- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 29, 2016

Calling them a “scourge of this country” that “no one should have,” a judge in Portland, Oregon, went on an anti-gun tirade during a sentencing hearing recently, The Oregonian newspaper reported on its website Wednesday.

Multnomah County Circuit Court Judge Kenneth Walker made his remarks while sentencing drive-by shooter Marcell Lee Daniel Jr. on a murder charge.

“If I could, I would take all the guns in America, put them on big barges and go dump them in the ocean,” Judge Walker told Mr. Daniel, The Oregonian reported. “Nobody would have a gun. Not police, not security, not anybody. We should eliminate all of them. We could save 33,000 people a year if we didn’t have guns in this country.”

“They are a scourge of this country, and no one should have one as far as I’m concerned,” the judge — a former public criminal defense attorney — added later before insisting that was merely his personal opinion and that he would not seek to overturn gun rights from the bench.

“There’s no defense to guns. There’s just absolutely no reason to have them. But it is a right of people in this country to own and possess them, and I will not say anything to affect that right.”

According to BallotPedia.com, Judge Walker was appointed to the bench in February 2007 by then-Gov. Ted Kulongoski and was re-elected in 2014 to a term which expires on January 3, 2021.

“I loved to try cases and fight for my client,” Judge Walker said in a November 2007 profile for The Multnomah Lawyer, “and being a judge feels like a natural transition from practice.”

“Now I try to objectively look at the facts, read the cases, listen to the arguments and then try to get it right. To me, that is the essence of being in the legal profession.”

• Ken Shepherd can be reached at kshepherd@washingtontimes.com.

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