End the Insanity (Gun Free Zones)

Edmund, Oklahoma. Stockton, California. Killeen, Texas. Iowa City, Iowa. Olivehurst, California. San Francisco, California. Garden City, New York. Jonesboro, Arkansas. Columbine, Colorado. Fort Worth, Texas. Honolulu, Hawaii. Santee, California. Tucson, Arizona. Meridian, Mississippi. Red Lake Indian Reservation, Minnesota. Nickel Mines, Pennsylvania. Blacksburg, Virginia. Omaha, Nebraska. Dekalb, Illinois. Binghamton, New York. Fort Hood, Texas. Huntsville, Alabama. Seal Beach, California. Oakland, California.  Aurora, Colorado.  Oak Creek, Wisconsin.  Newtown, Connecticut. Santa Monica, California. Washington, D.C. Fort Hood, Texas (again). Isla Vista, California. Charleston, South Carolina. Chattanooga, Tennessee.

I’m sure you’ve heard of these places… they are all cities that played host to a mass shooting, an active shooter, or a Jihadi attack.  Hundreds dead and wounded when you sum them up.

Causation is hard to predict for each of these as motives differ as wildly as criminal insanity to Islamic extremism with a smattering of perceived revenge motives mixed in too.  There is one correlation that MUST be drawn from the proliferation of mass shootings.

In each case above, the lawful carrying of firearms by law abiding citizens were banned in such locations either by federal or state law (universities, schools, churches, military installations), or by prohibition by business owners (the ubiquitous “No Guns” sign).

There is no denying the simple truth that the overwhelming majority of these shootings are perpetrated specifically in locations where immediate armed self-defense is not available to the true first responders – the victims.

Any property owner or lawmaker that fails to account for this nearly universal correlating factor is being criminally negligent by prohibiting a fundamental human right – that of self-defense.

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Do You Have a Family Password?

As a father of two boys under five years old, I struggle with how to provide them with the tools to keep themselves safe when they finally venture off to school and are outside of our home.  This is a great, easy tool to give them and something that my oldest and I have started to practice with (so far, with just a single code word that if I say he is to run as far as possible, while Daddy engages the bad guy or guys).

Do You Have a Family Password?

 

Panic

When people panic, they make poor choices.  When police officers panic – people can die.

As I watch the drama unfold in southern California yesterday and today with a former LAPD officer on a tear of vengeance against those he feels wronged him, I can understand how those officers that are targeted must feel.  They feel vulnerable.

How earth-shaking it must be to feel so vulnerable.  One of their own turned against them.  What makes it worse is that he seems to be, at least in some capacity, fully “with it” in terms of planning and execution.  Usually people that engage with other armed and similarly trained individuals do not have much sanity left as the playing field is mostly level and the police force has the advantage of numbers and citizen alerts to help them close the noose around a suspect.

However, all of those advantages that the police have against a lawbreaker go out on proverbial window when one of their own takes those advantages and operates inside of their OODA loop.

That is why those police officers feel so vulnerable.  They don’t know who is next on this guy’s list. They don’t know where or when he will strike, because they simply can’t figure out where this guy is.  The end result – panic.  They fear for their lives – it’s completely understandable, but the problem is… when the police panic, innocent people suffer – in this case, from overly aggressive offensive force completely violating one of the cardinal rules of gun handling – be sure of your target.

I don’t know how valid this guy’s complaints are against his department, but he was pushed past his breaking point, seems to at least have his operational faculties still under control, and has shown to be highly competent and disciplined.  While I don’t agree with his manner of exacting vengeance, this scenario is interesting nonetheless.  A single man, with detailed knowledge, some tactical prowess and discipline has the entire state of California’s police forces in a panic.

Safety and security are an illusion preached by those that want to control your life.

 

 

 

Paradigm Shift – Forget the Clutch

Those of us in the liberty movement, the patriot movement, the pro-gun camp, libertarians, Constitutionalists, conservatives, what have you… we need a paradigm shift if we are ever to fight back against the onward trudge of tyranny.  For too long we have allowed the political left to dominate the discussion by setting the terms of debate.

It is time for that to end.

