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Letter to the editor: Shame on parents

Thursday, October 10, 2013 - 12:01 am

On Oct. 1, Bob Rinearson told the story of how parents were frightened by a man openly wearing a firearm near a school bus stop. He asked if police can only approach such a man after he opens fire on the children. That is obviously not the case.

In the Supreme Court case Terry v. Ohio, the court stated that police can have three levels of contact with citizens – a mere encounter, an investigative detention and an arrest. An officer has every right, just like the parents did, to approach anyone and open a conversation.

If the man, who turned out to be a parent providing safety for his child (and all the rest, too) at the bus stop, reacts in a way that provides “reasonable suspicion” based on behaviors that the officer can clearly “articulate,” he may move on to the next level(s).

Shame on the parents for not doing something concrete when they first saw the possible danger. Kudos to the armed parent for being there and prepared for the worst. The other parents should take turns bringing the man a donut every morning. Cheap security for a real first responder. The police who arrive after the fact with report books and yellow crime scene tape are the second responders.

William Gray