Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Columns

February 14, 2014

MARK HEINIG: Hoosiers in need of answers concerning public safety

Pence could use plan to replace revenue from tax cut.

Violent crimes seem to be happening everywhere! Reports of murders, armed robberies, home invasions and other potentially deadly offenses fill the pages of our newspapers and consume hours of broadcast time. Although these reports provide evidence of a sharp increase in violence, they don’t offer absolute proof.

There are precious few absolutes when we consider human problems. However, the only Americans who don’t absolutely condemn violent crime are the criminals themselves. We never hear from them, unless they get arrested. Many violent crimes are drug-related or acts of passion. The only remedies for those offenses may be stricter law enforcement, harsher sentences and psychological or spiritual counseling.

Senior citizens are easy prey for criminals both on the streets and at home. They are more vulnerable than younger people. As the years pass, they slowly lose the physical ability to resist or flee from violence. That makes them ideal targets for criminals who often rely on violence or the threat of violence to successfully commit their crimes.

Some folks hope to protect themselves with a gun. I don’t recommend that. My father was a cop. I grew up around guns, and he taught me how to use them. But knowing how to shoot does not mean you know when to shoot! Only seasoned law enforcement officers and combat veterans who have used guns under stress know when to use them and when not to!

If you shoot at the wrong time and hit the wrong person, you may make yourself a criminal. With or without a gun, resisting violent criminals is a huge risk. It should be your last resort. If you think your adversary may endanger you or someone else, the safest response is usually to give the crook what he wants! Of course, there are exceptions. I know one young couple who forcibly subdued an intruder in their own home, where their children were sleeping, and detained him until the police came. That’s different!

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