Sheriff Frank Denning
Johnson County, Kansas
Where I Stand on Unilateral Personal Disarmament (Gun Control):
Since the atrocity in Newtown, Connecticut and the resulting proposals from Washington, D.C. for stricter “gun control” measures, I have been inundated with questions regarding my position as the Sheriff of Johnson County on this issue.
Along with everyone else, my heart was broken by the senseless act of criminal violence by an obviously deranged individual. I also watched with great concern, the bizarre actions of another, similarly afflicted madman in Aurora, Colorado.
From reading the proposed changes and suggestions for future legislation from Washington, I see nothing whatsoever that would have prevented these past atrocities from occurring, nor do they pretend to effectively prevent future incidents from happening. We seem to be caught up in a tidal wave of mindless emotion that demands, “Do SOMETHING! Even if we know it is ineffective, meaningless and purely symbolic!” Even in our national grief, we must adhere to reason and logic.
In past similar incidents, the most effective response to stop the bloodshed has been resistance by gunfire or the presence of a gun in the hands of a potential victim that stopped the killer or caused them either to surrender or, in many cases, to take their own lives. Logic dictates to us that armed individuals; whether armed private individuals or hired security personnel, are the answer to prevent future tragedies in those places that we have inadvertently made free-fire zones with the totally useless “No Guns Allowed” signs.
Our Founding Fathers wrote the Constitution and Bill of Rights based on the harsh lessons they had endured under the tyranny of a British King. Those great men would marvel at the technology of today. They would be awestruck by jet airplanes, modern automobiles, computers and cell phones. They would be in awe of modern firearms available to soldiers, law enforcement officers and law-abiding citizens. However, they would be all too familiar with the actions of politicians who would impose legislative restrictions on responsible, reasonable, law-abiding, tax-paying American citizens for “our own good.” (If you hear a faint humming noise, it is them spinning in their graves.)
The Bill of Rights does not grant us certain rights as the government sees fit. This sacred document simply acknowledges our rights as they exist. The right to worship your God; the right to speak your mind; the right to vote for your candidate in free elections; the right to own and possess the means to protect yourself, family, home, community, state and country.
The militia mentioned in the Second Amendment pertains to all able-bodied citizens capable of bearing arms. That is US! “to Keep and Bear arms” means, “to OWN and CARRY arms.”
As Sheriff, I will never support, nor advocate for, ANY legislation at ANY level (local, state or federal) that would restrict the legal possession or ownership of any type of firearm (or high-capacity magazine) by lawful, law-abiding, tax-paying citizens of Johnson County, Kansas and of the United States of America.
/s/ Sheriff Frank P. Denning, Johnson County Sheriff