Sportsmens' meeting on gun control unproductive

March 8, 2013

On Feb. 25, representatives of the Delaware State Sportsmen’s Association, including board member Jeffrey Hague and public information officer Thomas D. Shellenberger and others, met with representatives from Gov. Jack Markell’s staff and the staff of Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden. Neither the governor nor the attorney general attended. While the meeting was cordial, it was unproductive.

The purpose of the meeting was to obtain input from gun owners' representatives on new legislation to promote safety in Delaware schools.  DSSA eagerly participated in this meeting in the hope that both the governor and the attorney general were truly interested in obtaining our input into community safety and security issues.

Unfortunately, that was not their agenda, and for that reason we were deeply disappointed. This meeting apparently more about being able to say that they had met with us than an effort to obtaining our perspective on the issues that are truly of importance to Delaware’s law abiding citizens.

By definition, criminals do not obey the law. This axiom has never been truer than now because, as the Chris Barrish of the News Journal recently demonstrated in an investigative report, violent criminals in Wilmington know full well that they face little likelihood of incarceration in most circumstances.

Consequently, passing gun bans, magazine bans and restrictions on lawful sales and possession of firearms means nothing to criminals, who do not obtain or possess their firearms legally. The measures proposed by the governor and attorney general can only infringe on the constitutionally protected rights of law-abiding Delawareans.

When the governor and the attorney general are ready to talk about measures that will truly impact school safety, such as increasing police presence in schools, enhancing penalties for using firearms in crime, and ending plea bargains for repeat offenders, the Delaware State Sportsmen’s Association is ready to listen and assist.

For those seeking to use the tragic school shooting in Connecticut to advance the same tired gun ban efforts, DSSA says a cordial No thanks.

Delaware State Sportsmen’s Association

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