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HIGH SCHOOL SHOOTER SHOULD BE ‘TRIED, IMPRISONED AS ADULT, TO SEND MESSAGE’

Monday, March 5th, 2001

BELLEVUE, Wash. – The freshman Santana High School student who allegedly shot 15 people Monday, killing two of them, should be tried as an adult, and, if convicted, he should be imprisoned for the rest of his life.

Alan Gottlieb, chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Right To Keep and Bear Arms, said today that harsh punishment is the most effective way to send a message to other would-be gunmen about what they face if they misuse firearms.

“Imagine going to prison as a youth, being there when your classmates graduate from college, still being there when they become parents, and still being there when their grandchildren are born, and they have long ago forgotten you even exist,” Gottlieb observed. “That’s a powerful message for kids to think about.”

The nationally-recognized firearms civil rights activist said making individuals responsible for their heinous crimes, no matter what their age, will serve as a harsh “reality check” for gun-toting, would-be killers.

“How can moms anywhere in America feel safe about sending their children to school unless horribly misguided young criminals are made to suffer the full consequences of their actions, in a way that sends a message to others” Gottlieb demanded.

“Law-abiding gun owners should not be punished for this vicious crime, especially in California, a state with some of the most restrictive gun laws in the nation,” he continued. “If this terrible incident proves anything about California’s gun laws, it would be that they don’t work. Millions of honest Californians have been subjected to a series of increasingly Draconian restrictions on their firearms civil rights, and guess what? Not one of those laws prevented this tragedy.”

Gottlieb expressed outrage that the 15-year old suspect reportedly bragged all weekend about what he was planning, and his threats were ignored. He suggested that friends or family members of the alleged shooter who had prior knowledge a crime was imminent should be haunted by their failure to act.

“This was no spontaneous act of desperation,” Gottlieb said. “This is clearly a case of pre-meditated, calculated, cold-blooded murder. It appears that one individual was responsible, and that lone individual should be held accountable.”