Self-defense is individual's responsibility, God-given right

Nov. 10, 2017 at 3:36 p.m.

Editor, the Advocate:

In the Nov. 8 letter in the Victoria Advocate, "Mental health, access to weapons is a real issue," the writer lays at least part of the blame for the Nov. 5 shooting in Sutherland Springs on the five million members of the National Rifle Association - of which I am a proud life member. It is natural to want to blame someone, but that is an unfair indictment of your friends and neighbors, as NRA members are not doing these shootings.

The NRA stands in defense of all our freedoms, not just the right to keep and bear arms. The NRA faces the reality that law enforcement cannot be everywhere all the time to protect us. So, the NRA advocates that our self-defense is our individual responsibility, and our God-given right as affirmed in the Constitution. As long as there are bad people out there who wish to do us harm - whether with a gun, knife, car, truck, bomb or any other device - the best way we can do that is to be armed ourselves.

What this shooting did illustrate is how our laws and our system failed the victims of this man's hatred and evil. Were we not so afraid of law-abiding citizens carrying guns to protect themselves and others, this might not have been as horrific as it was.

Reports say the ordeal lasted over seven minutes - which must have seemed like an eternity to those trapped by their own inability to do anything to stop the shooter. If only a few of the people in that church had been carrying their own self-defense weapon, it is quite likely one or more of them could have taken this maniac down in the first minute or two before he killed and wounded as many as he did, maybe even before he got inside the church.

This horrific event illustrates that our government cannot protect us from harm. Sick, evil people are out there, and no one knows where they will strike next, or when, or how. It is our individual responsibility to protect ourselves, and the best chance you have of protecting yourself and your loved ones if you are ever in such a situation is to be armed and trained.

You should be thankful the NRA is relentless in fighting to protect your right to do so.

Terry Koehler, Port O'Connor



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