Police react to President Obama’s gun control proposal

Few Americans will ever forget the haunting and heartbreaking stories from the mass shootings in Aurora, Colorado and Newtown, Connecticut.

A month after Newtown, many are blaming the high capacity weapons the shooters used in both incidents.

“I’m a firm believer in the Second Amendment and I think people should have the right to buy whatever firearms they want. But I think there needs to be some controls on the assault type weapons,” said Herbert Schoffner, who lives in York County.

Part of President Obama’s gun control plan released Wednesday called for banning tactical weapons. However, some police officers say it’s not the guns that are the real problem.

“We’re dealing with people that are stealing the firearm or getting it through illegal means. There’s mandatory minimums that are in place when people use a firearm in a crime, and it’s one of the first things that’s thrown out the window during plea bargaining,” said Chief Wes Kahley of the York City Police Department.

Kahley said of the 11 homicides in York City in 2012, none were commited with assault rifles.

“They’re out there, we run into them, of course they’re scary weapons. But to me what should be addressed is how illegal guns are being put on our streets,” Kahley said.

Another issue, Kahley said, is guns getting into the hands of people who are mentally ill.

“We have a lot of issues even as police departments when we deal with someone with mental health issues in trying to get information to best serve that person¬† to best protect society‚Ķbecause the individual’s rights are put before society’s rights,” he said.

While he chief said he’s not against the President’s plan, there are far more issues that need to be touched upon before banning certain guns.

“There’s so many cultural issues here taking place in society and so many other issues that need to be addressed,” he said.

Gun Control Debate Rekindles After Sandy Hook Elementary Tragedy

8 comments

  • Donna

    Well said… Mental health issues are a big problem and they have so many rights I think more then the rest of society… Stop cutting cost for Mental health

  • HowIgnorantRU?

    LOL, this "gun control" issue is never going to be resolved or settled. It's a Forever Issue like the Abortion arguments. The second amendment is a black eye for this country that long has placed the USA in the same realm as many Middle East countries that we hear about in the news every day for decades. The only difference is that much of our culture and laws maintain stability. Columbine, Sandy Hook, Aurora, etc. will continue every year or two indefinitely. Don't fool yourself into false hope that you're someday going to see mass gun violence diminish or end. If you do, you're going to be heartbroken (or angered) frequently in life.

  • Guest

    Hey Chief Kahley…. here's a thought since you're not opposed to Obama's trampling on legal citizens' rights – why don't you give up your department's semi-automatic weaponry – ALL of your AR's & your Glocks – both professionally and personally! Go back to your 6 guns and see how it feels brother…. Oh, different story now – huh? Yeah, that's what I thought…

  • Chief Kahley

    Guest, Unfortunetly everything that is said in an interview is not replayed to the public. I feel that it does little good for me criticize his plan as a whole when I have not read the plan in its entirety. I do agree with closing the gun show loophole and madatory background checks but if you could see the interview in whole you would see that I said that I personally believe that restricting legitimate gun owners from owning firearms is not the answer and that what needs addressed is the way in which guns illegally make it to the street.

    • Patty

      Chief Kahley,
      Thank you for having the courage to be honest about what needs to be addressed and about what is the real problem. Many times people in positions such as yours are worried about being politically correct and do not share what they really see as law enforcement. There is so much misinformation out there about what guns are used in crimes, what a semi-automatic actually is and how it works and those who have never used or been around guns do not realize that someone could do just as much damage in the same amount of time with other guns that would not be under a semi-automatic ban. They believe what the agenda driven media and politicians feed them, therefore they mistakenly think a ban would actually do something. If we really want to impact the problem the issues you spoke of are what will actually make a difference but that will never happen until people such as yourself tell the truth about what they see. Thank You. Sadly, there will always be violence and as I am sure you see all the time even if there were no guns people would use whatever else they can that will accomplish their act.

  • Guest

    Chief & Fellow Citizens
    Please share with our PA Senators your rational and first hand understanding of the need to focus on the root causes of violence, rather than the red herring — gun control. Is it rational to spend our energy debating regulations that have proven to be ineffective (Columbine tragedy occurred during Clinton's 10yr "assault" weapon/high capacity BAN IN EFFECT) Have we learned nothing? We cannot take our rights for granted. Please write your Senator. They work for us and need to hear from us!

  • Mr awesome

    I agree with the Chief. We live in the greatest country in the world, because of our rights, the constitution, and our system of governing . If you do't think so, do some traveling. Not tourist resorts. Were you would be living. With the common people. You will love what we have. If you take anything that we have away. We will be just like any other country in the world. The 2 amendment is the only one in the world, and we have it. We got it because we beat britain. Britain banned guns a few years ago. Britain is 2 on the most violent country in the european union. The U.S. is 6. Less guns equal more crime. Every 90 seconds somebody dies because of D.U.I. Do something about that. 97% of the murders is by rotating criminals. Criminals on the street when they should be locked up. Why is murders getting 15-30 years? and released in less then 10 years. Columbine was 2 years after the clinton 1994 crime bill. or ban
    When is fox news going to start reporting the truth. The only thing they're reporting is politicians looking for a job. Trying to please the higher power. And not working for the people that elected them.
    With out the second amendment there is no need for a first.

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