Local officials weigh in on gun control issue

Following last week's carnage at a Connecticut elementary school -- where a man used an assault rifle to blast his way into the building and gun down 20 children and six adults -- the Obama administration has already placed the gun debate front and center.
Emil Whitis
Dec 21, 2012

So far, the conversation seems to circle around three points: assault weapons; high-capacity magazines; and more extensive background checks for hopeful gun owners.

The Register asked a number of local law enforcement leaders to weigh in, specifically on these three issues.

Here are the responses on assault rifles. For what the officials said on magazine capacity and background checks, pick up a copy of Friday's Register.

Perkins Police Chief Ken Klamar
Assault Rifles: "I can't say banning them completely would be the answer. It's kind of a knee-jerk reaction. These weapons have been around now for decades and now it's a matter of playing catchup. Who could say that those incidents would have ended differently if they had a pistol or shotgun?"

Vermilion Police Chief Chris Hartung
Assault Rifles: "We tried it in 1994 and I don't think there's any empirical data that showed it worked. There are 300 million guns in the country and it took 200 years to put them there. They're not going away overnight. I could teach you how to build an AR-15 from spare parts in 30 minutes. Talk of banning assault rifles is more political grandstanding than it is an effective response."

Erie County Sheriff Paul Sigsworth
Assault Weapons: "All guns in irresponsible hands can kill people. You can have somebody with a single-shot .22-caliber rifle, and if their mindset is to kill somebody, they're going to kill somebody. The vast majority of gun owners are responsible."

Huron Police Chief Robert Lippert
Assault Rifles:"Personally, I'm not in favor of a total ban on assault rifles."

Ottawa County Sheriff Steve Levorchick
Assault Rifles: "I'm not completely against restrictions on assault rifles. If putting a ban on assault rifles were the one thing that could save the lives of these murder victims, then it needs to be done. But if it's a band-aid or some sort of political move, then it's a bad move."

Norwalk police Chief Dave Light
Assault Rifles:"If I could click my heels together three times and make all the handguns and weapons just disappear, that would be great. The problem is we have millions and millions and millions of guns in our country. It's our society. It's like everything else -- unless they put some thought into it and carefully have some gun experts involved and do it the right way, there are so many loopholes and ways around everything."

Sandusky assistant police Chief John Orzech
Assault Rifles: "I can't see any good that comes out of owning assault rifles. I think (someone) could do just as much damage with the weapons (they) have. As far as handguns and shotguns go, that's what our constitution is founded on. Most people who have guns are responsible."



That is not the case. I listened intently last night to the discussion on Pierec on according to the experts that is EXACTLY what he said. These semi automatics DO shoot faster than the normal handguns and they do exit bullets at a faster rate than the normal handgun. So my point is exactly what I was saying. No one needs the "faster" guns. The "bushmaster" that this gentleman had has a cyclic rate that can exit 60*100 bullets per MINUTE. Why does anyone need something that fast with which to HUNT? What are you hunting? No, the so called "assault rifles" are nothing more than a fast gun and they shouldn't be sold. They are sold at Walmart and there isn't much of a background check, as the CEO of Walmart admitted.

As for my credibility, that is in the eyes of the reader. If you feel you don't believe what I am writing, that is your right. I am backing up mine with facts. What are you backing your writing up with?


completely incorrect madam on the issue of how fast they shoot, they are mechanically the same as other semi-auto rifles, and pistols.


How can a semi auto rifle shoot faster than a semi auto pistol? Do rifles have a magical ability that makes your finger faster? Heck a double action revolver cycles just as fast as a semi-auto if you have a fast finger.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M... With a pump shotgun no less!!

BW1's picture

"No matter what you want to call it, it shoots bullets out faster than a hand gun, correct?"

No, it doesn't, and that type of rank ignorance is the problem. There is really no such thing as an assault weapon - it's a term made up by politicians, with a legislated definition that boils down to "scary looking gun." Most legal definitions specify that it has 2 or more of a list of features, a list which includes a bayonet mount. Wasn't it our illustrious president, about whom the left waxes messianic, who used an allusion to the lack of tactical value of bayonets to mock his opponent just a few short months ago?

If you do not understand:

-the difference between semi-automatic and fully automatic,

-that the term "assault weapon" is a legal artifice designed to evoke a visceral emotional response, and has no bearing on firepower or lethal potential

-that references to "military ammunition" are a scare tactic, because such ammunition is actually LESS lethal, because the hollow points used by police and for personal protection are banned on the battlefield by the Geneva Convention.

-that many "varmint rifles" sold for dealing with coyotes are functionally equivalent to the AR-15, but simply lack the high tech look

-that, with a little practice and a few rigging strategies developed by the military, there is almost no tactical deficit for small magazines, and that the 30 and 40 round magazines tend to be unreliable

then you are not qualified to make intelligent comments on this topic.

