Citizens, please do not give your guns to the police
There was a time when Jonathan Pring’s decision to turn over two guns to the Phoenix police could have been a valid statement about gun violence and the proliferation of weapons in American and so on.
That ended when the Arizona Supreme Court said cities must obey a state law denying them the opportunity to destroy confiscated weapons.
There was a time when a number of Arizona cities held events in which weapons were turned in to be destroyed.
Likewise, there were cities that routinely destroyed confiscated weapons. Tucson held on to this practice the longest. Challenging the state law in court. And losing.
The Arizona Legislature, believing there cannot be enough firearms on the street, passed a law forbidding the destruction of weapons and requiring cities to, essentially, turn the firearms in to gun dealers and sell them.
Lawmakers tried to pretend this has something to do with economics, but it was only proof positive of just how much power the gun lobby wields over the Republican-controlled Arizona Legislature.
It is total and complete.
Pring got some attention from the local media for contacting the police and turning over two firearms following the mass shooting in Las Vegas.
He said, “Who doesn’t love Las Vegas? I couldn’t sleep last night. I was watching news and on Facebook and seeing lots of different posts ... and I was just mad ... I thought, ‘You know what, I’m going to do something.’ ”
He was hoping to set an example for others.
It was a nice thought. Genuine. All he did, however, was recirculate the weapons. To where we do not know.
If Pring had simply held on to the guns, locked them up, stored them, had them destroyed, whatever, nothing bad could have been done with them.
He could have done that quietly, with no public fanfare. But he wanted to make a point. And that’s fine. But now his weapons will go up for sale and after that …?
Even worse, once the story of Pring’s decision was made public, he was harassed by gun nuts.
I’m not sure what these idiots were thinking. Rather than going online to threaten or harass Pring they could merely have pointed out that Pring’s weapons will go back into circulation. And perhaps wind up in their hands.
In a Facebook post, Pring initially said, “I hope my actions inspire others. If we can achieve a safer world for our children, we will have done a good thing.”
It was a honest effort. But, wrong. Do not follow his example. As it is, some lucky gun enthusiast will soon be getting a pretty good deal on Pring’s Walther PK380 and Ruger 10/22 tactical rifle. Hopefully, the new owner or owners will be law-abiding, trustworthy and responsible..
Like Pring. Hopefully.