The latest mass shooting to grab the media’s attention, in the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, Texas, has sparked the national debate about firearms once again.
That “debate” which ebbs and flows with the news, is really a one-sided one, with proponents of gun control taking advantage of every one of these horrific events to try and further their political agenda. Those of us who support our Second Amendment rights merely stand our ground and let them wail and posture for the cameras.
It really doesn’t seem like those who are after gun control care much about the victims of these killings, other than as props for use in pushing their agenda.
I have yet to hear of one of them writing a letter of condolence (not a letter looking for support) to the families of victims. Nor have I heard of any of them taking action to support the survivors. Maybe some have, but I haven’t heard of it.
Actions of that type are likely to come out of those of us on the right anyway. The left is more than ready to give their time and money to social activism, but study after study has shown that it is the conservatives in this country who actually support non-profit organizations which help people.
So why the debate? Much of it is driven by fear.
Everyone I know, who is in favor of gun control, is afraid of guns. Maybe there are some out there who aren’t, but the vast majority of them have never held a gun in their lives, are totally convinced that guns are evil incarnate, and therefore are convinced that anyone who would touch or own a gun has to be evil as well.
A Conflict Based on Ignorance
Ignorance in the gun control crowd is rabid. We see this constantly, as politicians, reporters and other public figures make mistake after mistake in their tirades against the evil of guns.
They are able to get away with false narratives, like calling semi-automatic rifles “assault weapons” and talking about the “gun show loophole,” simply because their audience doesn’t know any more about guns than they do.
This is part of what the people at the top, those behind the gun control movement are counting on. As with many such political movements, much is dependent on convincing the population that a lie is the truth. Hitler, who took over Germany with lies, put it best: “If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.” The left has repeated their lies often enough, that people are quoting them right and left, without fact-checking what they are saying.
Some of these glaring facts revolve around the AR-15 sporting rifle, which has come to the forefront of the debate once again. An AR-15 is no more deadly than any other semi-automatic rifle, and much less deadly than some. Yet it is constantly villanized by those on the left. Why? Because it looks scary.
Granted, the two latest mass shootings to gain the media’s attention both featured AR-15 rifles. The Las Vegas shooter used AR-15s, equipped with bump stocks to kill 58 and wound almost ten times that many. Likewise, the Sutherland Springs killer used an AR-15. But what the mainstream media is intentionally overlooking, is that the man who stopped the Sutherland Springs also used an AR-15 rifle.
While these two examples tend to paint the AR-15 in a bad light, statistically the AR-15 is rarely used in crimes. For that matter, rifles are rarely used in crimes. Most crimes involving firearms are committed using pistols, simply because a rifle is too bulky to carry around and conceal.
Yet it is the AR-15 that the left is consistently trying to make illegal. Why is that? I would have to say that only a part of that is its “scary” appearance. The rest of the reason is that staging a revolution requires rifles; you really can’t do it with just pistols.
If we look at gun control as part of the left’s total agenda, then getting rifles, especially semi-automatic rifles that are styled after military ones, out of the hands of ordinary, law-abiding citizens, makes sense.
Why Do We Need Our Guns?
I would contend that we need those rifles even more today than ever before. Not only do we need them for the original intent of the Second Amendment, that of protecting our country from enemies, both foreign and domestic, but also to protect ourselves and those around us.
My reasoning for this is that the threat of terrorism, especially Islamic terrorism is higher today than it has ever been before. Even though most of those terrorist attacks happen in other countries, we have seen a higher number of them here in the US, since the rise of ISIS. Now, with ISIS losing territory in the Middle East, they’re putting more effort into their terrorist operations. So we can expect to see more fanatical Muslims committing atrocities here at home.
While these terrorists have a plethora of weapons to choose from, the most popular weapons in the terrorist community are bombs and the AK-47 rifle. This is largely due to the ready availability of the AK-47 rifle, worldwide.
Here in the US they aren’t as common, but the AR-15 is. So, chances are, terrorists working in the United States will use AR-15s, just as they did in San Bernardino, California.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t relish the idea of going up against a terrorist armed with any rifle, with only a pistol in my hand. I’d do it if I had to, but I sure wouldn’t be happy about it. The advantage that rifle would give them would make it much riskier for me, greatly increasing my chances of dying in the exchange.
While I’m willing to take that risk, I’d rather minimize it as much as possible. Being a martyr trying to protect society really isn’t the way I want to go.
As part of ISIS’ increase in international terrorism, they’ve announced that they are going to be targeting Christian churches. So there’s a very good chance that we will be seeing an increased number of churches being attacked in the future.
It’s obvious why Muslim terrorists would target Christian churches. After all, ISIS has been targeting Christians in the Middle East. Today, there isn’t one single native Christian in Mosul, after being under the control of ISIS forces for three years. They sought out and killed every Christian, as part of their “holy war.” As they have throughout history, Muslims kill those who don’t convert to their religion.
