“And that’s why it’s important for us as Americans to know our neighbors, know our families — tell somebody,” he said. “If you know somebody that is acting with a lot of hatred towards any particular group — especially if it’s somebody you know is a gun enthusiast or is armed with these type of firearms and they’re showing any kind of propensity for hatred — it doesn’t mean we’re going to take them to jail, but we might want to vet these people.”
I wanted to be sure I got the whole quote so no one would say I was taking this man’s words out of context. On one hand, if you know someone is actively planning an unlawful action, by all means, say something. It could be argued, that’s what the chief meant. I don’t think any of us would disagree with the idea of speaking up when you know someone is planning a mass shooting or other attack on innocent people.
But it’s the second part of Chief Art Acevedo’s statement is deeply troubling. We all want to prevent lawless violence. But Acevedo wants to “vet” anyone showing “any kind of propensity for hatred.” Somehow, I just don’t think he’s serious. Otherwise, he needs to start with the President of the United States, work his way down through the entire country. And to be fair, before he shoved his foot in his mouth with that statement, the chief did say, “To ensure that we protect the 2nd Amendment by keeping firearms in the hands where they belong; law abiding Americans of sound mind, and not in the the hands of people that want to do us harm…” But I honestly think this was just a vain attempt to avoid having his entire statement dismissed as typical anti-gun, political drivel even if that’s exactly what much of it was.
This fact is, the criminal to which the chief was referring, as the chief admits, a prohibited person. A felon. A convicted bank robber. Someone who, under current law, is barred from buying or possessing a firearm. Something tells me, the weapons used in that robbery weren’t legally purchased and likely weren’t even “straw” purchased. A background check would mean nothing in a transaction between two criminals and the fact is, people who intend to do harm will always find a way. The only response people like Chief Acevedo seem to have for these situations is finding ways to infringe on the rights of law abiding citizens.