Mr. D

@wiredmama. . . Not trying to be mean here but your knowledge of guns is very minimal. Consider this. . . take a CCW class to help you gain knowledge of guns and types. Even if you never carry, what you learn and experience will give you a greater understanding of what guns are.

Dr. Information

@wiredmama.....what do you think a handgun is? Its a SEMI AUTOMATIC GUN. ALL SEMI AUTOMATIC guns fire as fast as you can pull the trigger. Doesn't matter if its a handgun or a rifle.

Assault Rifle is nothing more than a fancy looking rifle. You can get the same type of rifle that looks just like an old fashion wood gun. Same caliber, same magazines, same firing rate.

Here is a good comparison. You have a car...a Prius......everyone thinks thats a non fast, safe car with good gas mileage. Take a dodge viper body and switch it out and put it on the Prius. Same car, with just a different look right? Same engine, same transmission, same everything, except how it looks......right? That is the difference between a standard semi rifle and a assault rifle.


In my opinion, the reason for laws is to discourage those who abide by those laws from doing whatever the law is against, but also to allow punishment for those who break the law. Unfortunately, those who break the laws often think they won't get caught, and those who turn the gun on themselves before being caught don't have to worry about the punishment.

And as far as "mass stabbings", you should probably check out the latest China news. I suggest you start here: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wo...

And as far as military grade weapons, those are not readily available to citizens. Maybe you should stop into the local gun store and ask for an automatic rifle, I bet they'll tell you they don't have any for sale.


Only good guys with guns stop bad guys with guns. Always has been that way, always will be that way. Take the guns away from the good guys and see what happens. We just need to strategically place more good guys with guns like Officers or former Military who are trained and know what to do. If they're not around, then let's hope there is a Concealed Carry permit holder in the crowd who will do what they've been trained to do.


Right, you mean the training they received in their 12 hour course

Dr. Information

How many CCW people are out there killing people randomly? I can't think of any off the top of my head. Those that get the CCW are responsible gun owners.

looking around

@ fiddledee Trained to do? CCW holders get class room briefing on safe gun handling and gun law. They might take a trip to the range but that is not training in the use of a weapon in a tactical situation. Just merely getting a CCW does not mean you are now a qualified protector of the masses. As a matter of fact you could be shot by friendly fire just because you are not distinguishable from the aggressor.


H*ll, we can't even keep illegal drugs out of this country.

Might as well keep some control and have the sales of AR-15s and the like out in the open.

Makin' 'em illegal would just drive them into the black market.

When the SNAP and welfare checks dry up, you'll see why AR-15s are needed by inner city store owners.

SR watcher

Contango has a good point about inner city store owners needing AR-15s and the like. Didn't Korean store owners successfully defend their businesses against looters with AR-15s during the LA riots of 1992 (after the non-guilty verdicts for the cops who arrested Rodney King)?


What about the preferred weapon of the Mexican Drug Cartels, the AK-47.



You all remember Obozo bowing down to the chinese leader, be a good little child Barry!!!!!!


Re: Concealed Carry permit holder in the crowd who will do what they've been trained to do.

What is it that they are trained to do?
Police officers are "trained to do" but that doesn't stop one that was shooting at a dog from shooting a woman in the foot.
Who is going to foot the bill???

Nothing is bullet proof, more guns more mistakes.


Maybe we should outlaw cars too. More cars, more accidents.

So a CCW holder/officer may not be "trained" to do anything, but at least they stand a chance. A croud of unarmed civilians certainly isn't going to be a whole lot of use.

BW1's picture

things that make you go hmmmmmmmm:

Newsweek has reported that law-abiding American citizens using guns in self-defense during 2003 shot and killed two and one-half times as many criminals as police did, and with fewer than one-fifth as many incidents as police where an innocent person mistakenly identified as a criminal (2% versus 11%).

nosey rosey

There is absolutely no positive reason for anyone to own an assault rifle.


@nosey rosey. I have to disagree, paranoid schizophrenics need them to protect themselves against the government. First women get the right to vote, a black president, and then after 20 kids get slaughtered the government has the audacity to discuss gun control.

SR watcher

I used to own a Ruger Mini-14 with two (2) 30-round magazines. That thing was fun as heck to shoot. I used to set up targets on my hunting land to practice my rifle skills with it. It also came in mighty handy to shoot groundhogs and other varmints on my property.

Yes, it would be considered an "assault rifle" according to Diane Feinstein and her minions. Amazingly, it never crossed my mind to take it to a local school and shoot children. I also never thought to take my pump-action shotguns, bolt-action rifles, or double-action revolvers to schools and shoot children, either.

It's not the weapon. It's the person and their mindset. I'm all for tightening up the background checks. But I'm not for taking away my inalienable right to own weapons that provide me with: (1) protection from varmints (four- and two-legged), (2) opportunities to hone my shooting skills as a responsible American gun owner, and (3) fun and innocent entertainment on my property or at properly maintained shooting ranges.

