Out of tragedy comes a voice of leadership and, more important, reason. The senseless killing spree of teenagers in Ocklawaha, Florida, for three days, has ended thanks to law enforcement’s swift action. The bodies of three 16 and 17 year-old teens were found between Thursday, March 30, and Saturday, April 1. Marion County Sheriff Bill Woods held a press conference on Monday to announce the arrest of two male teens, believed to be the killers of the three innocent young people.
Sheriff Woods took to the microphone and delivered a fact-filled speech that evolved into a fiery message that was not what the gun control crowd wanted to hear. Many, including President Joe Biden, always go to banning guns for all as the solution to senseless acts of killing. Whether an accidental shooting of a director on a movie set or a mass killing in a school, these people always want to ignore the killer and convict the gun. These folks did not want to hear what Sheriff Billy Woods had to say on Monday.
Woods showed confidence and strength when he spoke directly to the reporters in the room and the people listening everywhere. He first broke a golden rule by displaying the pictures of the two minors arrested for the killings. Often, the people who commit the crime are protected by authorities by not, but not this time. Woods pointed to the two large images on the monitor to his left. The photos of the 12 and 17 year old boys arrested in this case were there for all to see. There is still one more suspect at large, and he is a 16-year-old.
Sherrif Woods is a breath of fresh air in his approach to this press conference. He was not in the mood to take foolish questions and was clear in his response to the guns used by the two juveniles.
“There are individuals out there viewing, and includes some of you media, that want to blame the one thing that has no ability or the capacity to commit the crime itself, and that’s the gun. These individuals committed the crime,” Marion County Sheriff Billy Woods said.
He said that with all of the gun laws we have, criminals will still get guns. No gun laws we add will change that fact. Politicians that look to gun control as a solution are looking in the wrong direction.
“Now, although we had out there and it was gang-related, we have nothing specific to say that it was any rivalry or anything to such that cause. But, however, each and every one of them in some shape or form is associated with a gang,” he said.
Woods was very clear in his opinion that the breakdown in the family unit is at the core of gang violence and growth. He also pointed the finger at our failing educational system that is not preparing students intellectually but not holding them accountable for their actions.
I will not be surprised when Sheriff Billy Woods is in front of Congress to testify about his beliefs, and the Republicans will be delinquent if they miss the opportunity to use this voice of clarity.