I am filled with shock and disbelief by what I have read this past week in response to the BB gun story that controversially made the front page. I have read several letters to the editor and I am surprised by their vehemence.
I feel very strongly about this issue, and I feel as though I am entitled to; I was there. I was involved. And the police officers reacted completely appropriately.
I live adjacent to the house in question and I am not much older than the boys involved. As I came home from work that day, I got caught up in the situation. By the time the police arrived, the boys were back inside and the officers had no idea what they were dealing with. Had they known it was a BB gun, I’m sure they would have taken a different approach, but they didn’t.
I certainly didn’t know it wasn’t a BB gun, and whoever made the 911 call probably didn’t either.
To those who take issue with the way the police responded, I ask you; what would your reaction have been if they assumed it was a BB gun and it wasn’t? What if they had not taken it seriously, and it turned out to be a dangerous situation and someone got hurt? What if an officer had gotten shot? What if one of the other teenagers had gotten killed? You would probably be disgusted that our police force didn’t take the call seriously.
The officers that day were in control. They were careful, efficient, and at no time did I feel they were putting me, or any of the boys in danger.
Much more went on that day than what made the paper. The message was not to criminalize the teenagers, but to warn people that BB guns can easily be mistaken as something more serious and to be responsible about where and when you use them.
Given the small amount of substantial information about the actual events of that day, I am angered by the criticism the police are taking from some individuals. You are entitled to your opinion, and I respect that, but please, if you don’t know what you’re talking about, keep it to yourself.