When I first came across this article this morning I had some trepidations to read another article on Gun Control using another Tragic school shooting, and it wasn’t just the push for more gun control laws, but it’s always hard to read about children being senselessly murdered! Within a few minutes, I realized, I remembered this tragedy all too well and how it affected me in 1989, even though I was only 23 and childless. I had spent many summer’s earlier working as a summer camp counselor with children close to their ages. I went ahead and read the article and then the surprise near the end, Rob Young.
Rob Young was a victim and a survivor of the Stockton, Ca., Cleveland Elementary School playground shooting, when a disturbed person by the name of Patrick Purdy walked onto the playground and proceeded to commit a heinous crime. Rob Young was 6 years old when he was shot in the foot and had bullet wounds from bullet fragments in his chest. Rob Young, also known as ‘Robbie’ still today to some of his teachers though is what some consider the “wildcard” in this community, he is opposed to gun control, at least more gun control laws.
Rob Young has stepped forth, away from those in his community that are supporting more gun control laws to advocate for there to be properly trained, armed school teachers and principals as well as armed security guards at schools. Rob Young felt that he needed to speak out against gun control and gun free zones so he joined Gun Owners of America, this organization is supporting legislation introduced by Texas Republican Congressman Steve Stockman that repeals “gun-free zones” on school campuses. I should also mention that Mr.Young is also referred to as Officer Young, he is a police officer and has stated,
“I deal with gang members all the time,” Young said. “I’ve arrested people in the past who have been arrested more than once for unlawfully carrying firearms. A lot are convicted felons, they’re carrying guns that were stolen or that have the serial numbers scraped off. These are criminals. They’re not supposed to be carrying guns, anyway.”
Patrick Purdy the man who committed this heinous crime on January 17, 1989, was a drifter and had an extensive criminal record that dated as far back to this teen years in 1977. Purdy, had a record for running away, narcotics usage, drinking, violence, armed robbery, white supremacy, and had been diagnosed with slight mental retardation in to be considered, “a danger to himself and others” by a psychiatric evaluation while in prison in 1987. Not only that but a female friend of Purdy’s, Kelley Riley stated that, “his clothes and guns bore radical Islamic slogans“. Kelley goes on to state in the article how, “nice” most of the time Purdy was, but in the same interview for the Prescott Courier she goes on to state how often he was prone to moodiness and his paranoia. Patrick Purdy had also attended Cleveland Elementary school in his troubled youth.
Gun control laws dating back to 1968 (the federally mandated Gun Control Act of 1968) are supposed to prohibit firearms from those that:
- is under indictment for, or has been convicted in any court of, a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year
- is a fugitive from justice
- is an unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance (as defined in section 102 of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 802))
- has been adjudicated as a mental defective or has been committed to any mental institution
- who, being an alien – (A) is illegally or unlawfully in the United States; or (B) except as provided in subsection (y)(2), has been admitted to the United States under a nonimmigrant visa (as that term is defined in section 101(a)(26) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(26))
- who (!2) has been discharged from the Armed Forces under dishonorable conditions
- who, having been a citizen of the United States, has renounced his citizenship
- is subject to a court order that restrains such person from harassing, stalking, or threatening an intimate partner of such person or child of such intimate partner or person, or engaging in other conduct that would place an intimate partner in reasonable fear of bodily injury to the partner or child, except that this paragraph shall only apply to a court order that – (A) was issued after a hearing of which such person received actual notice, and at which such person had the opportunity to participate; and (B)(i) includes a finding that such person represents a credible threat to the physical safety of such intimate partner or child; or (ii) by its terms explicitly prohibits the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against such intimate partner or child that would reasonably be expected to cause bodily injury
- has been convicted in any court of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence.
I personally question still, why Purdy wasn’t banned from purchasing firearms considering that in 1982 he was arrested for possession of marijuana and drug dealing?
Rob Young has stated on several occasions in several articles that, Gun control would not have saved me or any of my classmates that day.” Officer Young clearly states it’s the person behind the violence and the choice of weapon, that is to blame for that day at his school and in other instances of these tragedies. Rob Young also states something that those who believe in the right to bear arms for self-defense know too,
Excessive gun control laws and “minimum staffing levels,” Young believes, leads police forces to be “reactive” rather than “ proactive” so that police officers often feel more like “coroners” rather than officers of the law.
The police cannot be everywhere all the time, many times they are acting in response to a crime that has already been committed or in the process of being carried out.
I personally stand with school shooting survivor/Officer Rob Young in agreement that gun control and gun free zones are not the answer! I hope if you weren’t familiar with this tragic event in Stockton Ca., and/or have never heard of Rob Young that you’ll take the time to go back and click on some of the highlighted links to read the more detailed interviews and statements with Rob Young and the background on Patrick Purdy. I shall add Rob Young personally to my evening prayers as well as those for all our service providers that are sworn to serve and protect while putting their very own lives in jeopardy every day.
In the end I keep thinking back to a statement made by a criminologist and Florida State Professor that I had written a blog based on his research being used in the Heller v Washington Supreme Court case. Professor Gary Kleck had read that blog as I submitted a copy to him and he even provided me with some newer research of his by taking the time to scan and email significant sections of his research to me, a very kind and generous act that is so very much appreciated. Prof. Gary Kleck states:
Probably fewer than 2% of handguns and well under 1% of all guns will ever be involved in a violent crime. Thus, the problem of criminal gun violence is concentrated within a very small subset of gun owners, indicating that gun control aimed at the general population faces a serious needle-in-the-haystack problem.