Jan 18, 2013 12:53 AM by Sam Salzwedel

Sheriff Dupnik speaks at gun forum

TUCSON - Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik and others spoke at a gun violence forum Thursday.

It was organized by the Foothills Democratic Forum and held at Skyline Country Club.

"Gun violence is one of the most complicated, difficult problems I think our society faces," Dupnik said.

The Pima County Sheriff's Department is working with schools to make campuses more secure. They also want to train teachers and students for a shooting the same way they practice fire drills.

Dupnik said he supports most of President Obama's gun control proposals. He does not think they would do anything to help immediately, but they would help decades in the future.

He does not think lone officers on hundreds massive campuses in the county will do much to stop another mass shooting.

"If you look at Columbine," Dupnik said, "there was a shootout with the officers at the school before they went into the school. They couldn't stop it."

Dupnik said there is not much more he can do to reduce gun violence.

"We do that now as best we can," Dupnik said, "but we're overwhelmed with all kinds of crimes, and most of the guns in our society are not involved with crimes."

Ephraim Peak helped put the event together. He wanted to talk about gun safety in homes along with other issues.

"They're small. They're not going to get national news attention," Peak said, "but if you save 2 or 3 lives because of it, that's not bad."

The superintendent of the Catalina Foothills School District was there and talked about school security.

The Southern Arizona chapter of National Alliance on Mental Illness talked about mental health. They estimate there are 100,000 people in Pima County with mental health problems and two thirds will go undiagnosed.


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