Father of man killed in mall shooting says guns not the problem

WEST LINN, Ore. - The father of the man shot and killed last month at Clackamas Town Center said Thursday he wants education instead of gun bans.

Ron Forsyth's son, Steve, was killed in December at the mall when a gunman opened fire while working at his coaster business.

Ron Forsyth said the man who shot his son used a stolen gun and doesn't think gun bans would keep people from using stolen weapons.

For Forsyth, the national debate on gun control is difficult, and even after his son's death, he has no hatred for guns.

"Blaming a weapon for a death is like blaming a pencil for a misspelled word," he said at his son's dream home for his wife and two children, which is now for sale. "It's a tool, that's all. And as such, we should learn how to use it correctly."

Forsyth said he would like to see less violence on TV and in the movies as well as less killing in video games. He said education for kids is needed to make them less callous about life and death and to counteract the simulated computer killing kids do for entertainment.

"They sit at a console, they put on weight, they go diabetes early, and they kill things. And to me, that's sad," he said.

Forsyth would also like to see better background check information and protection for doctors who declare someone to be too mentally unstable to own a gun. Additionally, he said he'd like to see better storage for guns, locked boxes or safes so that people can access them in times of need but thieves can't get into them.

Inside his son's home Thursday, Forsyth hoped for change, thought of his son's sense of humor, his loyalty and his life.

"He was a great kid. I'm very proud of him," he said. "I miss him. I miss him a lot."

Forsyth said a friend will try to keep his son's coaster business going to keep his entrepreneurial ideas alive.