By David Codrea
USA – -(Ammoland.com)- A mass shooting incident at the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, Texas, has left at least 26 victims dead and another 20 wounded per reports emerging at this writing. An as-yet unidentified killer reportedly dressed in combat gear opened fire on worshipers indiscriminately murdering men, women and at least one child, the 14-year-old daughter of Pastor Frank Pomeroy, who was in Oklahoma and not in attendance at the time.
As has come to be expected, the lack of announced facts from investigating authorities has not stopped commenters to various news stories and on social media from laying blame on guns, on gun owners and on the National Rifle Association. Naturally, the ever-opportunistic Shannon Watts could not resist the temptation to weigh in with typical condemnation of the right to keep and bear arms.
“If thoughts and prayers alone prevented gun violence, we wouldn't be shot in places of worship,” she tweeted. “God calls on us to ACT.”
How? What does she suggest, specifically?
Further feling the hysteria to “do something” are calls from prominent Senate Democrats.
“Sens. Bob Casey Jr. (Pa.), Dick Durbin (Ill.) and Kamala Harris (Calif.) were among the Democrats who urged Congress to act in response to the latest deadly shooting,” The Hill is reporting:
“’I’m thinking of and praying for all those impacted by the shooting in Texas. In addition to offering my prayers and thoughts I also believe Congress must take action on gun violence,’” Casey wrote in two separate tweets.”
Left unsaid is what “action” would have prevented this atrocity. That’s because none could have.
The easy go-to answers, “ban guns,” or ban types of guns, would not work. First, those who commit evil do not obey laws. Second, many good gun owners who realize that would not obey such edicts either, and not only because it’s a fundamental right. History clearly shows greater evil is enabled whenever a “monopoly of violence” is imposed. Nature clearly shows that predators exploit defenselessness, and that when force is reduced to who is physically stronger, the weaker are reduced to prey.
Perhaps the best advice, especially when a story is breaking and media outlets are scrambling to out-compete each other with scoops and “firsts,” is to take a breath and slow down. Understand that initial reports will likely be wrong, and don’t be quick to buy into them. We still don’t know much about Las Vegas, and the reasons for that are complex, and in some cases, leading to all kinds of speculation and rumor.
With that in mind, it would be remiss not to pass along information reported on the shooter, identified as dishonorably discharged and court-martialed “Devin Patrick Kelley,” and to note reports that means he was a prohibited person. Per ATF:
UPDATE: New reports coming out since this was posted now say Kelly received a “bad conduct” discharge, which would not have triggered the prohibition. ATF form 4473 asks: “Have you ever been convicted in any court of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence?”
This report is being filed on Sunday night. By the time it is published and read in the morning, much more should be known. In the interim, the best way to keep up with it is to keep up with all the breaking news stories, which you can do via the Google News feed (or some other search engine if you prefer, using terms likely to produce comprehensive results:
This just in– I've seen it on other sources and now see it corroborated on The Washington Post:
“As the gunman exited the church he was confronted by a local citizen who, armed with his own weapon, began firing at the gunman — prompting the suspect to flee in his vehicle. ‘The local citizen pursued him,' said Freeman Martin, a regional director for the Texas Department of Public Service, who said the gunman crashed off of the roadway about 11 miles north of the shooting scene and was later found there dead. ‘We don’t know if it was a self-inflicted gunshot wound or if he was shot by our local resident who engaged him in a gunfight.'” *
That adds a very different perspective to this story.
One thing that will remain constant even as the narrative develops and changes is a basic truth, one Ms. Watts and gun-blaming Democrats purposely leave out of their declarations of piety and prayer – a constant from a 1747 sermon by Presbyterian Rev. Gilbert Tennant:
“He that suffers his life to be taken from him by one who has no authority for that purpose, when he might preserve it by defense, incurs the Guilt of self murder since God has enjoined him to seek the continuance of his life, and Nature itself teaches every creature to defend itself.”
Decide for yourself whether you consider Shannon Watts and gun-grabbing Democrats to be the superior authorities here.
“Two heroes exchanged fire with Texas gunman and ran him off road as he fled killing him Murderer Devin Kelley was shot by Stephen Willeford, it has been claimed. The shooter then ‘bled out' after being run off the road by Willeford and fellow hero Johnnie Langendorff.”
About David Codrea:
David Codrea is the winner of multiple journalist awards for investigating / defending the RKBA and a long-time gun owner rights advocate who defiantly challenges the folly of citizen disarmament.
In addition to being a field editor/columnist at GUNS Magazine and associate editor for Oath Keepers, he blogs at “The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance,” and posts on Twitter: @dcodrea and Facebook.