Brian Kotowski: Gun laws hurt law-abiding citizens
Julian Edelman is a wide receiver for the NFL’s New England Patriots. Edelman was in Texas last week when one of his Instagram followers posted the following to Edelman’s account: “Dude, there is a kid in your comment section says he’s going to shoot up a school, I think you should alert the authorities.”
Edelman immediately contacted his assistant in Boston and asked her to verify the claim. After combing through hundreds of comments, she found the following remark: “I’m going to shoot my school up watch the news.”
Edelman’s assistant called 911 and then notified her boss in Texas.
The narrative to this point is virtually identical to the circumstances leading up to the Parkland shooting, except that the Broward County Sheriff’s Department and the FBI had vastly more to go on and did nothing.
Not so in Boston. The Boston Police Department assigned two detectives who immediately filed an emergency records request. The request was approved and enabled the detectives to trace the relevant email and IP addresses to a town in Michigan.
Boston PD notified their counterparts in Michigan, who sent police officers to the house where the threat originated. There they found a 14-year-old boy with access to a pair of rifles. The boy confessed to making the threat and admitted that he was angry at the middle school where he is enrolled.
He has been charged with a felony and is currently being held in a juvenile detention center where he is being interviewed and evaluated by mental health professionals.
Most of the answers we’re looking for are contained in this episode:
• Responsible and concerned private citizens.
• Smart detective work.
• Competent law enforcement, following its own policies and procedures as the law requires them to.
Authorities in Boston and Michigan went by the book and may have prevented yet another tragedy. Officials in Florida at every level — local, state and federal — found that same book to be inconvenient, and we all know what happened.
There are presently more than 30,000 gun laws on the books. Additional gun restrictions and layers of red tape will impede no one but the law-abiding. Law-abiding Americans insisting that law enforcement follow its own guidelines would be a much more productive place to start.
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