BELLEVUE, WA – Thursday’s highly-publicized slaying of a wanted murder suspect in Vicksburg, Mississippi by people he was holding hostage underscores the necessity of having a firearm for self-defense and family protection, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms said today.

Rafael Arnez McCloud had tied up a husband and wife after forcing his way into their home at knifepoint, according to published reports. The couple has a 5-year-old son, who was not harmed. At one point during the ordeal, the husband broke free, was stabbed in the upper back and tied up again. But the couple was able to access a handgun in the home, and McCloud was fatally shot.

“McCloud was the subject of an intensive week-long manhunt since his escape from custody,” noted CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb. “He had been in jail since January and was facing charges of kidnapping, rape and murder in the death of a woman named Sharen Wilson. The entire community knew police were after this guy, and why.

“What happened Thursday was proof that armed self-defense works,” he continued. “This time, McCloud made a fatal error in the victim-selection process, and now there is one less violent criminal on the streets.

“Compare this case to the horrific story of Carol Bowne in New Jersey last year,” he recalled. “She was stabbed to death in her own driveway by a man against whom she had a protection order. When she was killed, Bowne had been waiting for weeks to get a permit from the Berlin Township police chief in order to buy a gun.

“The Vicksburg case illustrates the importance of having the will, and the tool, to fight back,” noted Gottlieb, who co-authored a book titled America Fights Back, Armed Self-Defense in a Violent Age. “The importance of the right to keep and bear arms is never more decisively demonstrated than in a self-defense case like this. They used a handgun to defend themselves and their child from a dangerous predator.

“This story puts the lie to arguments by anti-gunners that guns should not be kept in homes with young children,” he stated. “The presence of a handgun in that Vicksburg home kept this family alive. A tragedy was averted because a family had a gun and used it.”