Our Fallen Heroes

September 4, 2013

By Prince Holloway

Philadelphia Police Officers Moses Walker, John Pawlowski, Patrick McDonald, Stephen Liczbinski, and Charles Cassidy, as well as Plymouth Township Officer Brad Fox, have all been killed in the line of duty by gunfire. And in each of these tragic cases, not one of the officers’ killers were legally allowed to possess a firearm, due to previous criminal convictions. So how are these weapons getting into the wrong hands?

The circumstances surrounding the guns recovered from the commission of a crime are rarely investigated. Gun and pawn shops are seldom scrutinized, even though the weapons they sell are at the center of many crimes.

These issues pose a huge danger to our communities.

The gun used to kill Montgomery County Police Officer Brad Fox was one of nine guns bought by a straw purchaser. The gunman had a criminal record and could not legally buy guns for himself. The gun used in Officer Fox’s fatal shooting has been recovered, but the other eight weapons are still at large.

Gun shop owners can be liable to a victim’s family if they were negligent in the sale of a firearm to a straw purchaser. Gun shop owners have a duty to carefully screen their customers before making a sale. Certain actions should raise red flags, such as customers who buy multiple weapons at the same time or within a short time frame, pay in cash, or customers who are not able to articulate the reason for their purchase.

A gun shop should be investigated every time one of their firearms is recovered at a crime scene. These investigations will send a strong message to gun shop owners. If you choose profits over people’s lives, you will pay a price.

Kolsby Gordon gives a voice to the victims and their families and has successfully represented those who have suffered because of someone’s negligence. The Officers previously mentioned were all killed by people who had no business possessing lethal weapons. These fallen heroes left behind their families and paid the ultimate sacrifice.

Moving forward, I truly hope gun shop owners will execute stricter sale policies in order to diminish unnecessary gun violence. Those who do not, should answer to the families of the fallen heroes for their negligent conduct.