I have pointed out before the fallacious term assault weapon and the misused term assault rifle in the past as have others ad nauseum.  The firearm industry has coined sporting utility rifle as an alternative, but I have stumbled upon another idea that has merit.  I like the idea of classifying a semiautomatic pistol grip rifle as a sporting utility rifle as it caters to the left’s strange obsession with not targeting “sportsmen” and “hunters,” but it still is allowing them to define the terms of debate.  Like I said, this is going to end here and now.

If the liberals get what they want, and I am choosing to just highlight one of their foci, on standard (or as they call them high) capacity magazines banned, they will put me and my family at risk.  If I have to reload after ten shots, I may find myself locked in close hand-to-hand combat with a thug intent on doing me and my family harm and while I believe myself capable of handling one such individual, two is another story entirely.  That is why standard (12, 15, 18 rounds for most modern semiautomatic polymer frame double-stack handguns such as the common Glock, Springfield XD, or Smith & Wesson M&P; 30 rounds for AR pattern rifles) size magazines are so important.  I can engage four or five attackers down the hallway of my house, with enough firepower and ammunition to resist a determined advance from all of them at once.

You see, my rifle is not an assault weapon, an assault rifle, a killing machine, a weapon of war (yet), or a sporting utility rifle.  My rifle is a FAMILY DEFENSE RIFLE.  With it, I can put up a wall of lead to shield my sons and wife.

So the next time someone asks me why I need so many shots in one magazine, my answer will simply be because I love my family and will always possess every advantage necessary to defend them.

 

Protection

Due to recent events nationally, I have focused more on the world than on God as of late and for that I apologize.  One of my stated purposes for this collection of short essays and thoughts is to throw the truth and the Truth out there.  While I have focused much on the events in Connecticut from one week ago, I have tried to keep it balanced with my desire to ensure that the Truth is heard.  In light of that, I will close my thoughts on the matter today because while it is easy to focus on evil, to dissect it, to prescribe cures for it, it is impossible to eliminate for me, for you, or for anyone else because it is a force beyond our comprehension.

How do we protect against evil if we cannot understand it?  How can we protect against more slaughterings of children in schools if we cannot understand why someone would target the most innocent amongst us?

Discretion will protect you,
and understanding will guard you.

Proverbs 2:11

So what is this understanding that we need to have in order to be guarded?  The pat answer is that we need an understanding of God’s saving grace and the Holy Sacrifice made by Christ.  Beyond that though, what is the understanding that we have to come to?  My take on it is that evil resides in the world and that no action of man will ever halt evil from striking where you think you are safest, or in this case, where people believed their children to be safest.

Why?  Isn’t that the significant question we always ask after any tragedy?

To that question, I say that there can be no answer that you will understand on this Earth.

I’m at war with the world

And they try to pull me into the dark

I struggle to find my faith

As I’m slipping from your arms

It’s getting harder to stay awake

And my strength is fading fast

Skillet, Awake and Alive

When I first wrote on the atrocity and the outpouring of hate in a world that we want so desperately to be filled with love, it was with the distant observation of someone familiar with the love one feels for their children and how such a sudden traumatic blow would shake me to my core.  This was the killer’s objective – to not strike at the children, they were merely his targets, but to strike at that fundamental love that we share for our children.  Evil used that wonderful Godly blessing of love as tool of destruction within us.  It threatens to destroy more of us too as the post-atrocity time-frame focuses on how to prevent the next atrocity, which is foolhardy to believe that we, as humans, have any capability to do as the ways of evil come easy to us on this fallen world.

How does one protect from an atrocity of another?  It is as difficult to stop a mass murdered intent on a high body count unless you are willing to open your eyes to the evil at work throughout the world.  If you can perceive it and recognize it for what it is, then you have a vital tool at how to protect yourself from it.  Notice I refuse to consider the concept of prevention as I firmly believe that no preventative steps we take will ever be enough as the gross majority of mankind will follow the rules, play within the boundaries, and not go to extremes in order to maintain a stable world in which to live.

You can station armed guards and metal detectors at a school.  They themselves will become the first targets of opportunity as they are limited in number and can be overcome, especially in the event of a planned multiple attacker event such as Columbine or Beslan.

You can ban guns entirely and try to confiscate them, but the knowledge of how to make them remains.

You can lock up everyone who ever made an idle threat or anything construed as an idle threat, but at the cost of a free society and any semblance of personal liberty remaining.  This alone will not stop an atrocity as the rational person would just remain quiet and not broadcast their intent beforehand.

