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Thursday, November 09, 2017


Some mass shootings are unpredictable.  Others are very predictable.  We don’t know much yet of the story of the Las Vegas killer – perhaps because a lot is being deliberately hidden from the public.  Otherwise we would definitely have learned more by now.  The story of the shooting in a Texas church, however, is a different matter. 

The perpetrator – in this case no other candidates for it – was a man with a deeply troubled past whose violent predilections were manifest many times before the incident that ended his life and the lives of 26 others, leaving 20 injured in the worst mass shooting in the history of Texas.  Indeed, only an idiot would have thought this man would live a peaceful life and not kill. 

While in the military this man assaulted his wife and broke the skull of his infant step-son.  He mercilessly punched a dog.  He escaped from a mental institution.  He was discharged in dishonor from the military.  His attack of the dog raised a flag when he applied for a gun license but he just let it go and got his guns without benefit of license.  When the military court-martialed him, they should have made sure he was identified as a risk in the FBI data base and other data bases for crime prevention.

He texted threats to his mother-in-law and then made his move.   He went into the church which he had professed an interest in joining and opened fire, killing the 26 people, including small children – one as young as one year old – execution style.  He fired for several minutes, killing and wounding, and when he decided he had done them all he left.  He’d still be on the run had not a neighbor heard the shooting and followed him.  The perpetrator died of a self-inflicted gunshot after having been hit by the pursuer. 

Why rehash this?  We’ve all heard it until we are sick from it.  Here’s why.  A few years ago North Dakota was considering making it legal to carry guns in schools and churches.  I hate to say the same thing over and over and over and over and over, but here it is:  guns can save lives – lots and lots of lives.  No school should be without unspecified, random teachers and administrators carrying concealed weapons and well-trained to use them.  Teachers should be able to earn extra pay if they have a certificate of training in use of guns and are willing to arm themselves to protect the children in their charge from such acts of violence.  Shoppers should be encouraged to carry guns when they visit a mall.  Movie goers ought to be likewise encouraged.  Surely no church should attempt to hold services in our era without numerous parishioners armed and ready to save lives. 

Had there been half a dozen people in that little church armed with guns, or even ONE worshipper had been prepared, there might have been one person shot, or possibly two.  A gunman would not have been allowed to systematically mow down everyone inside the church for seven minutes until he decided he had them all.  A good shot with a loaded gun would have dropped the creep within a few seconds of the first shot.  Now, please, someone tell me what is so wrong with that?

Indeed, there was a shooter in a Portland mall a few years ago and his rampage was stopped after a single shot by a shopper who had not noted the sign forbidding concealed weapons. 

Why concealed?  For one thing, carrying an exposed weapon could make you the first victim, which is why a guard at a school or mall is less effective.  A shooter would just first take out the people who he knows could stop him.  Anyone who has seen a handful of action movies knows this rule of conduct for villains.

I again suggest that North Dakota be a leader in crowd safety.  Encourage – don’t forbid – law-abiding citizens to carry concealed weapons.  This killer had been to the church before, casing it, looking over his prospective victims.  He did not want to try this where he might be stopped before he “finished his work”.  He wanted a “gun-free” zone, a zone where the peaceful, law-abiding people who didn’t carry guns would be a piece of cake for him.  He got it.  We should resolve that no one will ever be able to depend upon an unarmed sea of victims ready for slaughter ever again. 

Islamic terrorists look for the same kinds of situations – they want maximum carnage before they are stopped.  Whether they choose the van hurtling through a crowd or a gun, they don’t want to die before they get their quota of victims and earn their 72 virgins.  Why do we play by their rules? 

One opponent of armed teachers was Kirsten Baesler.  We need to stop listening to her and others who have more faith in “gun laws” than in the people hired by the school district.  It is a risk, but a measured one, and should be measured against the terrible circumstance of a terrorist/mass murder, whether impelled to his crime by religion or prescription drugs or something else.  There was no need for all those deaths in Texas.  Those people had a right to live without fear and go to church.  Guns in the hands of some of these churchgoers would have made that possible for most, if not all, of them. 

A “gun-free” zone is only gun-free to the law-abiding, not to the killer looking for easy victims and headlines or Allah’s favor.  A “gun-free” zone is a killing field and nothing else.  We have seen it over and over.  If you see a “no-guns” sign posted on a building, do not enter (except for legal requirement).  Do not shop in a mall with a no-gun policy, especially if you see it posted.  The killer will too.  Don’t send your child into a killing field.  Don’t go to worship without being armed or being sure that someone there whom you can trust will be.  Even if they aren’t armed, if a killer isn’t SURE he will find a place down the road that he IS sure about.  He can depend on his victims obeying stupid laws.  He sure as hell won’t.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who has a vested interest in law and order, has called upon the citizens of his state to be armed and prepared:  "All I can say is in Texas at least we have the opportunity to have conceal carry," he explained. "And so ... there's always the opportunity that gunman will be taken out before he has the opportunity to kill very many people."

He predicts this will happen again.  Laws against guns only keep guns out of the hands of the law-abiding.  There were laws in place to prevent Devin Kelley from acquiring a gun.  He just didn’t obey them.


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