New St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson: "More Guns Is Never The Answer"
In addition to better targeting illegal guns, Dotson says that another priority is "finding mental health services for people with mental issues and keeping guns out out of their hands."
He points out that in the wake of the Sandy Hook school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, he met with school officials from across the city.
None of them want to see an increase in weapons, Dotson says.
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"In that 90-minute roundtable, not once did they ask for more guns," he says. "'Teach us how to shelter employees. Teach us...evacuation plans. Help us secure our building....' Those are the things we need to focus on."
He continues, "Arming more people is never the answer, because I send officers out everyday to life-threatening situations."
In addition to increased gun control, Dotson says he wants to see stiffer sentences and penalties for those who illegally fire guns in the city.
In response to proposals to better protect gun owners and block gun control measures, he points out that gun violence is an epidemic. "You have to look at the systemic problems in urban cores -- St. Louis, Kansas City. And more guns in those environments never is the answer. So as people around the state...make decisions, they are making decisions about their situation. They have to look at the entire state."
He says to those lawmakers, "Come ride with us in the city and see exactly how prolific the availability of illegal handguns are."
This will remain a number one priority, he adds. "Everytime I get a chance to talk about it, I will."
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