By: Teresa Mull
A witness to the recent Florida shooting that took place in Jacksonville at a video game tournament says he is "not going to blame the gun for this."
The shooting, which took place in a Gun Free Zone, ended the lives of two victims and the gunman himself, and comes on the heels of Florida Gov. Rick Scott signing a $400 million gun control bill into law.
The shooter, David Katz, purchased the guns he used legally, had a history of mental illness, and according to a report by CNN, "...police records [show] 26 calls for service to the police from the Katz family home in Columbia, Maryland, from 1993 to 2009..."
"This is just sad, it shouldn’t happen, it honestly should never happen," a witness to the shooting said in an interview with First Coast News. "I’m not going to blame guns for this. It’s a person’s actions that got upset. It’s really just unfortunate and absolutely ridiculous."
"It's refreshing to hear of a shooting survivor speaking sensibly in the wake of such a tragedy, and it's a shame the mainstream media will likely ignore his powerful words," said Dudley Brown, president of the National Association for Gun Rights. "This witness recognizes that guns themselves are not the problem; it's people misusing guns who cause harm.
"It's crucial that we not get carried away by emotional thinking at times like these and react by proposing rash, counter-productive solutions," Brown added. "This witness is absolutely right: the gun, gun makers, ammunition manufacturers, and so forth are not to blame for what one maniac does. Rather than blame the gun, we should end gun-free zones and reverse mandates that restrict law-abiding citizens from defending themselves in unpredictable instances like these."
"The witness is correct; the gun is not the problem," Erich Pratt, executive director of Gun Owners of America told Gunpowder Magazine. "Sadly, this shooting took place in a gun-free zone, where 98 percent of public mass shootings occur. But when good people can protect themselves, lives are saved -- something we saw during the ‘Peace in the City’ Event when an armed Floridian stopped a shooter and was credited with saving many lives.”
Teresa Mull is editor of Gunpowder Magazine. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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