It is appalling, irresponsible and above all frightening that Assistant State Attorney Jarred Patterson failed to file criminal charges against Dennis Flowers for discharging a rifle in the parking lot of Franklin County High School. Flowers was there to pick up his granddaughter. (See Jan. 26 Times “No charges filed in school firearm cases”)

Mr. Flowers was moving his Luger Sturm Mini-30 carbine rifle from the front passenger area to the rear passenger area of his GMC pickup when it discharged. The bullet went through the rear passenger seat, hit the sidewalk about six feet away, and ricocheted through the school’s common area.

Obviously, Flowers had a live round in the chamber of his weapon and tripped the safety or already had it off so it discharged while moving the weapon. What would have been the attorney general’s decision had a person been injured or killed because of Mr. Flowers’ irresponsible behavior? At the very least, it should be ordered that all of Mr. Flowers’ weapons be confiscated and be returned only after he attends and successfully completes an NRA Fire Arms Safety Course. In Pennsylvania, it is unlawful to have a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle; Florida is behind in this common sense approach to firearms in vehicles.

Mr. Flowers had, in addition to his rifle, a holstered handgun and a 12 gauge shotgun, all of which were loaded with cartridges in their chambers and their magazines. No one needs such an arsenal of loaded weapons in their pickup truck; however, this common sense approach to the Second Amendment causes Second Amendment fanatics to go ballistic. But that’s a whole other issue. One might well ask, was Dennis Flowers on his way to engage in a firefight with a band of ISIS terrorists?

I conclude with the following thought: What is it going to take for charges to be brought in such a case?. Regrettably, it appears that a person needs to be injured or killed by a bullet before citizens wake up and force the judicial system to do the right thing.

P.S. I hunt in Pennsylvania, own five shotguns, unloaded, my shotgun shells are right next to my guns – and there are no children at home. We love Apalachicola and hope to move there soon.

Steve Polte

Huntingdon, Pennsylvania