Journal Express, Knoxville, IA

August 22, 2013

In the House of Wood

That's why it's there

Steve Woodhouse

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. 

These people break laws. That’s why they are criminals. They do not care. 

Gun laws should be intended to make it easier for the law-abiding to have as many guns and as much ammunition as they want. It’s called freedom with responsibility and it seems like that’s what was intended by the Constitutional amendment. You can keep and bear arms, but at the same time, it’s also your responsibility to defend yourself and others if necessary. 

Not to knock law enforcement or the military, but there will be those times when they cannot be present to protect you. Could the Maudleys have called the cops after Long disabled their phones? Even if they had been able to call, it will still take time for cops to arrive. Once on scene, what would have stopped Long from taking the Maudleys out before he was taken down?

I continue to be astonished by the Liberals’ flawed ideology that more laws and restrictions on gun access will somehow prevent tragedies. It is my opinion that “control” in “gun control” is part of their overall philosophy that they, or government should micromanage every aspect of Americans’ lives. 

The fact remains that you cannot control everything. The freedoms that America was founded on give everyone the best shot to not only reach their potential, but to survive in this unpredictable world. 

Earlier this week, I’m sure you heard about a young, Australian baseball player being shot in the back of the head by some “bored” teenagers. Do you think that if they didn’t have a gun, they would not have found some other weapon or means to kill the ballplayer? 

Evil exists in the world. The Founding Fathers recognized this, and it was further demonstrated by AFSCME President Danny Homan, who, within 90 minutes of a press conference to explain what had happened in Bedford, chose to use this incident to attack the Branstad Administration and further his union’s political agenda. Some will say that is what I am doing here. You can think that, but to me, I’m defending our Constitution and our homes. That is what Jerome did and what the founders of this country wanted us to have the freedom to do. 

Take care of yourself and thank you for reading.