Allen B. West

Mr. President, instead of gun safety, let’s talk about human safety

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I send my heartfelt condolences to the families of those who lost loved ones and to those wounded in the shooting at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon. Those students went to school yesterday simply to better themselves and create opportunities so they could pursue the American dream.

By now you no doubt know that ten people were killed and another seven injured Thursday after 26-year-old Chris Harper Mercer opened fire in a classroom at a community college southern Oregon.

Douglas County Sheriff John Hanlin said the gunman was shot and killed during an exchange of gunfire with officers at Umpqua Community College.

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Strangely, it has been confirmed that one of the heroes who took down the Islamic jihadist on the Paris-bound train did attend Umpqua Community College. Coincidence? Who knows…

At this time of heightened homeland security and concerns of domestic Islamic terrorism, when just this week the Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee spoke about hundreds of individuals who have traveled to fight for ISIS, nothing should be taken lightly.

A good leader waits and takes in the facts bit by bit before making any proclamations. Sadly, President Obama could not restrain himself and went into his normal rant before all the facts were in. This is not about new “gun safety” laws. Guns have a safety mechanism on them. And for responsible gun owners there are gun safety courses that advance individual firearm confidence and proficiency. I think it is time we stop talking about gun safety and begin to have a discussion about human safety.

Yesterday I got an email from a friend in Pittsburgh. She teaches at a community college and is a gun owner. The incident at Umpqua brought about her biggest fear, she confided in me. Here she is a responsible gun owner who is not allowed to protect herself on campus because of restrictions. Maybe instead of rants about gun safety laws, we should assess how we eliminate gun free zones where human safety is placed at a disadvantage.

Heck, of all places, we’ve seen evidence of this disadvantage on military installations such as in Ft. Hood, the U.S. military recruiting station, and the US Naval Reserve Facility — the last two both in Chattanooga. How about the incident at the chicken processing plant in Moore, Oklahoma where one woman was beheaded, and another was being beheaded when an off duty deputy went to his vehicle and secured a firearm to shoot the assailant? Any update on where that fella is? Just keep in mind it was a gun that protected the safety of the second woman who was for sure to be murdered in brutal fashion. Why didn’t we hear from President Obama in that case?

And if this is about new gun safety laws, then Mr. President, explain to us the immense gun violence in your hometown of Chicago and just up the street in Baltimore where there are some of the most restrictive gun laws in the nation.

And why Mr. President have you been so very silent on the hundreds of shootings in your hometown? Don’t ask the media to make some false comparison with deaths from terrorism (which they already have). Sir, you said nothing when Kate Steinle was gunned down by an illegal immigrant. You still refer to the Ft. Hood massacre as workplace violence. It’s not that we’ve become numb to these shootings and incidents — we are numb to your cherry-picking and your ideological bent on every issue.

Mr. President, if you had come out yesterday and stated that we needed to develop procedures to positively use our Second Amendment right to protect ourselves in public spaces, this country would have rallied to you. Just think, we have air marshals who are armed and flying on commercial aircraft to protect us. Then why not have designated individuals who can protect the American citizens at critical places — such as on college campuses, or even on our own military installations? Leaders seek out solutions, politicians just rant away based upon ideological rhetoric — which one are you?

Mr. President, please no more speeches. Can you find it in yourself to summon up the courage to protect the American people, or will you just retreat and abandon us as you did four Americans at Benghazi?

But, I suppose what difference at this point does it make?

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