TWINSBURG, OHIO — Gathered in a somber unveiling ceremony next to Twinsburg’s City Hall, fellow police officers and residents gathered to pay their final respects to Officer Joshua Miktarian, killed in the line of duty. At the ceremony, his wife and child stood as a solemn reminder that within every community, bad people exist.
WKYC in Ohio recalls the tragic lead-up to this event.
On the night of July 13, 2008, Officer Miktarian pulled over a vehicle because of loud music and suspected drunk driving. He called for backup and proceeded to follow the driver into a driveway. During this routine traffic stop, events unfolded and Ashford L. Thompson, 23, pulled his concealed carry handgun and shot Miktarian four times in the head. Thompson had a concealed carry permit.
The murderer fled the scene of the crime and went to his sister’s house where he was later apprehended. A jury found Thompson guilty of all crimes but most especially of killing Miktarian. Summit County Judge Elinor Marsh Stormer sentenced the man to death on June 23, 2010. He is presently waiting on death row.
No Politics, No Argument Good Enough
This doesn’t fall into “irresponsible gun owner” or an issue of politics. Thompson was an extremely bad apple. Does it mean the concealed carry process in Ohio is broken? No. It means a bad person got access to a firearm.
The worst part? There’s no feasible way to stop it. It doesn’t get better with stricter gun control. This isn’t an issue of magazine capacity or registering serial numbers. We, as rational, decent people are left wondering what it is we could have done differently to stop it. And there’s no good answer.
No matter what constraints are placed upon a system, there will be a bad guy that makes it through. We’ve seen it in states where gun control is tight – New Jersey – and we’ve seen it where it’s permitless – Vermont.
Locking up all the guns won’t make it any better. And, sadly, training can’t fix it.
What we need is community.
There is a responsibility to carrying a concealed firearm. It’s the preservation of life whenever possible and the taking of it only when necessary for self-defense.
We have the luxury of living in a country where men and women get up in the morning and volunteer to protect us from all enemies foreign and domestic. Officer Joshua Miktarian gave his life in the service of that. And we, as concealed carriers, ought acknowledge that sacrifice.
If you happen through Twinsburg, Ohio, please do stop by the City Hall and pay your respects at the memorial to an honorable man, a loving husband and father.