By SHERRI KOLADE
Some people look to religion for encouragement during tragedies, others get guns.
At least that was the case for Dearborn resident Chris Ervin who registered for a gun license at the Dearborn Police Department Dec. 19, after a shooting incident at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, Conn.
“I am registering for a gun for protection of my family,” Ervin said while standing in line at the police department. “I want something that I can conceal and carry when I have my family with me. I don’t want to go through that loss that other people have went through.”
On Dec. 14, 20 students and six adults died allegedly at the hands of 20-year-old Adam Lanza, who committed suicide before police reached him.
Dearborn Police Chief Ronald Haddad said since the shootings, he has not seen any unusual spikes in gun registration numbers.
“We do experience some increases in gun registrations,” Haddad said, “because oftentimes weapons are given as gifts but it kind of averages out throughout the year.”
Dearborn Heights Property and Weapons Officer Cpl. Jeff Turley said since the shooting he has not seen anything out of the ordinary for gun registrations.
“There is no such thing as a guaranteed normal,” Turley said. “Some things are cyclical, some days are not.”
Ervin said although he has two other guns — a shotgun and rifle — for hunting, if approved for a concealed pistol license, he plans to keep his third gun on him at all times.
“Anything can happen,” Ervin said. “Somebody could rob a store when I am in there getting a Slurpee with my kids, we need to improve our safety.”
Haddad said improving safety has little to do with guns and everything to do with keeping guns out of the hands of mentally and emotionally unstable people.
“I don’t agree with the fact that buying more guns is going to make us safer because the evidence is directly opposite,” Haddad said. “I certainly respect the Second Amendment to the fullest. I would question how that liberty has been interpreted throughout the years.”
According to www.michigan.gov, people licensed to carry a concealed pistol in Michigan cannot carry a concealed pistol in places such as schools or school property, public or private day care centers, public or private child caring agencies or public or private child placing agency; the law does not include parking lots in pistol-free zones.
Haddad said he does not think the country is safer with the amount of guns available to people.
“We still have an enormous amount of crime,” Haddad said. “We’re killing each other.”
Haddad said that people should look at the amount of weapons in society instead of blaming unstable individuals.
“(People) want to blame the person with the mental issue,” Haddad said, “but I think the bigger concern here is the fact that those individuals have weapons so plentiful, so readily available, that they can get them.”
Dearborn Heights resident Jeffrey Baker, who stood in line to register for a gun license at the Dearborn Heights Police Department Dec. 19, said if people were already allowed to carry guns in school, fewer people would have died at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
“More guns are the answer,” Baker said. “Someone willing to put themselves in harm’s way should carry a gun.”
For more information on pistol-free areas or concealed pistol license requirements go to www.michigan.gov.
(Sherri Kolade can be reached at [email protected])