Making the comparison between the following two recent stories might be a very obvious thing to do, but sometimes the obvious just cries out to be highlighted anyway.
The first story is so horrible that it is extremely difficult even to contemplate. It’s the kind of story that makes you shake your head and then, understandably, want to just turn it away. A court in Oklahoma will nevertheless have to focus on all of the details at some point. On March 13th last, a perpetrator invaded the Tulsa home of 90-year-old Bob Strait and his 85-year-old wife Nancy. Nancy was beaten and sexually assaulted. She died two days later. Bob, a veteran of World War II who fought on D-Day and earned a Bronze Star, was also injured in the attack and he passed away just about one week ago. The house was robbed and the next day a 20-year-old man was picked up by police driving around in Bob Strait’s car. He is currently being held on charges of first degree murder, first degree burglary, armed robbery and assault with a dangerous weapon. Bob and Nancy Strait had been married for 65 years.
The second story is one just reported yesterday, from Elizabeth Township, Pennsylvania. Fred Ricciutti, 84-years-old and a veteran of the Korean War, was asleep in his home with his wife. They were sleeping downstairs because his wife was ill. At 4:30 a.m., Fred heard a noise from a window. He retrieved his pistol from a drawer—reportedly a Luger that he had carried in the Korean War. Confronting the man who was now inside the house, he fired. The bullet grazed the 25-year-old intruder, who fled. He was arrested a few blocks away and found to be carrying a stun-gun and a screwdriver. He’s being held on charges including burglary and criminal trespass.
Although that would seem to be a very satisfactory conclusion, this story doesn’t end there. The suspect who was arrested lives with his family across the street from Mr. Ricciutti and his wife. The family reportedly came over and tearfully apologized for the actions of the young man who had been arrested. Fred Ricciutti says he “forgave them,” and that “they are good people.”
And Mr. Ricciutti himself sounds like a very good person indeed. And, as obvious as it may be after these two stories, the lesson needs to be stated over and over again in America: It is always better when the good people have the guns.