You can go so far as to search every person entering the building, station  tactical response teams on site at every school, and regulate firearms out of civilian ownership and yet, atrocities will happen.  They will happen with knives, swords, and bombs.

In the end, no preventative steps we take can prevent evil.  It always gets to take the initiative, while we must be ready to respond anywhere it could feasibly strike.

How best, can I as a father, protect my family in the face of these threats?  Despite what the world tells you, the responsibility is mine and mine alone.  I am ultimately responsible for my children and my wife and will answer God in regard to the discharge of my duties.  Will I say that I turned a blind eye toward evil?  Will I say that I looked evil in the eye and told it to keep back?  Will I say that I surrendered the tools of the mind and the body to provide for their safety and security to someone who ultimately is not responsible for my family’s safety?  Will I abdicate my rightful role as the guardian-redeemer of my family?

If I love my children and my wife with all of my heart, how can I not take every step available to me including that of taking up arms in their defense against the evil of the world?  Other men may look at me and scorn my decision to take that stand, so be it.  I answer to God, not men.

My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one.

John 17:15

It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

1 Corinthians 13:7

Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.

Galatians 1:10

Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

1 Timothy 5:8

Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
    will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
    my God, in whom I trust.”

Surely he will save you
    from the fowler’s snare
    and from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with his feathers,
    and under his wings you will find refuge;
    his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
You will not fear the terror of night,
    nor the arrow that flies by day,
nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
    nor the plague that destroys at midday.
A thousand may fall at your side,
    ten thousand at your right hand,
    but it will not come near you.
You will only observe with your eyes
    and see the punishment of the wicked.

If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,”
    and you make the Most High your dwelling,

no harm will overtake you,
    no disaster will come near your tent.
For he will command his angels concerning you
    to guard you in all your ways;
they will lift you up in their hands,
    so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
You will tread on the lion and the cobra;
    you will trample the great lion and the serpent.

“Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him;
    I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
He will call on me, and I will answer him;
    I will be with him in trouble,
    I will deliver him and honor him.
With long life I will satisfy him
    and show him my salvation.”

Psalm 91

What do we do in the face of inspeakable evil?  Ride out and meet it.

Don’t be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your families, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes.

Nehemiah 4:14

Massacre

I was feeling a horrible case of writer’s block earlier today.  I had no clue what I wanted to write about or if I was going to put fingers to keys earlier.  I tossed around doing a Christmas post, but dismissed it for some reason.  Now I know why.

Today, an atrocity happened.  This morning in Newport, Connecticut, a 20 year man walked into the elementary school his mother worked at and opened fire, killing 27 at this point in time, 18 of which were students.  There are no words to help the grieving families.  Nothing I say, write, or do will bring their mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, or children back to them.  Nothing.  A tremendous hole was ripped through the center of their chests and right now, it probably feels like the entire universe is crashing down on them.

I cannot help, but to mourn with them.  I don’t dare say that I understand why these lives were taken.  That is only for God to know.

Again, senseless violence has struck at a place thought safe.  Safety is a strange concept.  We all need it.  We crave the need to feel safe.  We lock our doors at night.  We wear seat belts while we drive.  Women marry men that are capable of providing them safety in some capacity.  Children look to their parents for safety when they are scared.

Events like this just serve to reinforce a fundamental reality of this world.  Safety is an illusion.  In the end, when the rubber meets the road.  When you find yourself staring down the barrel at evil incarnate, the illusion is shattered.  Evil will always find a way to shatter that illusion, because the only refuge, the only true safety is found in God, and by shattering that illusion, evil is trying to shatter your faith in the One True Refuge.

We won’t know the full story of what happened in Newport for days, but one thing I know for certain is that the only way to deter evil is to be ready to destroy it at all times.  Evil can not be bargained with, compromised with, or planned for.  Evil operates outside of the rules and serves only one purpose, to destroy your relationships with God and other people.

That is a mindset that is formed by a forging of the spirit and creating an unyielding determination.  It is a mind that within exists a very clear “line in the sand”.  A point at which you will act to defend yourself or another innocent person.  It is a mind that does not waver or hesitate.  It is a mind of action.   Winning a real fight requires controlled violence. You must be able to call up your “dragon” on demand and become a fierce feral creature instead of the domesticated human you have been raised to be. If you are not emotionally and psychologically prepared to physically destroy your adversary, then you need to reevaluate your true ability to defend yourself and loved ones.

