Mayor Hales on Reynolds shooting: ‘I stand with’ Ginny Burdick on curbing gun violence
Sen. Ginny Burdick, who has championed efforts for new restrictions on guns, “stands for a safer Oregon,” Mayor Charlie Hales said Saturday, adding that “as mayor, I stand with the Senator.”
Hales issued the statement in response to an Oregonian report that Burdick has received a death threat for gun ownership comments she has made since Tuesday’s shootings at Reynolds High School in Troutdale. Jared Michael Padgett, a 15-year-old freshman, used an AR-15 type rifle owned by his family to fatally shoot another student and wound a teacher before killing himself, police said.
“I share her sorrow over this tragedy, her commitment to see that it doesn’t happen again, and her anger over these unimaginable acts of violence,” Hales said in a statement.
Burdick said Thursday that she believes Padgett’s parents should be held criminally responsible for the death of Emilio Hoffman, the 14-year-old freshman killed by Padgett.
“If a kid gets a hold of guns and takes them to school, those guns weren’t secured,” Burdick said. “Maybe they were thought to be secured or hoped to be secured, but they were not secured. These are weapons of war.”
Police say that Padgett, who also carried a handgun, a knife and nine loaded magazines, “defeated” the security measures for storing the weapons. Police have not said what security measures the family had taken.
Hales has not seen specifics on any proposed legislation to make parents criminally responsible, and cannot comment on that aspect of Burdick’s remarks, said his spokesman Dana Haynes. But he agrees that “a gun that a child can get to is not a secure gun,” Haynes said. He has backed Burdick’s gun-control bills in the past.
The type of weapon — an AR-15 type rifle — is also of great concern, Haynes said, noting several incidents in recent months have involved the military-style weapon. They include a Southwest Portland shooting in April in which suspect Paul Alan Ropp allegedly shot a Portland Police officer and killed a police dog with an AR-15.
“The mayor is just livid about this,” Haynes said. “AR-15s are coming up in every story that are police are involved with.”