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Commentary

Gunman Kills Old Woman, Starts to Look for More Victims Until an Arkansas Man with a Hunting Rifle Takes Aim

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The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.

We’ve all heard it before, right? Many anecdotes over the years have proved that quote is nothing shy of the truth.

The takedown of a shooter at a Fort Smith, Arkansas, apartment complex Saturday is another example.

According to Fort Smith’s KFSM-TV, police officers responded to a report of gunshots at 7:23 a.m.

When they arrived at the scene, they discovered two bodies, one inside an apartment and another outside.

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Officers later identified the bodies as 87-year-old Lois Hicks and 26-year-old Zachary Arnold.

According to KFSM, Arnold shot Hicks multiple times with a semiautomatic rifle inside her apartment and “continued to shoot his rifle at neighboring apartments.”

Neighbors who witnessed the incident said he tried coaxing people out of their homes.

“He was yelling and screaming, ‘You guys get out here, come out here, everyone get out of this building right now,'” Janet Peugh, a resident of the complex, told the outlet.

Do you believe self-defense is better than waiting for police to arrive?

Amber Lane, another resident, said the suspect and the victim lived in the same building. “There were two older women, both had come out,” Lane said. “One of them had ran back in, and the other one ran back in, but she didn’t close her door, then he walked in and did what he did.”

Luckily, this punk’s rampage was cut short after one of his would-be victims sighted him in and pulled the trigger.

According to KFSM, a male resident “heard the gunshots and got a hunting rifle which he used to shoot and kill Arnold.”

“If he didn’t do that, who knows how much worse it could have gotten,” Lane said of the Good Samaritan.

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No doubt, the multiple would-be victims have the unnamed hero to thank for their safety.

This tragedy leaves much to be digested.

We can think in hypothetical terms, wondering what would’ve happened if the man hadn’t stepped in to save the day, or we can admire the courage it took for a good guy with a gun to take down a bad guy with a gun.

We can also wonder how this instance would have turned out if the would-be victims had been forced to wait for law enforcement to arrive on the scene.

Of course, officers are armed and trained to apprehend suspects, but when seconds count, they can often be minutes away.

Which would you prefer: the freedom to take your defense into your own hands, or having to wait for a potential savior to come along?

This instance proves the best option is the former.

Correction: An earlier version of this story included incorrect call letters for KFSM-TV.

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Taylor Penley is a government relations intern and student studying English, rhetoric and global studies. She plans to graduate in May 2021 and begin a master of arts program in political science this fall.
Taylor Penley is a government relations intern and student studying English, rhetoric and global studies. She plans to graduate in May 2021 and begin a master of arts program in political science this fall.




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