Not long ago, a Savannah public housing officer was contacted by a mother concerned about her child.
"He was talking about all kinds of gang activity," Savannah-Chatham police officer Jeremy McKnight said of the woman's son. "And he mentioned something about a gun. It was a vague mention about a gun, and she just wanted us to search his room."
McKnight and the housing officer went over to the woman's home, searched her son's room and found the weapon.
"It was a huge success," McKnight said.
The case McKnight described was the first for the new "right to search" program, enacted by metro police to give parents and the community a chance to speak out if they know a minor is unlawfully possessing a gun.
I suppose they feel that violating the right to privacy of a minor is allowed if the parents agree. What do you think? Does this set a dangerous precedent? What if the gun owner is not a minor and the wife or girlfriend what's to stop him before he gets in trouble? I guess it's only for minors, at least for now.
After receiving information about a minor in possession of a gun, officers - with the permission of a parent - will search the child's room for the weapon, and, initially, no charges will be filed, police officials said. If the gun was stolen or used in a crime, subsequent charges could follow, officials added.
I have another problem with this. Although I'm all for getting guns off the streets, especially guns in the hands of would-be criminals, but what good is it if we continue to allow the flow? What good is taking guns away from juvenile gang members if they can just replace them as fast as they lose them?
And where do all these guns come from? They come from the legitimate gun-owning public. Individual gun owners and licensed gun dealers need to be more closely monitored in order to help them avoid passing their weapons into the criminal world. Sometimes this happens by design, which makes the lawful gun owners or gun dealers criminals themselves who just haven't been caught yet. Other times it's inadvertent. In both cases stricter gun control laws can help.
What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.