 

Liberty and Lead

How would you act if you were a teacher at the school?  A passerby?  Perhaps a father dropping their children off at school?  You hear shots inside.  Screaming.  Quickly people start streaming out of the building and you realize there is a shooter inside massacring people.  The police aren’t there yet.

You must decide, now.

Do you enter the building?

Do you have the mental, physical, and spiritual fortitude to hunt down evil in the flesh?

Will you destroy it with whatever tools you have at your disposal – even at great personal danger?

Are you prepared to unleash that fierceness and feralness locked inside and domesticated by your life in illusory safety?

Do you trust that you are not truly going in alone and that by just taking that first step into the building by faith you will have God’s help every step of the way?

I don’t want to color this massacre as anything other than an awful atrocity, but until men are ready to stand in the gap to defend the safety of not only themselves and their families, but of others, than evil will continue to successfully shatter the hearts of fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, husbands, wives, and children.

Covering

Have you ever found yourself in grave danger?

One wrong step and you could die.

That is existence for mankind.

At creation, God was our guarantor of safety and security.  His righteousness held at bay the danger that we now face daily.  Have you ever considered that sin is a result of man attempting to provide for his own security and safety?

We thrust our hand out and took the crown that God alone is worthy to wear and tried to put it on.  We took responsibility for our lives at that moment in time.  The simple act of trying to cover their nakedness in the garden was an act of trying to construct a covering for a perceived weakness.  We crave security and safety.  It is one of our fundamental needs along with food and water.

It is this craving that drives us to pursue safety at nearly every cost.  You see it in the rise of gangs in violent areas, in the demand for stronger social safety nets such as Medicare, Social Security, and Welfare, in the absolute focus on improved safety features for new automobiles, in the intense focus and scrutiny given to mass killings and tragedies from natural disasters to the horrors of war.  Being safe and protected is an obsession for us.

Isn’t each of our reactions to a threat to our safety, whether physical or spiritual, just us trying to sew fig leaves together while we believe we are naked and vulnerable?

Let me break it to you.  Nothing you do will ever convey ultimate safety and security to you.  It does not matter if you live in a bubble and never do anything dangerous, or if you walk around wearing a bullet-proof vest every day of your life.  It does not matter if you move to the safest community in your state or to the most rural part of the country.  It does not matter if you drive the most state-of-the-art car with every safety bells and whistles.  Your life can be snuffed out in a heartbeat.

Stop trusting in mere humans,
    who have but a breath in their nostrils.

Isaiah 2:22

A prayer that I have tried to say daily since I came across it, in a work of historical fiction, is one that has me abdicate my claim to my own safety. This is a hard thing for me to do.  I have a family.  I care for them and wish to provide for their safety and believe that God wants me to do so, but ultimately, we are ultimately dying embers from the moment we are born just waiting to be snuffed out.  I don’t say this to depress you or discourage you, but to encourage you to abdicate the crown that was stolen.  Throw your safety and security at the feet of the Almighty.  Taste true liberty.

Rescue me, Lord, from evildoers;
    protect me from the violent,
who devise evil plans in their hearts
    and stir up war every day.
They make their tongues as sharp as a serpent’s;
    the poison of vipers is on their lips.

Keep me safe, Lord, from the hands of the wicked;
    protect me from the violent,
    who devise ways to trip my feet.
The arrogant have hidden a snare for me;
    they have spread out the cords of their net
    and have set traps for me along my path.

I say to the Lord, “You are my God.”
    Hear, Lord, my cry for mercy.
Sovereign Lord, my strong deliverer,
    you shield my head in the day of battle.
Do not grant the wicked their desires, Lord;
    do not let their plans succeed.

Those who surround me proudly rear their heads;
    may the mischief of their lips engulf them.
May burning coals fall on them;
    may they be thrown into the fire,
    into miry pits, never to rise.
May slanderers not be established in the land;
    may disaster hunt down the violent.

I know that the Lord secures justice for the poor
    and upholds the cause of the needy.
Surely the righteous will praise your name,
    and the upright will live in your presence.

Psalm 140

The beloved of the Lord shall dwell in safety by Him,
Who shelters him all the day long;
And he shall dwell between His shoulders.

Deuteronomy 33:12

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