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A Law and Order Open House and Our 2nd Amendment Responsibility

Tip of the cap to the Williamsport Bureau of Police on their recently held open house. The event was a great way for the citizens of Williamsport to meet, greet and understand that the police are just “people in the neighborhood” trying to protect and serve your community.

It was also a way to get an inside look into the technology, equipment and weaponry law-enforcement has available to them in today’s world. From the Special Response Team to Edo the four-legged K9 officer there was something to catch everyone’s interest.

Edo even put his drug sniffing expertise on display for an appreciative crowd. The K9 cop was purchased by the good folks at the Sun Gazette and has been in law enforcement for a couple of years now. And that is not an April fool.

You could even get tased if that was your mission for the night. I was told Brad Rhone learned of the “power” of the taser and its role in law-enforcement.

I asked Assistant Chief Tim Miller on the thought behind the event. “The event came to fruition as a result of a landlord meeting at the Newberry Estates over a month ago. Those in attendance requested more community outreach and all agreed that it was necessary to bridge the gap between our police officers and the public they serve. No politicians, including the current Chief of Police, had anything to do with the event. Our goal was to show the people we protect and serve that although we wear the uniform and at times must discipline members of the community we serve; that we are human beings just like everyone else. We are brothers, sisters, husbands and fathers subjected to the same feelings and shortcomings like the rest of humanity.”

“This is an effort to reach out and be viewed as a friend to our citizens and for them to understand we are all in this together.” His thoughts of together are in reference to the every day problem of heroin that is facing every community. Rubber band wrapped packs of heroin and other drugs and paraphernalia were also on display for educational purposes.

I have written it before, heroin is a social problem much deeper rooted in America than most want to admit. To expect law enforcement to “clean up” the problem is impossible. It will take the efforts of everyone to help with this epidemic especially family members and citizens of drug plagued neighborhoods.

The Open House was a great idea in the face of recent friction between police and the general public that has occurred across the Nation. Assistant Chief Miller wanted to “give a tip of the cap to Sgt. Jodi Miller for his hard work and moving the project forward. And a special thank to our police wives’ group for the willingness to step up and support our men and women in blue. You ladies are truly a blessing.”

The good folks from D.A. Eric Linhardt’s office, Williamsport Bureau of Fire, 911 Dispatch Center and the Pennsylvania College of Police were also present at the event.

I would like to see more events like this take place not only in Williamsport but across Lycoming County. I would be glad to promote any event where emergency service personnel gets together with the community members they serve.

You all have heard about the two-year-old young fella that just shot himself in Montoursville. He picked up a cocked .45 that was laying on the floor and if not for his guardian angel would have left us.

I am a big believer in our 2nd Amendment right as you all know. I am also a big believer in the proper handling and storage of firearms. I have spent much time with the help of Mr. Frank Tripoli committed to this cause. It is you, the gun owner, who must make sure events like this do not occur. It is appalling to have a fire arm laying around where a two-year-old, 12-year-old, or any-year-old can gain access to it.

It is as much your responsibility for the safekeeping of a gun as it is your guaranteed right by the 2nd Amendment to possess said gun.

D.A. Linhardt provided me his thoughts on the issue. “As gun owners, all of us must assume complete responsibility for ensuring that our guns are securely stored. Particularly if there are children living in the house. But in addition to practicing good gun safety, we should also be teaching gun safety and responsibility to all members of our family, including our children. Children learn by example, which is why it is so important that in addition to explaining safe gun conduct to our children, we also practice safe gun conduct at all times.”

Well said Mr. D.A., If we are not teaching the safe handling of fire arms to our children, teenagers and young adults, who is? Do not assume that because you taught your son, daughter or loved one to shoot a rifle and hunt they understand handguns and proper handling. Remember most handguns do not have a safety.

D.A. Linhardt is a good man who deals with more crime and heinous acts than anyone should have to see, let alone investigating a two-year-old shooting himself.

Guns don’t kill people, people kill people. Complete negligence of storing a gun can kill. It is your responsibility for safekeeping of every gun you possess. Including pellet, bb and CO2. Keep our kids safe. Secure those guns people!

God Bless America.

Jim Webb

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