In a recent column, I warned against complacency regarding the shootings that have occurred in Killeen of late.

At last count, there were 11 in a two-week period. In that column, I opined that the gang activity in Killeen could easily become winged and expand to surrounding municipalities, including Harker Heights.

Keep in mind that only a street sign separates Heights from Killeen. At last count, there were gang members in all KISD high schools. I say this because KPD has hung these shootings at the feet of gangs.

Unfortunately, these incidents feed into the goals of the gun control pundits who place the blame for all gun violence on an inanimate object, the gun. The gun has no ability to think or reason and it does not arbitrarily fire itself. The moronic idiot with his finger on the trigger does that.

Instead of gun control occupying so much time with legislators and lobbyists, I submit that more time and effort be expended to separate the gun from the irresponsible idiot in possession of it. Better yet, take steps to prevent idiots from owning guns in the first place.

A five-day waiting period and a cursory background check are not sufficient to ascertain the mental stability of a potential gun owner and for heaven’s sake, apply the same strict standard to the sellers of guns at gun shows that brick and mortar gun dealers are subjected to.

No legitimate hunter or household protector needs an assault weapon or military grade automatic weaponry. These guns have no legitimate function outside military or law enforcement venues.

There are those who experience a masculine rush in owning such weapons. Those who do, give me a reason to worry.

One need only observe the homicide statistics of Chicago and other large inner cities to realize that gun violence is out of control. Many of the guns used by these maniacs are illegitimate, in that they were not legally purchased according to law. Many are stolen, making them untraceable to the killers. These guns do not kill! The lawless lowlifes of Chicago do!

How many reports of stolen guns have we seen in Central Texas in recent history? Far too many! One is too many. I would venture a guess that at least one of these stolen firearms has been used in the recent violence.

Banning legitimate gun sales to responsible owners is not the answer. Most of us take the protection of family and self seriously. In short, if guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns.

Gun-toting criminals will think twice about accosting an armed potential victim. An armed criminal element and an unarmed population is not the society I want, nor is it one that can survive.

John Vander WERFF is a 30-year veteran of law enforcement, with a decade in city and county law enforcement and 20 years with state police.

John Vander Werff is a 30-year veteran of law enforcement and a Copperas Cove resident.​

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.