Welcome back. While I was in Tulsa this past weekend for one of his big gun and knife shows I caught up with Rex Kehrli, the owner of R&K Gun Shows. From what I could find out Rex has one of the largest gun and knife sales companies in the country with shows going on in cities from coast to coast and often overlapping. He is a veteran in the industry with over thirty years of experience organizing and promoting these shows. Given the ongoing debate in the country I was interested to hear his thoughts about gun control and here is what he told me, in his own words. Please note that these are Rex’s ideas and opinions, not necessarily mine or those of the Bartlesville Examiner Enterprise.
“In regards to the recent shootings and terror in our country, we must get together and ditch the emotion in favor of rational thinking. As a society we must eliminate gun free zones- a gun free zone sign says to the bad guy come here, it’s easy to kill us. These attacks happen in these areas for a reason: no deterrent.We should have a dedicated entrance at every school, one entrance. IDs should be checked along with a police officer presence. In addition a limited amount of teachers should have training as armed responders. I can’t understand why the teachers’ union is against this. We do this in our courthouses protecting far less numbers of people.
Metal detectors should be installed at the dedicated entrance. These practices will eliminate the mass casualties. We should also look at doing this at any large assemblies of people. Evil seeks easy opportunity and when it finds it, it will act. America has the best police and military in the world. We can hire these quality people to protect our children for $25-$40 per hour, not to mention that some retirees may do this on a volunteer basis. This is a minimal price to pay to protect our society’s most precious resource.
In closing, every tragedy (of this type) has one thing in common-mental health. This must be aggressively addressed. These people aren’t getting the help they need and they are slipping through the cracks. In the case of the Florida tragedy people saw things and reported them but the FBI and law enforcement failed to follow through. This is a passionate issue but a slow, methodical discussion addressing these issues will be the most productive. Unfortunately in our society after every tragedy we are bombarded with politicians trying to advance their own addenda. We must move beyond this.
In regards to changing the age for purchasing a firearm to 21, I am firmly opposed. In my opinion, we cannot ask our heroes in the military to take up arms to defend us without granting them their second amendment rights.”
Till next time, I’ll see ya down the road…