But the mass killings which have happened in American churches in recent years haven’t been motivated by ISIS or any other terrorist organization.
Some have been racially oriented hate crimes and others fall into the same category as mass shootings in schools, theaters and other places where people congregate. Churches are targeted, because they seem like a place where people aren’t likely to be armed, a de facto “gun free zone,” whether they are legally one or not.
This idea of churches being a gun free zone makes sense, as guns and the violence that they are used to cause seems, on the surface, to be the opposite of what the church stands for.
But those of us who know the Holy Scriptures know that the right of self-defense was given by God, not by the government. What is known as the Castle Doctrine comes straight out of the Bible, in Exodus 22:2, where God says that those who kill in self-defense are not guilty of murder.
Part of the confusion comes from the most common translation of the Sixth Commandment as “Thou shalt not kill.” But in reality, the word that is translated in our Bibles as “kill” is really “murder” or “homicide.” There’s a very clear distinction between killing in self-defense and committing homicide.
I doubt that there are many killers who actually read the Bible, let alone become biblical scholars. So the prevailing idea that churches are gun free zones will prevail.
Some Christians will enforce this idea, being amongst the crowd of those who are afraid of guns. But as Democrats love to say about us conservatives, we stick to our Bibles and our guns. So, few Christians are likely to go along with the idea of disarming the church, just to appear more holy.
The Lighthouse Mexico Church of God, in Oswego, New York, a strongly liberal state, put it the best. Their church sign read “Locked and Loaded. We are not a gun free zone” in the wake of the Sutherland Springs shooting. Like other churches across the country, they are taking proactive steps to ensure that their congregation isn’t the next victim of a mass shooting.
Video first seen on Fox News.
Less than six weeks before the Sutherland Springs shooting, an armed gunman entered the Burnette Chapel Church of Christ, in Antioch, Tennessee, killing one woman and leaving six others wounded. This was apparently a racially-charged hate crime, done in retaliation to a similar crime in 2015.
Other than motive, the big difference between these two crimes was how they were stopped. In both cases, the killer’s reign of terror was put to an end by a good guy with a gun; something the left doesn’t want to admit exists.
But in Tennessee, the killer was confronted by armed church members, while in Texas, the killer wasn’t confronted until he walked out of the church sanctuary. Apparently, there was nobody in the congregation who was armed, a surprising turn of events for Texas.
What Are We Going to Do About This?
Most churches are like shooting fish in a barrel. Killers have a high concentration of targets in a small area. Even if they don’t aim well, chances are that their shots will hit someone.
There is little chance of many escaping their attention too, as the number of egress points is limited, especially in smaller churches. If the killer stands in the door of a small church, which is normally in the back of the sanctuary, there may not be any effective way to escape.
Larger churches have the advantage of space, as well as more exists the congregation can use. There are also more places to hide in a large church, offering that option. But the big advantage that large churches have is that of finances. They can afford to hire armed security personnel, many of whom are off-duty police officers.
Smaller churches, many of who are barely making it financially, can’t afford this option. But there are few churches in the country, which do not have gun owners in attendance. The big question is how many of those gun owners have concealed carry licenses, allowing them the legal right to bring their guns to church with them.
I’ll guarantee you this… there were more guns in American Churches this past Sunday, than there have ever been before. Christians are people of faith; but they are also practical people.
They don’t just cling to their Bibles and their guns because of some love for them, but because they recognize their need for guns and Bibles in their lives. Many Christians wouldn’t think of going to church without their Bibles, and now many Christians won’t think of going to church without their guns as well.
This is a change for the better. It reduces the options for potential mass murderers by one. I hope that adherents of other faiths follow suit. As a society, we won’t be able to get rid of these mass murderers, until we eliminate the venues that they use. That means having armed, trained people on hand, who are able to put a stop to the carnage.
It also means that churches need to put a plan together; one which allows the armed members of their congregations the opportunity to defend themselves and everyone around them. They will be more effective, if they can work together.
They will also be more effective if the congregation knows how to react, so as to not get in their way. One of the hardest things about defending a church or other crowded location from shooters is people running in fear, right into the line of fire.
The advice that is normally given in an active shooter situation is fairly good. Those options are to flee, hide or fight. If a church has armed members who are able to defend the congregation, they have the fight part under control. It’s up to everyone else to do the run or hide part.
But they have to do it in such a way as to not get in the way of those who are fighting. In many cases, the best thing that unarmed people can do is to get down on the floor, making themselves a small target and getting out of the way of those who are trying to defend them.
This is where many churches are likely to fall short. In an effort to not scare the congregation, they aren’t going to teach their people how to react to a shooting situation. Sadly, this means that they will actually be making things more dangerous for their congregants.
In my mind, it’s better to scare them a little, and ensure that their safety. This is the safest way to survive!
This article has been written by Bill White for Survivopedia.com.