Opinion: Patrol Rifle Purchase Best Option to Protect Lynchburg

Officer injury leads to city council approving rifle purchases. 

The Lynchburg City Council recently voted to purchase 43 semi-automatic rifles in order to “fully outfit the department’s patrol division,” according to the News & Advance. The vote came just weeks after a Lynchburg police officer was shot in the line of duty.

While the officer has been released from the hospital, the incident caused Lynchburg Chief of Police Ryan Zuidema to call for action.

“The events of a couple weeks ago are still very fresh in all of our minds and that, obviously, is part of why we’ve come forward to you with this request,” Zuidema told The News & Advance.

When it comes to private citizens owning guns, I typically lean toward less is more. Less guns in the hands of citizens should translate to less gun violence. But when it comes to law enforcement, I believe they should have everything needed to do their job and get home safe.

If the chief of police believes more rifles in the hands of more police officers would have kept the Lynchburg officer from being shot, then I think the move makes sense.

With regard to guns, this may be one of the only conservative positions I have taken. If we ask police officers to risk their lives every single day, then they should have the ability to keep themselves safe – and in the process of keeping themselves safe, they are also keeping us safe.

Every time a patrol officer walks out the door with their uniform on, they know they may never come home again. They are willingly risking their lives in order to keep their community safe, and they deserve to have the equipment needed to do so.

I am not a gun person. As a young teenager, I was taken hunting a few times with my brother-in-law, and for the most part, I enjoyed it. But with all the gun violence in our country today, the thought of owning a gun myself makes me uncomfortable.

But the thought of law enforcement not having what they need to keep us all safe makes me even more uncomfortable. There should absolutely be a line, and officers should absolutely be held accountable for their actions, but it is foolish to send them out into the mess of our world without proper protection and equipment.

We should not allow the actions of bad cops to handicap the good ones. Let us work to remove those who should be removed, and keep those safe who are doing the same for each of us every single day.  

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One thought on “Opinion: Patrol Rifle Purchase Best Option to Protect Lynchburg

  1. What type of rifles? Assault rifles? Fewer guns in the hands of citizens equals less crime? Conversely then, more guns in the hands of criminals equals what? Police are the knife’s edge of state power,

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