What can we Learn From the Texas Church Shooting?

A lot of social media buzz has been created by this terrible murder of Texas church members. Some major media covered it, but most only for a brief mention. The reason for the brief mention of course is because one, there was not a mass murder (he was stopped before he could kill more people), the victim count was not high enough. Two, the murderer was stopped in literally six seconds by a legally armed citizen. Those two things make this against the mainstream media playbook for a mass murder they can use to push the agenda of “gun-control”.

The attack on the church was caught on live stream video unlike any others we know of, so while a true tragedy, it is a great opportunity to learn from it and maybe make a few changes that could help prevent or lessen attacks in the future. So let’s break down the attack as seen on the video.

The murderer was sitting buy himself in the back row of the sanctuary. He gets up and moves to the rear where he appears to engage one of the ushers in a very brief conversation. That is when you can see him pull a short shotgun from under his jacket/ coat. He initially points it at the usher he was speaking to.

Just before subject stands and moves to back of sanctuary.

At the same time several things are happening. There is an armed member of the church security team sitting just a few feet away along the back wall. He sees the subject pull out the shotgun and stands and begins to draw his concealed handgun. Also a few more feet away a group of men also along the back and already standing seem to notice the commotion and one drops out of sight, and one moves off camera and the third draws a handgun. From the video it’s hard to tell if it was concealed or openly carried.

8 seconds into incident.

The subject seeing the security member reaching and attempting to draw his concealed firearm turns the shotgun on him and fires one shot, striking him. The security member is seen to fall to the floor. The subject then turns back to the usher and fires one shot at him. This takes just a couple of seconds.

The other church security member, identified as Jack Wilson later, had during this time drawn his firearm and according to Mr. Wilson’s own statement he could not fire for a second or two because of church members between the subject and him in his line of fire. On the video you can see someone standing what looks like half crouched over and possible in Mr. Wilson’s line of fire.

The subject turns and begins to move forward in the direction of the stage in the church and takes one or two steps. Mr. Wilson appears to illuminate the suspect probably with a weapon mounted light. A second later the light goes off, and Mr. Wilson fires one well aimed shot at about 40- 50 feet striking the subject in the head. The subject falls to the ground.

At this point Mr. Wilson begins to move in the direction of the subject. At this point several other armed members of the church appear.

The entire situation from the time the suspect stood up and moves to the back of the church until he was shot by Mr. Wilson was 18 seconds. After the situation was deemed safe and over, people began to exit the sanctuary.

So what lessons can we learn from the video and the information shared by Mr. Wilson and other members of the church?

1. The subject was already acting suspicious and has been identified by the security team members. People acting suspiciously or dressed inappropriately (fake beard, hair and over coat in this case) bear watching and maybe even making contact with them.

2. Reaction is always going to be slower than action. Once the subject had his shotgun out drawing from concealment puts you at a serous disadvantage. Especially for those that do not practice it.

3. Distance is good and bad. Good in that you are not the sole point of attention, and may give you more of a chance to bring your firearm to bear. Bad in the the greater the distance, the more skilled a shot you will have to be. Practice is key here.

4. Move!! Standing still and trying to draw on an already aimed firearm is impossible. Move and draw! A moving target is much harder to hit. This is NOT a negative critique of the security team member who was shot while drawing from concealment, but a training lesson to learn from the tragedy.

Practice shooting at distances other than close range only. I see many people at the range I teach at and I never see the target go past the 7 or 10 yard distance (21-30 feet.) While yes the vast majority of defensive shootings happen under 21 feet, that does not mean you should not practice and be able to hit targets accurately at greater distances. I regularly work at distances up to 50 yards with handguns. There is a great feeling of accomplishment at hitting a target at those distances.

There are few other things that I noticed that might make good training topics from this incident, but those could be completely separate topics on their own.

So whats the final overall take away form this? That armed, trained, and ready lawful firearm carrying Americans CAN and HAVE stopped mass murderers. And that if these citizens had been prevented by laws from carrying in the church (aka gun free zones) more people would have died.

I am thankful that Mr. Jack Wilson and the other members of that church were there and ready and trained for this incident. We must learn from these incidents if we are to be ready for the next, and sadly there will be more.

