To the contrary

Gun-free zones are killing fields

Special to The HeraldFebruary 14, 2014 

Gov. Nikki Haley

RENEE ITTNER-MCMANUS

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It’s a great day in South Carolina!

I am proud of Gov. Nikki Haley and the legislators who reaffirmed my God-given right to protect myself and family from those who choose not to follow the law. Laws are created to punish those whose lack of moral values prevent them from doing the right thing, such as using a firearm to take a life instead of save a life. Laws do not prevent anyone from doing the wrong thing, and that has been proven time and time again.

South Carolina’s law-abiding citizens should be pleased that our state recognizes the difference between a criminal with a gun and a citizen with a gun. It is refreshing in these times of government overreach and emotional feel-good answers to problems much larger than kids with guns to see legislation that supports the rights of those individuals who make the effort to go through mental health and criminal background checks as well as training to secure the right to carry a firearm.

Gun-free zones are killing fields for cowards with guns. Now they have one less zone to use.

I urge you to google Rep. Suzanna Gratia Hupp from Texas, who lost both her parents to a shooting in Luby’s Cafeteria approximately 15 years ago. At the time, concealed weapons permit holders could not bring their firearm into a restaurant in Texas, so she watched helplessly while both her parents were shot in the head while her firearm was in the glove compartment of her vehicle.

This was the incident that sparked the debate about where firearms should be allowed. Shootings happen in restaurants as well as schools, churches and anywhere else citizens are unarmed. The many times that massacres are stopped by citizens with a gun is not reported but can easily be found on the Internet.

Law-abiding citizens help law enforcement, not hinder them, which is why concealed weapons permits are encouraged by a majority of rank-and-file law enforcement who deal with criminals on a daily basis and know they can’t be everywhere a crime is committed.

Although I respect the property rights of businesses to refuse to have law-abiding citizens carry their firearms into their restaurant, I personally choose to support those restaurants that support my Second Amendment rights. A business owner doesn’t have the right to restrict my free speech or religious freedom while in their establishment, so there is no valid reason to restrict my right to keep and bear arms unless they disagree with that right. At a time when our government is threatening the rights of businesses to abide by their own beliefs on a daily basis, I find it disturbing that they feel the need to encourage business owners to exercise their right with this issue.

History proves that law-abiding citizens with firearms save lives time and time again. The only thing that prevents mass shootings is someone stopping the shooter quickly.

Although mass shootings are a nightmare, they are in the minority and are not being done by concealed weapons permit holders. They are being masterminded by people with mental health issues who have no regard for human life and are ignored by their family and community. That is the big picture and deserves much more consideration that hassling law-abiding citizens.

Thank you, Gov. Haley. I applaud you for being a woman and a mother first; protecting your children and those of your constituents from harm instead of hiding behind feel-good legislation that will put them in more peril. You truly are a role model for strong and empowered women everywhere.

Peggy Bodner is a resident of Rock Hill.

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