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Gun violence

Armed citizens offer best hope

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The massacre of children in Newtown, Conn., reveals severe failures within our society. Gun-free zones provide no protection of children and adults vulnerable to terrorism. An individual intent on revenge or malice, if unrestrained and unopposed, can wage a massive wave of death while awaiting police. Victims, if defenseless like young rabbits, can only run, hide, feign dead, or seek other cover from a ruthless hunter/killer. But at the appearance of the first responder, a uniformed police officer or other armed protector, then the role of the killer as a hunter is immediately reversed. A ruthless murderer starts as a hunter but then becomes the protectors' prey. The first shot at a murderer will likely just precede the very last shot from a murderer toward his victims. In the case of Rep. Giffords, had she been with or among friends who "were packing" and even half way alert to the uncasing of a significant weapon, the assailant may well have been shot by a hawkish observer friend before her assailant raised the weapon to his shoulder. The size of gun magazine, the gun purchaser's I.D., the registration as to whom or what's owned, can't protect potential victims. But a protector with a concealed weapon becomes the best security with the first retaliatory shot. Any school employee with weapons training may well -- with even a first shot -- transform a killer from "hunter" to "hunted." Pay teachers and workers $30 per month extra to "pack." Dick Balser Everett

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