Veronica Roberts

In what can only be described as bizarre, a Texas pastor’s wife reportedly walked into a gun store, purchased a gun, then turned around and committed suicide in the store’s parking lot.

According to the GA Daily News, the tragic incident happened on Saturday at the McClelland gun shop located in East Dallas. Harriet Deison, the 65-year-old wife of Pastor Pete Deison, was found around 2:15 p.m. inside her car, dead from self-inflicted gunshots. The Lexus sedan was in the gun shop’s parking lot. Police were alerted when witnesses say they heard two gunshots and saw smoke coming from the parked car.

Police are still baffled by the suicide because Deison did not leave a suicide note. Investigators from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) are now reportedly investigating the case, with authorities trying to find out whether the law was followed when Deison purchased the gun.

ATF spokesman Andrew Young told the local news that the procedure followed to legally buy a gun takes only about 20 minutes. There is no waiting period in Texas. The buyer only has to show a valid US ID, pass a background check and fill out a form with personal information.

The mother of two and grandmother of five also was a businesswoman who ran an administrative and services Support Company called “Minwood One Corp.” Her husband Pete was the pastor at Park Cities Presbyterian Church.


So, it only takes 20 minutes to purchase a gun in Texas? I am stunned. Getting a driver’s permit/license takes longer than that. In fact, getting anything at your local DMV takes much longer than 20 minutes. Maybe therein lies some of our gun problems.

To get a driver’s license, we have to take an eye test, proficiency test, driving lessons, pass a practical driving test and renew it at intervals. Then the driver has to purchase expensive vehicular insurance if he/she wants to be able to legally drive on the streets across the nation. But in some states, purchasing a deadly weapon, it takes less time than shopping for groceries.

What about a person’s mental state? A background check can show that you were fine, when you may not be currently. We don’t have daily updated info added to our “personal files,” and someone may have had a recent traumatic experience, emotional upheavals or psychological problems.

To say these laws are lax is an understatement, and in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting massacre, where 20 young children were slaughtered along with six adults, we urgently need to do better.

No one should be able to purchase a gun with a 20-minute wait period. No one should be able to purchase a gun to keep in a home where there are mentally unstable residents. No one should be able to walk in to Walmart, buy loafers, soda, beer and a gun at the same time. No one should be able to log on to the Internet and order up large quantities of ammunition.

The bigger problem of manufacturing should also be addressed. Churning out weapons and ammo of mass destruction to the general public is a brutal tragedy waiting to happen. Weapons like those used by mass shooters like Adam Lanza, the Sandy Hook school killer, James Holmes, the Aurora theater killer, or Jared Loughner, the killer in Tucson, Ariz., should not be readily available. Why do we need these killing machines sold to the public? Do we really need assault rifles to shoot a moose? Are we soldiers in a war?

It’s the cigarette mentality all over again. Tobacco companies can manufacture and sell the lethal product to consumers. The government gets a cut on taxes, while drug and insurance companies make a killing profiting off the sick when the cancerous “sticks” take effect. Then warning labels are supposed to be the deterrent. I have never understood the concept of allowing deadly products on the market, then issuing warnings to consumers not to use it. Why make it to begin with?