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."



"I ask, Sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people. To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them."
George Mason
Co-author of the Second Amendment
during Virginia's Convention to Ratify the Constitution, 1788
I seriously do not think someone is going to break into your house and "Enslave" you. He Co-wrote the amendment so now you know why he did.


Randy please get help.


Lanza tried to buy a weapon and was turned away. http://www.latimes.com/news/nati...
The law worked till he stole his mothers guns, Thats against another law. Then he killed his mom (Also against the law), Took the weapons to a school (Against the law), Broke into the school by shooting the lock off (Against the law), Proceeded to kill almost 30 people including children (This is a biggy, He again broke the law), Killed himself (Pretty sure this one is illegal too but do not quote me).
So thats 34 laws broke. Please explain how the one law you are yelling for is going to make a bit of difference in this guys choice of action?

looking around

@BW1 How about national standard gun laws instead of state by state pertaining to the sale, use, and ownership of guns of any type. How about a bill which would enact law to hold the gun owner fully responsible for approved storage of all guns and ammunition. Make it clear in this law that the gun owner has the soul responsibility of making sure those weapons do not fall into the hands of those with criminal intent by unauthorized access. Now this could have and will save lives.


@Randy Marsh. What you are saying has NOTHING to do with the second amendment rights to bear arms at all. This is somewhat far fetched from the arguement at hand. All of what you are saying is true, but has nothing to do with the second amendment right to bear arms. Sorry, but you are far afield from the discussion on this one. Nice try though.


It does have alot to do with 2nd amendment rights. The shooter had already LOST his right to own a weapon in the governments eyes so he was turned away from buying one. He broke multiple laws on his spree and to even suggest that it would not have happened by passing more laws he would have ignored does not make sense at all. The 2nd amendment is there as insurance against individual threats and domestic threats. To attack the rights of the citizens to own firearms because some nut is bent on killing is throwing the blame on every law abiding gun owner for exercizing their rights to own instead of the actual perpetrator. You notice the drug dealers and gang members never chime in on gun control debates? Thats because they do not care and will do what they want anyways.

Dr. Information

@wired.....I failed to read in the 2nd amendment anywhere where it said the right to bear arms is mean't only for "home protection"..........Lol, more liberal spin for you. Do you know how many people that own guns sport hunt or hunt for food or sport trap shoot........let me tell you, that is the vast majority of gun owners right there.

bored reader

Fri, 12/21/2012 - 7:11pm
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.

Why on God's green earth do liberals yell at the top of their lungs that their Constitutional rights are violated when someone wants to limit their right to free birth control and access to abortions?


No, the Constitution doesn't mention Uzis (in point of fact, machine guns have been largely banned and VERY strictly controlled since the 1920's and cemented into law in 1934). It also doesn't mention "assault rifles" (a politically-generated term that's meaningless, generally referencing cosmetic features rather than any material mechanics).

I'd also point out, however, that the Constitution makes no mention of radio or television. Do you suggest that there's no freedom of the press, then, applicable to the nightly news? It makes no mention of the Internet. Can we thus ban your ability to make comments, ignorant or otherwise, on Sandusky Register stories without violating your right to free speech? The Constitution fails to predict tracking technology. Does that mean the Fourth Amendment doesn't apply to GPS tracking devices used without warrant or just cause?

Unfortunately, some gun owners DON'T yell at the top of their lungs when there's talk of infringing Constitutional rights. They seem to think that losing their rights in increments is somehow acceptable when they'd never tolerate an outright ban on anything. They're wrong. Most evil is done in stages, not all at once else we'd know it outright for the evil that it is.

Yes, people were killed in Newtown. Yes, the crazy man used guns to do it. But crazy men have used bombs, knives, poisons, fire, and pretty much anything else you can think of to wreak havoc as well. That's part of being "crazy," don't you think? And since we can't make a law against "crazy," we need to avoid making laws that would prevent decent and SANE people from PROTECTING themselves and others against the nutjobs.

Meanwhile, Benjamin Franklin had it right when he said that those who would give up liberty for security deserved NEITHER liberty nor security. I'd add that such a bargain is particularly egregious when you consider that any security achieved with further gun bans or restrictions is merely perceived rather than real. Just ask the folks in England or Australia where strict gun laws resulted only in INCREASES in violent crime, including gun crime! Ironically, both countries enacted those strict laws following school shootings. Those who don't learn from history...

