A recent tragedy unfolded in Florida in which three teens were murdered by wannabe gang members. It was a sad event that ended in the capture of two suspects, with one still at large. In his press conference following the arrest of two of the suspects, Marion County Sheriff Billy Woods highlights the failure of gun control in this incident. For example, the suspects were all juveniles and shouldn’t be in possession of firearms. Likewise, the guns were obtained through a series of vehicle burglaries.
Marion County Sheriff Holds Press Conference Following Arrest of Two Teens
I would first like to start by saying that our hearts here at PDW go out to the families involved. This is a tragedy, and no family should have to endure this.
Thursday, March 30, three Florida teens were traveling with the three suspects when the suspects turned on them. It is unclear how the victims knew the suspects but the three, ages 12, 16, and 17, murdered the teens. However, Sheriff Woods suggested that the group was together to commit a crime. He went on to say that the murders appeared to be a robbery.
The triple murders occurred over three days, and the bodies were found in different locations. The first victim found was a young girl.
According to Fox 35 Orlando, “Last Thursday, a 16-year-old girl, later identified as Layla Silvernail, was found laying on the side of a road near Forest Lakes Park in Ocklawaha, Florida. She had been shot and was taken to the hospital in critical condition, where she later died.”
Then on Friday, a 17-year-old boy, whose name is withheld at the request of the family, was found at another location with gunshot wounds. The Marion County Sheriff’s Office pronounced the teen dead at the scene.
Finally, on Saturday, deputies found a car partially submerged at the edge of the lake at Malauka Loop. Inside the trunk was a 16-year-old girl who was shot and killed. According to Marion County Sheriff Woods, interviews and digital evidence from her phone indicate she was there “on her own free will.”
WSVN 7 News Miami states, “Fifteen detectives are working on the case. So far, the information gathered shows the trio was together up to what Woods called ‘the incident.’ He declined to say whether the three friends were shot at the same time.”
Placing Blame Where It Belongs
In a press conference following the arrest of two of the suspects (above), Sheriff Woods warned against blaming the gun. In fact, he presents another, more likely cause—society is failing our children.
“I know each of you in the media here and viewers out there probably heard us in law enforcement or even in community events talk about what is the problem. And I’m going to go ahead and address the first thing that I know it’s going to come up. Because there are individuals out there viewing, and include some of you media, to 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. And what’s the solution? I wish I could give you that answer. Because this world would be a whole lot better. But the fact is society fails them. We do not hold our juveniles accountable. We minimize their actions.”
Following the statement, Woods continues to say that we need to hold them accountable. Release their names and photos, and more importantly, punish them when they do wrong. He even later went on to say that as a father himself, even the barber had permission to whip his boys’ ass.
Sheriff Woods Points Out Failure of Gun Control
In what might have been an attempt to still place blame on guns, a reporter asked Sheriff Woods where the teens got the gun(s). His response was probably not what they expected and led to his short diatribe on gun control.
After the question, Sheriff Woods simply answered, “Car burglaries.”
Following his answer, a stunned and almost disappointed grunt comes from one of the reporters. The moment was not lost on Sheriff Woods, who turned to address the reporter.
“Mm, yeah, mm. Ain’t that right? All the gun laws we got in place didn’t prevent it, did it? Neither will any new ones. Because here’s the fact, the bad guy is going to get a gun no matter what law you have put in place. These juveniles shouldn’t even possess a handgun. But they did. And I’ll go back to you, add your question, a simple burglary, as some people will say. But I don’t consider anything simple when it comes to a burglary.”
In this one short exchange, Sheriff Woods demonstrated that criminals don’t care about gun control. Gun control is just like any other law that they ignore. For example, burglary, theft, illegal possession of a firearm, and murder. Simply put, criminals are criminals, and new laws aren’t going to stop that. As Sheriff Woods puts it:
“Do I have to spell it out to you? What do you think they were doing? They’re associated with a gang. And I’ve told some of y’all in interviews gangs don’t go to church on Sunday and then preach the gospel for the next six days. They’re gangs because they commit crimes. How simple is this idea?”
Thank you, Sheriff Woods, for being a voice of reason and holding the line in defense of the Second Amendment during a tragic situation.