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LETTER TO THE EDITOR: In Ohio, lawmakers must stand ground

- - Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Elected officials and anti-gun groups in Ohio are in an uproar regarding the implementation of a "stand your ground" law. These individuals fear more people will be gunned down if this law is passed. So let's set the record straight.

I attended the Gun Rights Policy Conference at Orlando, Fla., in 2012. Mark O'Mara, the attorney for George Zimmerman, held a news conference. By law he could not discuss the facts of the case, but he stated it was about the justifiable use of deadly force and not "stand your ground." You are allowed to use force to react to force. As usual, though, some in the media and anti-gun organizations continue to ignore this stated fact and make the situation about race.

Gun rights organizations and their members have been accused of being racist. This is a blatant lie. Former National Rifle Association President Charlton Heston marched with the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. during the civil rights movement and met with King per the latter's request to address the mistreatment of blacks in the movie industry. Pro-rights organizations fight for the right of the people to keep and bear arms. It is not race-based.

Charles Evers, the former mayor of Fayette, Miss., and the brother of slain civil rights pioneer Medgar Evers, believed in and traveled with his .45 pistol. At one point, King visited his house and discovered Evers had a pistol in every room. King had no objections; in fact, King applied for a concealed firearms permit in Alabama — but was denied.

Evers should not have had a duty to retreat when being attacked. Remember, his brother was killed in cold blood. Isn't it strange in 2013 we have anti-gun individuals with the same mentality — wanting to deny the constitutional rights of "we, the people" to keep and bear arms?

Ohio needs a "stand your ground" law. Such a measure will allow people to use force to defend themselves without having a duty to retreat first. Unfortunately, some black elected officials have launched a campaign to defeat this bill. They have forgotten their constituents, some of whom live in fear from murderous thugs who terrorize residents without regard to life and liberty.

Today, the enemy is within our community. I urge pro-gun rights legislators to stand their ground and pass this important piece of legislation for "we, the people."

FRANK M. REED

Cleveland