Mike Leach proposes a solution to curb gun violence in America. He also ruffles Duck feathers with a comment about WSU having the best facilities in the Pac-12

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The Umpqua Community College (Roseburg, Ore.)  mass shooting last week rekindled a national discussion about how to curb the gun violence and mass shooting epidemic in the United States.

Washington State coach Mike Leach isn’t a public policy maker or a politician, but he’s a lawyer by profession, has never been shy to express his opinion, and as he revealed in a Monday radio interview with Oregonian columnist John Canzano, is a gun owner. All of which makes him fully qualified to opine on the issue at hand, right?

After a brief interchange about the best pizza places in Portland, Canzano asked Leach, whose Cougars play the Ducks in Eugene, Ore. this weekend, whether he had any thoughts on guns.

Be careful what you wish for, Canzano. The interview became Leach’s soapbox as the Cougars’ coach delivered a monologue that actually offered some insightful suggestions as to how to crack down on gun violence nationwide.

I think there’s an incredible number of people who don’t know how guns work to begin with. We need a way to enforce the gun laws that exist now.

 Whether it’s a car or boat or motorcycle, it’s a dangerous item, so you have to show a level of competence and get a license before you’re allowed to operate something that’s dangerous. Guns are dangerous but you don’t have to get a license to operate guns. I think in order to operate a gun, you should have a license that means ‘I know the difference between a pistol and a revolver, a shotgun and rifle, I can load and unload one and shoot it with some level of competency at what I’m aiming at.’ And until you can do that, you’re not allowed to operate a gun.

 I’ve had players and stuff, they see some video on TV and they go to Walmart and buy a gun. Well they don’t know how to load it, they shoot it sideways. That’s absurd. That’s insane. So because of this failure to teach and educate, there’s accidental shootings.”

Lest you think he’s a gun-hating guy who’s ready to repeal the second amendment, think again. Leach, after all, grew up in Cody, Wyoming. There’s a cowboy side to the Pirate, and he talked also about how he’s been shooting guns since he was 10 years old.

When I was between 10 to 12 – and this probably isn’t a good idea — my dad would toss me the keys to the gun cabinet and say, ‘Go shoot and practice but I don’t want you to use the .03-06 (big gun) because that goes a long way and I don’t want you to hit the house.’ And I’d go outside and shoot cans and bottles.

Also, Leach keeps a viking axe by his bed.

Yes. You read that right.

I keep my guns on one part of the house totally locked up, and I keep the ammunition in another part of the house. Because if you think about it carefully, statistically, you’re more likely to shoot yourself, a loved one or a relative. There’s this (absurd) notion of ‘if you come in my house I’ll shoot ya.’ I do have a Viking axe by the bed if I need to whack someone. … My wife bought me a Viking axe – the axe side curls down so you can grab the adversary around the neck and you can use it to climb walls, as a grappling hook.’

From that description, I gather Leach’s axe might look something like this:


The bottom line, according to Leach:

I don’t think people should be allowed to shoot guns unless they have a license. I also think I would sift through some whack jobs too, in the process of getting a license.

*Drops mic.*

You can listen to the full interview here. The more publicized excerpt from it was that Leach boldly proclaimed WSU to have the best football facilities in the conference, and he stuck to his guns (pun fully intended) even after Canzano circled back to the facilities issue at the end and gave him a chance to recant.

Recant? That’s ridiculous.

Here’s Leach’s response to Canzano pointing out that Duck fans were crucifying the Cougs’ coach via Twitter after he said WSU’s facilities are better than their palatial digs:

Oh I know, it drives them crazy, and the ones that think we don’t are the ones that have never been to ours. Our AD Bill Moos built the one at Oregon. WSU is his alma mater, and he learned some things in his first effort. His second effort wasn’t going to fall short of his first effort.

Now, for more WSU football news:

— Jacob Thorpe has this notes package on how Leach is anxious to see more improvement from WSU

How will the Ducks’ defense handle WSU’s Air Raid this week?

Oregon might use a two-quarterback rotation this week