“You started glorifying cultures of violence — you’ve glorified the gang culture, you’ve glorified games that actually give you points for raping and killing people. Gun didn’t change. We changed” says Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich, in answering wannabe trap questions from media about how guns played a role in the recent school shooting in eastern Washington.
“It all depends on the 15 year old. I can tell you, folks, I carried a gun all my life. I hunted, I shot. My friends and I… It’s huntin’ season back home. When I was in high school, every one of those rigs in the high school parking lot had a gun in the gun rack. Why? We went huntin’ on the way home. None of those guns ever walked into a school. None of those guns ever shot anybody. What’s the difference? Did the gun change? Or did you, as a society, change? I’ll give ya odds that it was you as a society, because you started glorifying cultures of violence. You glorified the gang culture, you glorified games that actually give you points for raping and killing people. The gun didn’t change, we changed.”
Then, some liberal water carrying media hack asks “But isn’t it illegal for a father to provide the code to a gun safe to a 15 year old?” to which Knezovich responds “It’s up to the father. There’s no law in respect to that.”
Answering a question about bullying, Sheriff Knezovich says “The more social media stuff we dig into, this looks more like this kid got enamored by the school shooting culture.”
Video posted by, of all sources, NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt.
An article from the Spokesman Review adds:
“Where did we go sideways in raising our kids?” he said. “All of this violence they consume perhaps has caused a major crisis.”
Knezovich accused people dressed in black who “commit all types of violence in the name of getting their own way,” and violent video games for influencing Caleb Sharpe, the 15-year-old sophomore at Freeman who is accused of shooting four students, killing one. Knezovich said investigators were increasingly convinced a preoccupation with school-shooting culture played a large part in precipitating the shooting, as opposed to bullying, which was the explanation offered by Sharpe.
Knezovich said Sharpe will likely be charged as an adult for premeditated first-degree murder.
On Wednesday, Michael Harper, 15, one of Sharpe’s friends, said Sharpe would often watch school shooting documentaries, which he sent to friends via Snapchat, a popular photo and video sharing app. Harper also said Sharpe sent out notes to his friends, saying he planned on doing “something stupid.”
Of course the hacks over at Huffington Post couldn’t wait to blame the gun and ignore everything else, with their headline “Spokane County Sheriff Blames Everything But Guns For School Shooting.”:
But when a reporter asked Knezovich how the shooter had access to the firearms used to kill classmate Sam Strahan and injure three others, the sheriff was reluctant to discuss gun control issues.
“Minors are not supposed to be in possession of a handgun until they’re 21,” he said. “You never know how people get ahold of weapons. Those are things we’ll be digging into in trying to figure out what exactly happened here.”
The sheriff’s resistance to focusing on the firearms in the Freeman High shooting fits with the longstanding effort of gun lobbyists and politicians to avoid discussing the elephant in the room in the wake of tragedies like this.
Still, Knezovich argued at Thursday’s press conference that guns have been a constant in the U.S. since long before mass shootings became such frequent news. He leaned on evidence from his own experience.
“It all depends on the 15-year-old. I can tell you folks, I carried a gun all my life,” he said, recalling that his classmates left guns in the backs of their cars during school so they could go hunting afterward.
“Guns didn’t change, we changed,” Knezovich said.
The sheriff’s claim is misleading at best. Gun manufacturing in the U.S. has skyrocketed in recent years, jumping from nearly 5.5 million firearms in 2010 to nearly 10.9 million in 2013, with the overwhelming majority of them staying in the country, according to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. There are now more guns than people in the U.S.
Sheriff Knezovich at one point declared himself to be a candidate for Congress, when incumbent Cathy McMorris Rodgers was rumored to be in the running for Trump’s Secretary Of The Interior, and it looked like her seat may come up for grabs.