December 10, 2007
Our media seems to enjoy publishing endless stories of abuses of gun ownership by private citizens, furthering the agendas of Gun Control advocates. Every time we read of another tragic shooting resulting in loss of life, we are deluged with politicians grandstanding in speeches and offering more legislation to curtail our first amendment rights.
Well meaning, but misguided citizens demand gun free zones, areas that essentially restrict legal law-abiding citizens with concealed carry permits from carrying their guns. From schools to shopping malls, time and time again we have seen the tragedy of gun free zones unfold as gun men enter the zones and begin firing, too often killing and harming many.
From the massacres at Columbine High School, in Littleton, Colorado, to the murder suicides at Virginia Tech, we are inundated with stories of these tragedies, often used to show us why guns need to be outlawed.
This past weekend, Sunday December 9, we saw yet another tragic shooting take place, again in Colorado, but at a mega-church of 7,000. Unlike previous shootings, though, we are not being inundated with calls for new laws or tightening existing gun laws. Perhaps because once again, a citizen with a concealed carry permit and properly trained in the use of a firearm, brought the carnage to an end by using her firearm to protect the 7,000 in attendance at the church when the shooting started, “taking the shooter down.”
Previous incidences of law-abiding citizens stopping shooters in their tracks have also received little media notice over the years. Virtually ignored by the media and gun control advocates is the column found in “America’s 1st Freedom,” the NRA’s magazine, Armed Citizens, continually stating true stories of private citizens that protected themselves or others by their own guns.
Incidents like the Appalachian Law School Shootings and the Pearl High School shooting, although reported, obscure the fact that it was students or administrators with their own private guns that put a stop to the shooters before they murdered more, each time with no harm to the shooters themselves.
Those points are glossed over while gun control advocates obfuscate and demand tighter gun controls.
News reports of the shooting at New Life Church in Colorado Springs, Colorado, identify Jeanne Assam as a “Security Guard,” insinuating a hired guard. That is not entirely true. Ms. Assam, an attractive blonde churchgoer, appears an unlikely “Security Guard,” in the traditional sense. She is a former Police Officer from Minnesota, but is a private citizen who volunteered to provide security at the mega-church in the afternoon, attending morning services herself. She and others volunteer to provide some security at the church and yesterday, her services were sorely needed and she came through, like others before her.
As a regular churchgoer, she blends in with others without letting on she is legally armed and with the full permission of the church Pastor. Yesterday, the wisdom of this arrangement came to fruition. If ever the Women’s Rights groups need a heroine to hold up to the public, Ms. Assam fits that bill. Time will tell if she is so embraced.
Like them or not, guns are a fact of life. They are available, usually much easier if illegally obtained than those purchased legally. Criminals are becoming increasingly bold, knowing that many citizens are now unarmed and that current gun control laws have historically not been enforced.
Gun control advocates repeatedly say that if we have time to get to a gun, we have time to call the Police. While there is an element of truth in that statement, I am left wondering what do they propose we do in the 10 to 30 minutes it may take for an officer to arrive?
Gun ownership is a serious responsibility, as Jeanne Assam showed yesterday. Those that own a gun have a responsibility to become trained in the proper use and maintenance of them.
Crimes involving the use of a gun are even more serious and must be dealt with swiftly and harshly by Police and the Courts. If one is killed in the process of committing a crime with a gun, their intended victim should not be turned into the criminal by gun haters.
Lastly, gun free zones need to be abolished. Time and time again we have seen that they result in law-abiding citizens leaving theirs behind while criminals easily bring theirs in with the resulting carnage.
Responsible and properly trained teachers, administrators, volunteers or citizens should be allowed to carry concealed weapons, if so licensed at the areas now seen as easy targets. As long as criminals have guns to use against us, we must be allowed to properly defend ourselves within the law.
UPDATE: This post received the Top Op Ed Award this week at Digital Journal. My thanks to all who read and showed an interest in it.
Monday, December 10, 2007
Posted by Lew Waters at 11:36 PM