- Text smaller
- Text bigger
WASHINGTON – A policeman who was shot and injured when he was a student in a California school in 1989 says Congress needs to put blame on the guilty party when it addresses the issue of shootings, gun control and the Second Amendment.
At a news conference today in Washington, Rob Young, now a California police officer, defied political correctness and said he supports the Second Amendment.
It was on Jan. 17, 1989, when Young was shot in his right foot and on the left side of his chest by Patrick Purdy, who killed five children in his attack on an elementary school in Stockton, Calif. It was the worst elementary school shooting at the time.
At 7 years old, Young said, he realized the “cold hard reality that” life can be taken at any minute.
“You might be hearing my story, and thinking to yourself ‘more gun control’ is what needs to happen,” he said. “But let me be the one to tell you, gun control is not the answer. Gun control would not have saved me or any of my classmates that day.”
Young attributes the source of the violence not to the firearms but to the attacker, who he says “was the only person to blame that day.”
Excessive gun control laws and “minimum staffing levels,” Young believes, leads police forces to be “reactive” rather than “pro-active” so that police officers often feel more like “coroners” rather than officers of the law.
Despite what gun control advocates want, he said, more regulations do not produce less crime.
He said in his own testimony, “In the nine years of active law enforcement I have made several arrests of people who stray from the law and choose to unlawfully carry a firearm.”
He rhetorically asked in response, “What makes you think that a single gun ban would change this?”
He added from personal experience, “You can’t have a machine gun in California, but we pick them up all the time.”
Acting on support for the Second Amendment, Young said he endorses H.R. 35, introduced by U.S. Rep. Steve Stockman, R-Texas, dubbed the “Safe Schools Bill.” It repeals gun-free zones on school campuses.
Young said that though the police are dedicated to their work, “We cannot be everywhere at once.”
He added that “it is very likely that the officer will arrive after the incident has taken place.”
This situation ironically was the case at Young’s elementary school in 1989 when the police arrived after the shooting had already occurred.
At the conference, Gun Owners of America President Larry Pratt declared his support for H.R.35.
“We’ve got to get rid of gun-free zones,” he said.
He described gun-free schools as “a magnet for dirtbags to come harm people.”
Young noted more carnage likely was prevented at “gun-free” Clackamas Town Center Mall in Clackamas, Ore., in December when Nick Melli of Portland, Ore., who carried a concealed pistol, aimed his weapon at the shooter.
Melli was not a police officer, Young pointed out, but he had a concealed-carry permit and “was able to draw his pistol and protect himself against a heavily armed suspect who had just killed two other people in the mall.”
in conclusion, Young said politicians should not have a “knee jerk reaction” to school shootings. Government has no right to “place unfair limits on my ability to protect myself and my loved ones,” he said.
“Do not take away my Second Amendment right that our forefathers set forth in the Constitution.”
Purdy was a 26-year-old, troubled drifter, authorities said, when he went to the Cleveland Elementary School in Stockton and raked the yard with 106 bullets from an AK-47. He killed five children, ages 6 to 9, and one teacher. Nearly three dozen more were injured.
The attack ended because Purdy shot and killed himself.