- - Monday, July 20, 2015

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Having been both a Marine and a law-enforcement officer, I felt cut to the bone last week upon learning that my brother Marines were killed and a law-enforcement officer was wounded by a terrorist in Chattanooga, Tennessee (“Thomas Sullivan, Marine killed in Chattanooga shootings, was Purple Heart recipient,” Web, July 17). It is time for President Obama and Congress to officially declare war against terrorists and allow an army of unseen personnel to carry weapons under the Second Amendment.

Fox News pundit Bill O’Reilly posed a question after this murderous assault as to what we can do to fight lone-wolf terrorists, so I came up with an idea. Give all former military and law-enforcement people in good standing a right to carry weapons if they chose — without having to get a concealed-carry permit. This action would create a question in the minds of anyone attempting to commit murder in our country because he or she wouldn’t know who was armed.

After the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, President Bush put into law that former law-enforcement officers would be allowed to carry concealed weapons, but the states turned around and required permits, which put an undue expense on anyone who wanted to carry. I believe under the Second Amendment we — that is, those of us who are qualified — have the right to carry in a time of declared war.

As a second-generation law-enforcement officer, I know that I don’t want to play cop, and neither do most retired people. But I also don’t want to be a victim, which is what I could be if I ended up without a weapon in a shooting situation such as the one last week. My condolences to all the victims and their families.

GREGORY J. TOPLIFF

Warrenville, S.C.

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