrieved their guns and ended the shooting sprees, without firing a shot or physically harming the shooters, before either turned into any major carnage as was seen at the Virginia Tech School shooting, where no one else had a gun and the deranged shooter killed 32 people as unarmed victims waited on the arrival of Police.

Beyond city parks like Esther Short, outlying County Parks could see a wild animal attack against a child where a gun in the hands of a responsible gun owner could intercede and bring the animal down before killing a small child.

There are still limitations on weapons in county parks and open carry in places like the Sleep Country Amphitheater and County owned buildings. While I see that as reasonable, other restrictions retained make little or no sense. Still banned in county parks is “a bow and arrow, crossbow, slingshot, spring- or gas-propelled BB and pellet guns, spears or javelins “or any other weapon, except in designated target range areas.”

However, my biggest disappointment is with Portland, Oregon’s KGW TV 8 News and their report on the issue. About 11:30 this morning I received an email from “Ed Teachout, Investigative/Consumer Reporter KGW Media Group” that said, “Lew,,,, I’m doing a story today on Clark county changing its code so you can carry weapons in parks…. Trying frantically to get someone on the gun advocacy side to do interview as to how you feel about the change in code…Please call ASAP on my cell as we will be in Vancouver until about 3:00 pm and if we could get a quick interview I would greatly appreciate it.”

Where they acquired my email or even heard of me remains a mystery to me as I didn’t ask when I went down to Esther Short Park and met with Ed to do the interview a little before 3 PM, after my weekly scheduled segment on the Victoria Taft program heard daily on KPAM 860 from 11 AM to 3 PM.

I spoke to Ed for about 4 to 5 minutes on camera covering a fairly wide range of issues surrounding guns. Safety, responsibility, proper care and maintenance and when asked if I was carry, replied that I didn’t have a need, so I wasn’t carry then. We covered my growing up in South Florida and being taught from a young age about proper gun use and safety, including my time in the Boy Scouts of America and one of the fathers being the local Chief of Police who also instructed in gun safety and proper handling.

Although I did not expect most of the interview to be used, I was shocked to see the 4 or 5 seconds the producers did use chopped up to make me sound cold and uncaring, with little regard.

KGW TV 8 News, Clark County Removed Ban on Open..., posted with vodpod

The discussion on gun ownership is continually framed in such a manner to favor gun control advocates, completely ignoring that the estimated 250 Million guns owned in America never harm anyone, except the occasional criminal unlucky enough to break into the wrong house when a gun owner is home.

Also ignored in gun bans, criminals don’t pay any attention to them anyway. That’s why we call them criminals, they ignore whatever law or ban is passed.

I’m very disappointed that KGW framed their report in such a biased manner. Seeing how the report played out, I understand why Ed Teachout, nice of a guy as he was “Trying frantically to get someone on the gun advocacy side to do interview as to how you feel about the change in code.”

Why bother going for an interview if you know your position will be misrepresented and 98% to 99% of what you say is thrown on the cutting room floor.

Little wonder media sources continue to lose viewers and readers.

To the young lady expressing concern over “accidental discharge,” should the unthinkable happen and some crazed criminal or, God forbid a terrorist target the park to kill as high a number of innocent people as he could, like happened in Ft. Hood or recently in Germany and a responsible gun owner unholstered his weapon and took down the shooter before he got to your children, would you harbor ill-will against that person?

Until they come up with a way to make criminals obey the law, guns in the hands of properly trained, responsible law-abiding gun owners will continue to step in when needed.

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