The gun auction: NH's police chiefs keep their cool
Last fall the chiefs planned a raffle for this coming May. The items raffled away would be guns - 31 in total, one for each day of the month. Tickets for the Month of NH Made Firearms raffle sold out immediately. Then Adam Lanza opened fire on kindergarteners, and suddenly the raffle was drawing nationwide attention, much of it negative.
In the weeks since, the chiefs could have cancelled the raffle and refunded the money. To their credit, they did not. Earlier this month, Salem Police Chief Paul Donovan, president of the chiefs association, issued the following statement:
"While this raffle falls on the heels of the recent tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut, the New Hampshire Association of Chiefs of Police extends their deepest sympathies to the families and first responders. New Hampshire Chiefs of Police feel the issues with these tragic shootings are ones that are contrary to lawful and responsible gun ownership. We believe in and support the Second Amendment, and encourage education in the area of firearms safety."
The chiefs understand what their critics do not: that there is a huge difference between responsible and irresponsible gun ownership, and that the problems caused by irresponsible gun owners and users do not justify ending the dissemination of firearms among responsible citizens. Would that everyone kept such cool heads during times of great emotional distress.