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Norris: 'We need to talk more about mental-health reform'

Norwalk Reflector - 3/23/2018

March 23--A local, certified firearms instructor is considering an open-range shooting event Saturday as a counter-protest to a peaceful march by Norwalk students on ending gun violence.

"To shoot our guns. Let our voices be heard," Norwalk resident Jeremy Norris said.

However, he said the national discussion and emphasis on school shootings shouldn't be on guns at all.

"They don't understand the real problem, which is mental health and mental-health care," Norris added. "We need to talk more about mental-health reform."

Regarding Saturday's March for Our Lives event, Norris said he respects the students for taking a stand.

"I do salute them for their endeavors, but they are kinda misguided."

Norris said he believes "the far left" -- liberals -- are telling the students "what to say."

"The problem is these kids are being used as political puppets. They should be marching for mental health reform, enforcing current gun laws -- which is the real problem, marching against the opioid epidemic caused by big pharmaceutical companies. They are jumping on the national band wagon right now," he explained.

Citing the mass shootings just in the last year, Norris said he believes the FBI and authorities in those jurisdictions failed the system and the shooters "shouldn't have had guns" in the first place.

"It keeps going on and on and on. ... ... They were all mentally deficient (and) had mental health issues," he added. "Some reform work needs to be done in those agencies to prevent that."

Local, state and federal authorities are examining how the FBI and Broward, Fla.County Sheriff's Office responded to repeated warnings about Nikolas Cruz's potential for carrying out the Feb. 14 school shooting in Parkland, according to The Washington Post. The shooting, which left 17 people dead, has led to several investigations into how officials handled warnings about Cruz beforehand and how they reacted to the incident when it occurred.

"No new gun laws are needed. The failure of the agencies to enforce current legislation is the problem. Lack of mental healthcare is the problem. Guns are not the problem," Norris said.

Since 2014, Norris, an eight-year U.S. Marine Corps veteran, has owned Norris Protective Services, where certified instructors teach people how to obtain carry-concealed permits, about gun safety and more. He has been certified by the National Rifle Association as a firearms instructor for five years.

"The dreaded, certified NRA instructor," he said with a laugh.

"All they keep trying to do is make it harder for law-abiding Americans to buy guns and take guns away from law-abiding Americans with taking AR15s away from those (who) are legally allowed to buy them currently. As of (Wednesday) two states are now making it illegal for those (who) were allowed to buy those guns to own them."

"Everyone keeps saying they aren't trying to take our guns away. Quite the contrary; they are. The bad guys still don't care about gun laws. That's the part that people just don't get," Norris said.

For questions about the possible open-range shooting event, contact Jeremy Norris on Facebook through Norris Protective Services.


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