NEW JERSEY NEWSROOM 12/29/13
By Bob Holt
The three police officers being shot in Gloucester Township on Friday only renews the debates about gun control.
One of the questions has been whether the NRA is listening to the debates since the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings. The four million member strong organization has largely been silent about the violence until recently.
The latest incident came Friday in Gloucester Township, when NBC 10 Philadelphia reported that 39-year-old Eddie Jones III took an officer’s gun in a struggle while he was being processed for a domestic incident. Jones injured officers Ruth Burns, James Garber, and Kevin Thyne inside the Gloucester Township police station before he was shot and killed.
Jones may have been unarmed when he entered the police station. Gloucester Police Chief Harry Earle said, according to Reuters, “He suddenly attacked the officer, tackling her to the ground, striking her on the head, and removing her department issued firearm from her holster.”
National Rifle Association president David Keene attempted to clarify his group’s position on protecting U.S. schools about a week after vice-president Wayne LaPierre said all schools should immediately have armed officers. Keene said the decision was up to the individual schools.
“Some will want police officers there. Others of them will want private security guards,” Keene said to CNN. “There may be some place they want volunteers to do it. We’re willing to work with everybody on those questions.”
Earlier, in an address on December 21, LaPierre said armed guards should work in school like they do at “airports, office buildings, power plants, courthouses, even sports stadiums.”
George Mason University Professor Michael Shank says gun violence consistently correlates with poverty and inequality. Shank writes in The Huffington Post that our culture promotes the idea that guns give someone power, and says the gun discussions should focus on countries and locales where poverty is low and equality is high.