I Went to That Bar in Dayton with Friends & I Still Believe in the 2nd Amendment


Sunday’s mass shooting in Dayton, Ohio, literally hit home because I lived around that neighborhood for a quarter-century.

I used to patronize the fateful bar, Ned Peppers, and a friend of mine was on its patio at 1 a.m. when the incident took place. She is safe and sound, unlike the nine who were killed and dozens wounded.

Dayton police officers killed the lone gunman — wearing a mask and body armor while armed to the teeth — within a minute of responding, Fox News reported.

Monday morning, President Donald Trump addressed both the Dayton shooting and the one in El Paso, Texas, on Saturday.

In part, Trump called for the need to monitor social media circles, pushed a reform to health laws and mentioned “gruesome” video games, the latter of which may or may not be partially to blame.

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Many leftists and Democrats conveniently want to turn such tragedies into issues about race and politics. Those folks don’t know the meaning of shame.

Those who are anti-Trump and don’t believe in our Second Amendment quickly expressed their knee-jerk opinions on social media and feigned outrage in public.

Former U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke, the left’s version of Caspar Milquetoast, pointed the finger at our president. Perhaps the only thing worse than O’Rourke’s strike-while-the-iron’s-hot mentality — while people in Dayton and El Paso were mourning — is that he cursed in the process, as CBS News reported.

It comes to nobody’s surprise that O’Rourke is among the 20-plus Democratic political hopefuls; since the former Texas congressman has struggled in polls surveying registered voters, he will continue blaming the current Republican president.

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As someone with personal ties to Dayton, I find the selfish political accusations from O’Rourke and his supporters to be as misguided as they are insulting.

Despite the brutal, deadly events that transpired over the weekend, I will firmly defend our Constitution. If anything, the devastating Dayton shooting — which impacted the aforementioned friend who was in attendance and former neighbors — has strengthened my resolve to back the Second Amendment.

The 24-year-old killer’s actions in the early-morning hours of Sunday weren’t racially motivated, according to the liberal anti-Trump news outlet CNN.

No later than Sunday afternoon, I heard one of that network’s hosts, Jake Tapper, point out that a half-dozen of the Dayton victims were black. But additional targets were the gunman’s own sister and a male friend.

Let that sink in: How could the killings be racially motivated when the perpetrator also shot a sibling and other whites?

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Do I wish one lone gunman hadn’t wreaked havoc on my old stomping ground? Of course, but that doesn’t mean America should ban guns. Just ask France and England, where knives have become a popular weapon of choice and terrorists run over pedestrians with vehicles.

Evil people find a variety of ways to kill.

Besides, the U.S. has sufficient gun laws — especially in Chicago, where people get shot to death with alarming regularity.

Instead of blaming all gun owners, racists and Trump, it’s time to be more reasonable and practical. As the president asserted Monday, it’s high time for legislators to return from vacation and agree on bipartisan reform in regard to mental health.

Perhaps instead of touring Africa on American taxpayers’ dimes, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Rep. Ilhan Omar should be doing their jobs.

Why not pay more attention to law-enforcement authorities and join forces to help police officers, instead of dousing them with water and throwing items at them?

When I initially heard about the tragedy in my beloved Dayton, I wasn’t thinking about confiscating guns from law-obeying gun owners. No, my main thoughts focused on the victims, their loved ones and the police officers involved.

I’m beyond grateful for those first responders and those officers in the line of fire who took swift, decisive action — as Ohio Rep. Mike Turner expressed via Twitter.

Let’s knock off the grandstanding and useless political and “racist” rhetoric. Our nation’s leaders must refrain from selfish, divisive discourse, cut short their summer vacations and get down to serious business.

It’s high time that politicians realize their self-centered bluster has done nothing to stop mass shootings.

We need everyone — whether face to face or on social media — to do better immediately. Stop the delays and childish infighting.

Our lives depend on it.

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James Luksic has been a writer and editor for a panoply of publications and websites for 30 years.
James Luksic has been a writer and editor for a panoply of publications, corporations and websites -- including Montecito Journal, Dayton Daily News and Lexis-Nexis -- for 30 years.