Knoxville — Tragedy struck in Bedford on Monday night, but this also serves as a prime example of why the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution specifies that Americans have the right to keep and bear arms.
Rodney Long was an escaped convict who had already shot a sheriff’s deputy twice before putting the people of southwest Iowa in fear for their lives. He was at large and could have gone anywhere.
According to the Des Moines Register, Long broke into the home of Jerome and Carolyn Maudley of Bedford in the middle of the night. The couple were held hostage for four hours by the armed felon before Jerome was able to reach his own shotgun. Jerome killed the intruder and saved their lives.
I know nothing about Jerome, only what I read about him. In my heart, though, I don’t believe a 71-year-old retired prison guard would WANT to kill anyone. Sometimes, the choice is not ours if our safety is at risk.
If a man is willing to shoot, in the hopes of killing, a law enforcement officer, I’m led to believe that he is not afraid to shoot a sleeping elderly couple. If Jerome did not have his gun, he and his wife would be dead. Further paranoia would have gripped the area.
I started out by saying what happened in Bedford was a tragedy. It is, because I’m sure Long has a family that cares about him and are hurting because of what happened. Hopefully, they recognize what happened was Long’s fault and not Jerome’s. The further tragedy is that Jerome is going to have Long’s death on his conscience and his sense of security is probably shattered.
This incident shows that no matter how many laws are passed to keep dangerous weapons out of the hands of criminals, it’s still going to happen.