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Shootings show need for more armed citizens, not gun control
Mike Riddle
Mike Riddle - photo by File photo

On Dec. 2, Syed Rizwan Farook attended a holiday party with fellow employees of the San Bernardino County Department of Public Health in California. He left the party and went home to join his wife, Tashfeen Malik, who was born in Pakistan. The two then heavily armed themselves with semiautomatic 9mm pistols and AR-15-style rifles.

They drove back to the party, walked into the auditorium where it was being held and shot 35 people, killing 14. They also left an explosive device that failed to detonate.

Later in a gunfight with local authorities, the two ISIS supporters were shot and killed. Though there have been many shootings in recent years, this was the second-worst mass-shooting in U.S. history, only behind the 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, where 20 children and six adults were murdered.  

Though this terrorist act is being mourned by most, it also has become a political tool for many.  Before the victims’ bodies were even picked up from the site, presidential Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton and President Barack Obama began using the tragedy as an instrument to call, once again, for more gun control.  

Well, Mr. President and Secretary Clinton, stricter gun control is the last thing we need to help prevent tragedies like this. If anything, what we need is less gun control and more guns in the hands of law-abiding citizens trained to use them. After all, who killed these two terrorists? People who were well-armed and trained to use the guns they were carrying.

As a freelance reporter for this newspaper, I am a part of the media, and I am proud of this. But I also am not proud of the way many media outlets, especially at the national level, distort facts and slant political issues in their coverage. In an opinion/editorial such as this, I have the liberty to offer my opinions because that is exactly what they are, opinions from me and me alone. But all too often, others in the media use their news reports as tools to provide their opinions, and that is a direct violation of the Journalist’s Creed.

Every week, there are armed citizens across this nation who protect themselves, their families and, many times, others, primarily with handguns, and these stories hardly ever make the airwaves or papers. In August, following a football game in Nashville, Tennessee, an attempted robbery and shooting by two thugs ended when one of the victims drew his concealed pistol and fatally shot one of the robbers. In September, a homeowner in Hartford, Connecticut, shot two would-be thieves with his pistol after they unlawfully entered his home. One of the two thugs, also had a pistol, but unlike the homeowner, he obviously was well-trained with his weapon.

Right here in Georgia, in March, an attempted bank robbery in Marietta was foiled when one of the customers retrieved his pistol from his vehicle and then went back into the bank and forced the would-be robber to the ground until authorities could arrive and arrest him. These are the stories none of us ever read about because they rarely make the news or Internet. The only reason I am aware of them is because I am a lifetime member of the National Rifle Association, and in their magazine, America’s 1st Freedom, incidents like these are reported every month.

Many politicians want us to believe that it is a privilege to own and carry a gun. It is not. It is our right — a right given to us by the Constitution. But many politicians are trying to take that right away incrementally from us. I don’t encourage people to do many things, but I do encourage them to become members of the NRA and obtain weapons-carry licenses. Both are simple, if you are a law-abiding citizen. The NRA helps protect our right to own a gun, and guns help us protect our families.

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