Shootings show value of guns for self-defense

(The following commentary, written by a Buckeye Firearms Association Southwest Ohio volunteer, has been published as a guest editorial in the Cincinnati Enquirer.)

By Jeff Riley

The first shooting occurred in a "gun free zone" at the Westroads Mall in Omaha, Neb. Nebraska allows residents who have passed the state's criteria to carry a concealed handgun for self-defense except in prohibited areas. Nebraska law allows private businesses to prohibit concealed-carry at their business. The Westroads Mall had posted a sign prohibiting legal concealed-carry for self-defense.

The stated purpose is to "create a safe working and shopping environment for employees and customers." Sadly, it provides the illusion of safety while virtually guaranteeing the opposite. Once they've disarmed you, these stores refuse to provide for your protection. No metal detectors, no searches to enforce their "no firearms" policy; most don't even have armed security personnel. Are we to believe that a murderer is going to stop when they see a "no guns allowed" sign?

Click 'Read More' for the entire op-ed.

Only the criminal's safety is guaranteed. Once all the law-abiding have been disarmed, and until the police arrive, they are free to commit murder/mayhem unopposed.

The second shooting occurred days later at the New Life Church in Colorado Springs. A gunman killed two people before being shot dead by a parishioner acting as a security guard using her personal weapon. The toll could have been much higher had she not been present.

People don't stop killers. People with guns do. When seconds count, help may be minutes away. Businesses should allow lawful concealed carry for self-defense.

I would dare say nobody (except the gunman) in the Omaha mall was thinking, "Thank God that murderer is the only one here with a gun." I think I can say that in the church shooting, many thought, "Thank God someone else besides the gunman had a gun."

Jeff Riley lives in the Eastgate area with his wife and two dogs. When not working on computers at a downtown business, he enjoys outdoor sports such as fishing and hiking.

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