As the killer stood before him, Judge Kenneth Walker couldn't stay silent.
"If I could I would take all the guns in America, put them on big barges and go dump them in the ocean," the judge told the defendant. "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."
Marcell Lee Daniel Jr. had unleashed 30 bullets during an afternoon drive-by shooting of an innocent man on a North Portland sidewalk. The man, Andrew Coggins Jr., 24, died.
The judge kept going.
"Australia after a major shooting rounded up all the guns, and they haven't had near the death that we do here in this country," he said.
"I just saw last night a statistic that 11,000 people in America are murdered each year and another 20,000 commit suicide with guns," Walker said, referring to figures from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
"They are a scourge of this country and no one should have one as far as I'm concerned," he said. "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."
Walker, a Multnomah County Circuit Court judge for nearly 10 years and a criminal defense attorney before that for 25 years, sentenced Daniel to 17 1/2 years in prison.
The dead man's mother, Connie Holmes, said she appreciated the judge's comments.
She and about a dozen others who were related to her son or knew him had filled the courtroom Monday, wearing T-shirts with Coggins' photo screen-printed on them. They gasped and sobbed as they spoke of their loss.