It’s time for Law Enforcement to take a stand with the law-abiding firearms owning citizens of this country.

As many of my readers know I am a 35 year veteran sworn law enforcement officer who retired at the rank of Commander and more years after that training cops. I can tell you that a large majority of cops are strong supporters of citizens rights to be armed. I am also a U.S. Army veteran of the 3rd Infantry Division. Contrary to the few incidents that make the news or social media most of law enforcement supports the citizens right to self-protection and to being armed. I have had citizens come to my aid more than once when I needed back-up and none was around, and I was thankful for their help.

But there is rapidly coming a time in this country when law enforcement as a whole may need to finally take a stand with the citizens and stand up for the Constitutionally protected right to “keep and bear arms” that seems to be under attack.

In VA. there are many Sheriff’s and Police that have taken a stand with the citizens they are sworn to serve. This is a good sign, but I do not think it is going far enough. We need a national push, and national movement in law enforcement to stand up against further restrictions on a citizens right to keep and bear arms. The second amendment is for all citizens, even law enforcement. Citizens in several states have even gone so far as to save officers lives using a firearm to stop attacks on officers.

Virginia sheriff: We’ll deputize law-abiding citizens to counter state Dems’ gun control ‘overreach’

Think for a second why many firearms laws exempt law enforcement from the restrictions placed on the average citizen. The legislators and some figure heads in law enforcement will tell you its because police are highly trained in the use of firearms and can be trusted to have firearms. Well that is not exactly the truth. If you look at the training of many law enforcement agencies throughout the country you would be astonished at how little training they actually get. In the State of Florida for example officers are only required to qualify with their service firearm every two years! While some agencies do qualify more than that there are agencies out there that only shoot their firearms every two years. Now that does not make them “highly trained” or better trained even than most firearms owners. I know for a fact that our local agencies offer officers free time on the range every month to practice if they want, and yet out of almost a thousand officers and deputies, very rarely (one or two maybe a month) would take part in the offer.

After retiring from law enforcement training, I began teaching civilian classes at a local gun range and found to my very pleasant surprise that many firearms owners shoot as much if not more than most cops. Sure, there are some in each group that train a lot and some that train very little. Point being that on an average I have to say from personal observation police are no more well trained in firearms than most firearms owner citizens.

So why do legislators seem to always include exemptions for law enforcement in most firearms bills and restrictions then? Well they will say it’s for public safety. But an officer’s home collection does nothing for public safety. Only the officer’s duty firearms while they are working and maybe their off-duty firearm (if they carry one, I know many that do not). The reason that they include these exemptions is because they know that if law enforcement had to abide by the same laws and rules as citizens the cops would be in an uproar and fight any more restrictions. Imagine if law enforcement officers’ personal firearms were going to be banned just like they are threatening citizens firearms. What if law enforcement was required to keep any “assault weapons” (before you scream at me I know there is no such thing, I’m using the anti-rights groups words) at the station and check them out only when working. What of they were only allowed the same magazine capacity that the legislature is trying to place on citizens. I don’t think they would like it much and you would hear a huge cry from the police unions and officers themselves. Now do not misunderstand me, I think that ALL law-abiding people should have a right to those things, not just law enforcement. And I know some will say, and I agree, law enforcement does need these things since those are the same weapons they encounter criminals already using. Being at least as well armed as the criminals is a necessity for law enforcement, why is it not for the citizens who will encounter the criminals before the cops do?

I teach the police recruits that I have in the academy that the golden rule of law enforcement is to treat every person (good and bad) the way they would want another cop to treat their family member if they were in the same situation. Cops need to remember that these laws and exemptions affect their families and friends who are not cops, and everyone else.

In closing let me point out that I am pro law enforcement and know most are great, brave, decent people trying to make the areas they live in just that much safer, but I also know we (LEOs) see the worst that society has to offer and sometimes forget that there are millions of times more good people out there than criminals. If we remove the exemptions for law enforcement from the firearms laws, then I think we might see much different reactions from the law enforcement world in opposition to any more restrictions. Maybe even they might stand with the citizens and require the law makers actually follow the Constitution and remind them they “shall not infringe” on their right to “keep and bear arms”, both citizens and cops. Virginia law enforcement seems to have figured that out.

