The Valley Forge National Historical Park has reached about half of its goal of deer reduction for this winter. To date the sharp shooters have killed 225 deer as part of the operation to reduce the deer population. Over the next two years, the park plans to reduce the deer population from about 1,250 to under 200. I know that we have a deer problem; I see the problem in my backyard each day. I just cringe with the idea of guns in the park and the shooting of the deer. Why can’t there be a better way – and no, I don’t think coyotes are the answer. I rationalize that the ‘good news’ to this story is that 7,000 pounds of venison as been donated to the needy.
On the subject of guns, a couple of other recent gun-related stories caught my attention. According to a police report, there was a recent road-rage incident on Valley Forge Road near Swedesford Road. The incident occurred at 3 PM in the afternoon on a Saturday afternoon and involved two people. Police say that Kevin Miller, 33 of Plymouth Meeting was arrested for making terroristic threats and Kathleen Penjuke, 40 of King of Prussia was issued a citation for disorderly conduct. It is alleged that Miller waved a gun at an unidentified victim and that Penjuke gestured and yelled at the victim as they passed on the shoulder of the road. The police report does not indicate any further information and the people involved apparently have not had their court date. The scary part of the story is that we have someone in a car ‘waving a gun’ at another individual.
This other story is just sad. This past Friday afternoon in Westtown a 14-yr. old boy shot and killed his 12-yr. old sister. How could this happen? Although the police investigation has not determined all the details, I will choose to believe it was a tragic accident. The blame must go beyond the young boy that pulled the trigger. Why was this firearm not secured? Where were the responsible adults in the house? Depending on the outcome of this case, the parents may lose not one but could possibly lose both of these children.
I accept that there are readers of Community Matters who completely support the right for individuals to own and carry guns. However, hearing these gun-related stories reaffirms for me that we need stricter gun-control laws. I just cannot believe that our founding fathers could have imagined the world as it now is when designing the Constitution.