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Gun advocates hurt cause by supporting Ferguson

The Feb. 8. News article that had many of Dwayne Ferguson’s supporters coming forth to defend him was understandable in light of all the good things this man has done for his community. But the comments by Buffalo United Front President George Johnson and the Rev. James Giles show a lack of understanding of how bad this situation could have been. While Ferguson is truly a community asset, he is also an irresponsible gun owner and certainly not the type of owner that gun-advocate groups should be rallying around if they want to promote their cause.

Ferguson claims he did not know he had his gun with him. That cannot be reassuring to anyone. Johnson suggested that Ferguson was in a position to help law enforcement in the event of a shooting attack. Really? Who would have let Ferguson know he had a weapon with which to help them? He didn’t know he had one. It takes a giant leap of abstract logic to think that a man who does not know he is armed would be an asset in any situation requiring a weapon.

Here are some alternative scenarios for Johnson and Giles to consider about what could have happened when this irresponsible gun owner took his weapon to school. Not knowing he had the gun, he fails to secure it from loss or being taken by an assailant or student. What would they do with the gun? Imagine if he loses the gun on school property and a student, who can decide to do any number of things with it, finds it. Now there is a registered gun in the hands of a stranger. The fault lies with the gun owner. No amount of community work will reverse the tragic results of a loaded weapon in the hands of an irresponsible person. This would be a good time for gun advocacy groups to make a clear statement about what responsible gun ownership means. It doesn’t mean standing behind Ferguson.

Dan Bailey

Buffalo