Lou Ferrigno did not die, but he had to make us think that he was dead until he learned to control the raging spirit that dwells within him.
The former bodybuilder and co-star of the CBS series The Incredible Hulk—from which that melodramatic opening line was cribbed—became a reserve sheriff’s deputy in Los Angeles and San Luis Obispo counties. The San Luis Obispo County Bar Association invited Ferrigno to speak at a Second Amendment colloquium alongside SLO County Sheriff Ian Parkinson and news anchor-turned-public information officer Tony Cipolla. The event drew a small crowd of jurists to the Madonna Inn on April 18.
The Association was host to the event as a continuing legal education session designed to keep local attorneys up with state licensing requirements. Ferrigno mainly discussed the need for communication in preventing tragedies like the attack at Sandy Hook Elementary, but also voiced some concern about recent federal gun control efforts.
“You must remember that this country was built with guns and the Second Amendment,” Ferrigno said.
Ferrigno played David Banner’s monstrous alter ego (Bill Bixby played the mild Banner) in the popular television series that ran from 1978 to 1982. His reserve deputy responsibilities include helping with search and rescue operations.
Parkinson spoke more extensively about gun control. The generally popular law enforcement official raised some liberal ire in February when he wrote a letter informing Joe Biden he wouldn’t enforce laws that take guns out of the hands of law-abiding county residents.
Parkinson explained at the colloquium that his intention with the letter was to provide his personal perspective on how emotional knee-jerk reactions to tragedies like Sandy Hook might lead to bad legislation.
“I know that didn’t make some people very happy,” Parkinson said. “But I also know that I have 30 years of experience in law enforcement, so I feel that I have a good perspective.”
California legislators have introduced 26 bills this session to ratchet up state gun regulation. Parkinson remarked that a total concealed carry ban in California, as some have suggested, would leave guns in the hands of three classes of people: law enforcement, the military, and criminals. However, he also commented on the opposite extreme.
“I don’t want to live in Arizona,” Parkinson said. “I don’t want to walk down the street with people who have guns on their waists.”