Police and school officials identified the suspect as Peter Cocker, 37, parent of a recently ill student at South Orangetown Middle School in Rockland County.
The man barged into the office of South Orangetown School District Superintendent Ken Mitchell brandishing a gun.The man locked the office door and confronted Mitchell about his latest H1N1 memo, released a day earlier.
Fortunately no injuries resulted, thanks to the heads-up intervention of a New York school district superintendent who wrestled Cocker to the ground.
Peter Cocker was arraigned on charges of burglary, kidnapping, coercion and criminal use of a weapon.
I wish they would tell us more about the gun, you know that inanimate object that is more-or-less like any other tool. In New York State there are very strict gun laws. I wonder if Mr. Cocker, who is a former police officer with a clean record, owned the gun legally. I wonder if he's yet another example of a lawful gun owner who suddenly becomes a criminal. This is also called "gun flow" just as surely as the movement of weapons from States like Virginia and Arizona up to New York. The problem with this type of "gun flow" is it's extremely difficult to prevent.
My pro-gun friends seem to continually misunderstand me. I accept the fact that the great majority of gun owners are responsible and I'm willing to presume the ones who comment here are members of that group. But I believe there is a percentage of their group that is like Mr. Peter Cocker. Some of them have been breaking the rules all along and only come to our attention when they get caught. Others are really good guys who, at a certain point, go bad.
The point is, it's from this small percentage that we have most of the trouble. Why is that considered slander against all gun owners? It's not.
The question is how big is this problem group. Some people say it's tiny, practically insignificant. I say it's 10 or 20 or 30%. This is what we're haggling about, among other things.
What's your opinion? Is Mr. Cocker a true anomaly or does he represent a fairly significant percentage of gun owners? What do you think would have happened if the school superintendent had been armed? I know the answer: we'd have one dead Cocker and another legitimate DGU.
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