EvansvilleIndiana

Sheriff Responds to Gun Control Debate

Recent shootings in Evansville have many people looking for answers.

Five people were wounded about two weeks ago in a shooting at an American Legion.

This past Saturday a man was shot and killed on West Franklin Street hours after the Fall Festival ended.

These recent shootings have many people on edge. On the national stage – Democratic candidates have been calling for stricter gun control, and back in the Tri-State, local leaders are reacting to those calls.

“Most people who possess weapons in the United States have it for either personal protection of their home or person, or for pleasure,” said Vanderburgh County Sheriff Dave Wedding.

Wedding says he’s hopeful lawmakers can find common ground.

He wants to remind everyone that people die every year and it’s not just by guns.

“So don’t blame weapons for all the deaths that occur in the United States, people kill people in multiple ways,” said Wedding.

The sheriff says his deputies catch criminals with guns and drugs all the time for illegally having guns and he wants to change how those cases are handled.

“I would like to see a statue in place that punishes them harshly for doing both,” he said.

Responsible gun owners like Andrew Bowlds say the government’s policy on weapons is already good enough.

“There is a real need for everyday Americans to protect themselves and not be followed around by security, 24/7 and that right is a human right,” said Bowlds. “Our founding fathers put there for us to protect ourselves not only from individuals but also the government.”

Sheriff Wedding says people on both sides of the political aisle need to do their research.

“I think they need to study the situation much deeper,” Wedding said. “I’ve said many times, you could put a picture of a brain on the left side of the screen and a picture of the weapon on the right side of the screen and then ask someone which one is the weapon?”

Wedding said during the last six to seven years gun sales have surged.

In 2016, handguns were involved in more than 6,000 deadly shootings and rifles were involved in nearly 300.

Other weapons like knives accounted for nearly three times as many deaths as rifles.

Blunt objects accounted for 472 deaths in 2016, while ‘personal weapons’ like hands and fists accounted for 656 total deaths.

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