St. Louis County Police Chief says Obama’s gun control actions are just a “feel good” effort.
St. Louis County Police Chief Tim Fitch told reporters Obama’s gun control actions are just a “feel good” effort that won’t make much of a difference.
The President signed 23 executive orders as part of a new, $500 million program. The proposal calls for four main changes: close background check loopholes, ban military-style assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, make schools safer, and increase access to mental health services.
News 4 has talked to people on all sides of the issue, including St. Louis County Police Chief Tim Fitch.
Chief Fitch says the 15-page proposal called “Now is the Time” is mostly a “feel good” effort to tackle a real problem. He doesn’t think a lot of the proposal will work in practice, but he is in favor of sweeping changes to background checks and mental health services.
However Fitch says he doesn’t think a ban on assault weapons or high-capacity magazines is the answer. He points to his own duty weapon and the 12-round clip that goes in it. The new proposal would limit that clip to 10 rounds.
“The weapons that we’ve seen are not machine guns, aren’t automatic weapons; they were just like a revolver or a pistol where we have to pull a round every time. Now what the argument is, is that he had a high-capacity magazine—more than 10 rounds—that you can get more bullets out faster. That’s true, but all you have to do is have more magazines,” Chief Fitch explained. “Just like the police carry multiple magazines, it takes me about a second and a half to reload a magazine, so really, if you restrict the magazine capacity, and say we have 10 bullets instead of 12 in a clip, really all the mass shooter has to do at that point is practice reloading skills.”…
…Sean Johnson, charged with a shooting at the Stevens Institute of Business and Arts, is a good example. Known to have a history of mental illness, the student allegedly got his hands on an illegal weapon and shot his financial aid director in downtown St. Louis on Tuesday.
“Today we don’t have a place to take someone like that. Back in the day we had institutional locations where we could take people like that,” Chief Fitch said. “Today everybody like that is just main stream and hopefully stay on their medicine.”