I am so sorry those children, and those brave adults who stood their ground to protect them, died. I used to be a first responder and I grieve for those fire/EMS/police personnel who had to respond to that scene and witness the carnage of that horrific event. I fervently hope that we can find a reasonable solution for the prevention of these tragic events. However, I also hope that cooler minds prevail and can find this solution without infringing upon Americans' Second Amendment rights to keep and bear arms.

The Big Dog's back

How far does that gun's bullets travel? What if they ricochet and hit someone else on their property?


if a bullet ricochets, it loses most of its energy in the strike, and drops quickly to the ground


I don't think anyone is saying you can't bear arms.

Nowhere in the constitution does it say you can own an oozie, an assualt rifle or a clip that holds fifty rounds. All it says is that you have the right to BEAR ARMS. It isn't specific.

I believe when it was written, all they had were muskets if I am not mistaken! So at this point, every American with anything over that really is pushing the constitution at this point.

I am so sick and tired of hearing that the Second Amendment is being violated because someone says you can't own a semi automatic handgun or an AK 14 or an AK 57 or whatever the heck it is. Big deal, if you have a gun, your constitutional rights have been met.....live with it.

Why on God's green earth does every gun owner start yelling at the top of their lungs that their Constitutional rights are violated when someone wants to limit the gun laws in this country.

26 people were slaughtered in Newtown by a man with FOUR GUNS and a lot of ammo. He had his constitutional rights and he systematically REMOVED 26 people's constitutionals rights of life, liberty and the pursuate of happiness with his constitutional rights to bear arms.

Most of those whose rights he removed were children.....America's future. Who knows what they could have been capable of?

But no one from the NRA today mentioned that little tidbit. Shame on them for missing their chance to even mention it. All they cared about was selling another gun.

SR watcher

Actually, wiredmama, it's called an "Uzi." And while Constitutional scholars have long debated the intent of the Second Amendment, I doubt if any of them would go so far as to suggest that "muskets" would be the only type of firearm that today's Americans would have the right to keep and bear. Even Justice Antonin Scalia would have a hard time arguing that the Second Amendment meant muskets only, regardless of his originalism position in Constitutional interpretation.

However, if that's your argument, i.e., original intent of the Constitution, it must also follow that you agree with the Three-Fifths Compromise of the 1787 Constitutional Convention. After all, it's in the Constitution. And, by golly, it was pretty specific. Article 1, Section 2, Paragraph 3.

BTW, I wasn't yelling. I believe I typed my previous comment, as I did this one, in standard sentence case. Oh, and the NRA doesn't have to sell guns. Dianne Feinstein, Charles Schumer, CNN, and the rest of that bunch are doing a fine job of doing that all on their own.

BW1's picture

Actually, SR, anyone who understands the three-fifths compromise does support it. Contrary to the rants of the ignorant, it didn't make anyone 3/5 human. It diluted the power of slave states with the intent of limiting and eventually eliminating slavery. Or do you disagree with the compromise because you're a fan of slavery?


BW1 it meant their status in the electoral college was 3/5th that of whites, you are correct in that it would drastically reduce the status of southern states.


@SRwatcher.....thanks for the correction on UZI...you can tell I don't own one or even want to. Yes, I believe, as many do, that you and people like you, are yelling that your constitutional rights to bear arms would be affected if a ban on assault weapons were to be placed into affect. I think many of you should examine that stance. Especially in the wake of what happened at the school. I DO think, given the statement by the NRA this week, is a self serving and obvious attempt to sell more guns. It is a statement that gun violence should be met by more gun violence. That is a fact that MANY Americans held and by which many Americans were appalled given the Sandy Hook massacre.

In the coming months, I think you are going to see those twenty six families march or descend on Washington in mass to state their complete and total anger of the NRA statement and wishes that the ban be in place and that Mental Health Issues in the form of deeper and more extensive forms of background checks be put into place for gun sales. I think you are going to see person to person sales of guns become a thing of the past if they cannot do deep background checks right then and there.

This is just my idea given watching the personal interviews I have watched with the families on Anderson Cooper360 and the CNN news reports throughout this tragedy. They have a grassroots group who have said as much. But I think this is what you can expect. The families have a justified reason for their wants and desires to be heard.

So I wouldn't be surprised if places like Walmart and KMart and other stores who sell Bushmaster and other fastcyclic firing guns pull them from the shelves in the near future.

BW1's picture

First of all, they had far more than muskets, and by your reasoning, the First Amendment shouldn't apply to anything more effective than a soapbox on the vilage green or a quill and parchment - so much for radio,TV, and the internet, eh? At the time the Constitution was written, civilians had access to every weapon that the military did, and they used that access to create this nation through armed insurrection. Thus, it's obvious they intended it to include whatever the current effective weapon was.


@BW1....Do you think they ever intended the "right to bear arms" portion of the constition to ever mean anything but a protectional right to mean the right to protect their own homes???? I don't.