(8/2016) Recently on a quiet street in Waynesboro, a masked robber stormed into a local pharmacy, waiving a gun and threatening employees while demanding all of the money from the cash register. According to witnesses, the man became increasingly violent and belligerent about the relatively small amount of money he had just stolen, and he then demanded the employees hand
over drugs from the pharmacy while he continued to escalate his threats.
It goes without saying that this dangerous situation easily could have resulted in a terrible tragedy that would have scarred the community for years to come. Thankfully, one employee – who was legally carrying a firearm at the time – was able to catch the would-be robber off guard, firing four shots and preventing the assailant from hurting anyone.
This incredible act of bravery and heroism will not dominate the 24-hour news cycle. In fact, many folks outside of the Waynesboro area may never hear about it at all. But the lives of the other individuals in that store were likely saved by one quick-thinking, responsible gun owner who was in a position to make a difference.
As the nation mourns for the victims of the tragic shooting in Orlando, a flurry of new gun control measures have been proposed in Congress and in the Pennsylvania General Assembly. In most cases the advocates who support these bills come from a place of caring and compassion. Indeed, we all have a shared interest in making sure our nation is never forced to endure such a
horrific act of violence ever again.
However, many of the measures proposed by gun control advocates – such as those that would allow the government to deny the Second Amendment rights of any individual they deem to be a threat, without any recourse of even the slightest hint of due process – would have the effect of penalizing or disarming honest, law-abiding citizens instead of punishing criminals. We
cannot make our communities safer by placing excessive limitations on gun ownership that will only make it harder for responsible citizens to effectively protect themselves. These and other gun bans were voted down, and for good reason.
In the wake of the failure of these bills, many advocates and celebrities have embarked on a disturbing and repulsive crusade to paint Second Amendment supporters in a negative light instead of sticking to discussing the issues. It is unfortunate that they don’t realize that their knee-jerk reactions pose a much greater threat to the personal safety of Pennsylvanians than
any legally obtained and responsibly owned firearm.
This week’s incredible act of bravery in Waynesboro tells a much different story than the garbage heap of rhetoric being peddled by those who would ignore the Constitution in order to support their own political agenda.
Through my concealed carry seminars and other community events, I’ve been blessed to personally meet with hundreds of gun owners who clearly pose no danger to the world around them. They only wish to have the means to protect themselves, their families and their property against potential threats, both at home and in their communities. In many cases – particularly in rural
areas in which police response times can be an issue – that form of protection needs to be more significant than a six-shot revolver (or, in Hillary Clinton’s America, a can of mace and a crowbar).
That’s why I introduced legislation this week that would ensure the laws governing the ownership, transportation and use of firearms in Pennsylvania are consistent in communities across the state. My bill would prevent municipalities from creating their own hodgepodge of restrictive gun ordinances that can essentially make criminals out of even the most well-meaning and
responsible gun owners.
I recognize that addressing the problems associated with these restrictive and illegal municipal ordinances will not solve the issue of gun violence. We must continue to explore ways to help those who suffer from mental illness, improve public safety in areas that could be exploited by criminals, and ensure perpetrators who use guns are put behind bars for a long, long
However, we absolutely do not need more laws that only serve to ensure criminals are better armed than the citizens they seek to victimize.
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