Dr. Information

@everyone above arguing about the constitution. Nor does the constitution mention the internet, nor iPads, or gaming consoles but it protects them. The constitution and the 2nd amendment doesn't end with muskets or old civil war rifles. The men that wrote our constitution knew there would be change and wrote it to protect us exactly in that fashion.

For those of you that argue that the 2nd amendment has limits, let me give you a good example of how dumb that argument it. It would be exactly like saying that the 1st amendment shouldn't protect freedom of speech on the internet.


Are you implying that the 2nd and 1st amendments don't have limits? Please think before you respond.

Dr. Information

Tell where and when the limits are spelled out in it? As much as I hate seeing or reading about the Baptist church that protests army funerals....it is their right. Again, proof please before you speak.


For the second time, you have a 1st amendment right to the freedom of speech, but you cannot threaten to harm someone, you cannot yell fire in a theater, you cannot slander or defame. The second amendment gives you the right to have arms, you cannot have an automatic, flame thrower or grenade launcher. Please think before you speak. No right is absolute that should be obvious. I have embarrassed you twice on this very point, you clearly don't think before you post.

BW1's picture

Actually, although it is in every way functionally equivalent* to the AR-15 (and when the US Special Forces conducted side by side tests, they preferred the Mini-14) it would NOT be considered an assault rifle under any current or past legislation. The definition required 2 or more from a list of primarily cosmetic features that included a bayonet lug (because, after every drive by shooting, gangbangers fix bayonets and run in for the mop up, right?) The Mini-14 has none of those features. This just goes to show that the entire term "assault weapon" is a legal artifice made up by politicians to scare people.

* actually superior - it doesn't need a stupid forward assist to make it feed properly.


Haven't been woodchuck hunting I see. Shoot one and ten more come to it's funeral.


All I can say, the school shooting might not have happened if his mother kept her guns locked up in a gun safe where her son could not have gotten to them.
I read somewhere he tried buying a gun and they turned him down on the background check.


He's 20, you think he couldn't have gotten to them? I doubt it. I couldn't help but wonder if that isn't why she ended up being shot. He fought with her about the guns and getting them.

Dr. Information

@wired......Unless he is a safe cracker or knew the combination.....if they were locked up....NO he wouldn't of been able to get to him.


All I can say, the school shooting might not have happened if his mother kept her guns locked up in a gun safe where her son could not have gotten to them.
I read somewhere he tried buying a gun and they turned him down on the background check.


The "shot in the foot" drug raid turned up an arsenal of guns. Who bought those and where? What "background checks" were conducted for those weapons?
You can background check from now until hell freezes over and it will amount to spit. There are millions of "Kill people fast" guns on the street. People with money will buy one, people without money will steal one.
The cows are out, all this panic will do is sell more guns and put more guns on the street.....


Just lock the damn things up if you own them and if you don't lock them up and they are used in a crime, you get the same sentence as the perp.


attn: Chief Light - remember me? The guy who helped you take out that piece of garbage years ago? Did not know you felt that way on weapons. Oww.


http://larrycorreia.wordpress.co... A WONDERFUL albeit opinion piece. It's lengthy, but worth reading from an expert.


I perused it, Scientist. A VERY good article that all posting in here should read. The logic is astounding. Thank you.


Thank you for posting this. It's EASILY the best I've seen! Only one argument with you, and that's calling it an "opinion piece." Oh, it is. But when it's an opinion registered by a bona fide expert (acknowledged as one by folks from ordinary citizens to various police agencies to state politicians), it's got serious validity. As an added bonus, the thing is also just bursting with facts. Of course, we all know how those who already know what they think don't like to be confused by facts...


I am tired of hearing about gun rights. How about these children and their unalienable rights, that among these are LIFE, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. I believe they were just denied all three. Think about these beautiful children that were slaughtered. Think about the traumitized children who witnessed this atrosity. Think of the lives that are changed forever by this horrible event.


"We must reject the idea that every time a law's broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions." Ronald Reagan.

BW1's picture


Dr. Information

@herbie.....Amen.....Quite possibly the best post on here in the fewest words.