U.S.A. -(Ammoland.com)- An armed murderer entered a Texas church last week. Armed parishioners stopped him in seconds and saved hundreds of lives. Some anti-rights politicians didn’t like that public demonstration of self-defense. These politicians, and some Hollywood celebrities, called for more gun-control. We know that self-defense worked, but I was shocked at how badly gun-control failed to keep us safe. Let’s look at the record.
The murderer had a long and troubled past. He had issues with drug abuse, homelessness, mental health, multiple divorces, domestic violence and restraining orders, and a long criminal history. Contrary to the media myth, the murderer did not use an AR style rifle, but used Joe Biden’s firearm of choice, a shotgun. In theory, the murderer should have been unable to get any firearm.
The Conservative Review listed some of his contacts with the law-
- May 4, 1998: Arrested in Tucson for carrying a firearm without a license. He was found guilty, but given no jail time.
- June 25, 1999: Arrested for misconduct involving weapons in Tucson. Charges dismissed.
- August 6, 1999: Arrested for theft and endangerment in Tucson. Found guilty on theft charge.
- August 18, 1999: Arrested for spilling load onto highway in Pima County, AZ. Found guilty.
- 2000: Convicted for driving without a license in Arizona.
- August 25, 2004: Arrested for disorderly conduct in Tucson. Charges dismissed.
- December 3, 2008: Arrested in Fort Worth, Texas, for felony aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. He was found guilty the next year but was sentenced to just 90 days for a lesser charge.
- August 12, 2009: Arrested for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon in Tucson.
- December 8, 2010: Charged with theft in Tucson and numerous failures to appear in court. Never served any new prison time.
- August 11, 2011: Charged with assault, disorderly conduct, and failure to appear in Tucson.
- November 29, 2011: Arrested in Grady County, Oklahoma, for domestic violence and felony aggravated assault. Plead guilty to misdemeanor assault and served 90 days with credit for time served.
- February 9, 2012: A warrant for his arrest was issued for arson in Grady, Oklahoma. He was eventually arrested for lighting tampons on fire and burning a cotton field. He paid a $4,500 fine.
- December 10, 2013: Arrested for theft in Fort Worth, Texas. Found guilty.
- March 25, 2014: Charged with assault knowingly causing injury in Tucson and illegally possessing a weapon.
- June 16, 2015: Arrested in River Oaks, Texas, for unpaid parking tickets.
- September 12, 2016: According to MyCentralJersey.com, he was arrested in Linden, New Jersey, for possession of a 12-gauge shotgun while he was taking pictures of an oil refinery. At the time, New Jersey police also found a contempt of court warrant stemming from an aggravated assault case in Oklahoma.
The murderer’s ex-wife called him violent and paranoid when she sought a restraining order. The murderer had been judged mentally incompetent to stand trial. In 2013, the murderer was diagnosed with forms of psychosis and depression and was prescribed medications to treat the conditions, according to a report by the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services. These actions or his criminal history should have resulted in a conviction that would have made him a prohibited person who could not own, transport, or carry a firearm.
Our firearms background check system only works when prosecutors and judges do their job. After they failed, the armed citizens in the church did theirs.
Six or seven armed defenders in the church moved toward the attacker. The first defender to fire his gun was the third defender the attacker engaged. The entire exchange took less than 6 seconds. Contrary to the myths spread by gun-control advocates, these armed civilians did not shoot innocent bystanders. The defenders did not shoot each other, and they were not shot by the police when law enforcement arrived minutes later.
Given the way sentencing reform is being implemented, we could have many more individuals with a history of violent crimes who are never convicted of a felony, and thus never put an the list of people prohibited from buying a firearm. Self-defense is imperfect, but it is clearly more reliable than our legal system at stopping crazy murderers. Lives are at stake.
About Rob Morse
The original article with references is here. Rob Morse writes about gun rights at Ammoland, at Clash Daily, and on his SlowFacts blog. He hosts the Self Defense Gun Stories Podcast and co-hosts the Polite Society Podcast. Rob is an NRA pistol instructor and combat handgun competitor.