Thinking of Giving a Firearm as a Gift for Christmas?

With Christmas fast approaching you may be thinking of getting that special person a firearm for a Christmas present, which can be done legally, even to someone under 18, and 18 to 21 years old, even in Florida.

Under Federal law you cannot sell or give a firearm to a person under 18 without parental permission. And you must have that permission in writing! So if your trying to give a firearm to your 16 year old niece or nephew for instance, get written permission from the parents to do so. The Federal law that applies is:

18 U.S.C. 922(x) (x)(1) It shall be unlawful for a person to sell, deliver, or otherwise transfer to a person who the transferor knows or has reasonable cause to believe is a juvenile— (A) a handgun; or (B) ammunition that is suitable for use only in a handgun. (2) It shall be unlawful for any person who is a juvenile to knowingly possess— (A) a handgun; or (B) ammunition that is suitable for use only in a handgun.

But that section goes on to list the exception being with written permission (among a few other exceptions). Florida law (Check your states laws for any difference) does not prohibit the private sale or gifting of a firearm to anyone who is not Federally prohibited if you follow the above for anyone under 18. Over 18 you can gift directly to the person, even in Florida as possession by anyone under 21 is not prohibited, only buying from a licensed dealer (some think it includes private sales, that has yet to be officially determined, F.S.S. 790.065 (13)) is prohibited.

But the generally accepted rule is that you may buy a firearm and gift it to someone as long as they are an adult, or Juvenile with written permission from the parents (not legally prohibited by State or Federal laws).

See the National Shooting Sports Foundation web page for more information.

When Law Enforcement say They will not Enforce Unconstitutional Laws..

The Virginia Democrats try to change a law to fire them for following their oath of office protecting the Constitution, Oh and outlaw any type of training to protect your rights or yourself.

There has been a lot of coverage in the social media world (very little on the mass media of course) of the newly elected Democratic Governor and Legislature in Virginia announcing that they would be moving full steam ahead with sweeping firearms laws that would turn millions of Virginia residents into criminals for simply possessing certain common firearms. This push seems to be being led by the newly elected Governor Ralph Northam.

From a Reuters report: “

“They want us to finally pass commonsense gun safety legislation, so no one has to fear being hurt or killed while at school, at work, or at their place of worship,” Northam said hours after the election results. “I look forward to working with our new Democratic majority to make these priorities a reality.”

The legislature will take on several proposals, including banning assault-style rifles and high-capacity magazines and raising the minimum age to 21 from 18 to buy a rifle or shotgun, said Dick Saslaw, the top Democrat in the state Senate.”

What they had not planned on was the overwhelming anger and reaction of the people of Virginia, and especially the county Sheriff’s and County Commissions.

The on November 21st, 2019 a Virginia Senator filed Bill 64 wants to make it illegal and a felony for anyone that:

“Teaches or demonstrates to any other person the use, application, or making of any firearm, explosive, or incendiary device, or technique capable of causing injury or death to persons, knowing or having reason to know or intending that such training will be employed for use in, or in furtherance of, a civil disorder”.

Now I don’t know about you but I teach firearms to citizens. And how am I supposed to know what they are going to use that training for? The thought police are alive and well in Virginia!

As of the writing of this article there were more than 70 counties and cities that had voted on resolutions that they are calling “Second Amendment Sanctuary” status. Whats does this mean? Well collectively they are stating that they will refuse to enforce any more 2nd Amendment restrictions that they feel are in violation of the Second Amendment of the Bill of Rights, of the U.S. Constitution. Now I could debate that this is a bit late and long overdue. That if they are truly declaring this and mean it are they going to stop enforcing the current violations of the second amendment, but that is another whole article worth of thoughts.

In response to this growing trend of resistance to any new restrictions or laws, the Virginia Governor Ralph Northam came out swinging with threats to those sayign they would resist these laws, even if they thought them unconstitutional;

“If we have constitutional laws on the books and law enforcement officers are not enforcing those laws on the books, then there are going to be some consequences but I’ll cross that bridge if and when we get to it,” Northam said. “

Well that was not well received of course, but then a Virginia representative really doubled down by basically recommending that the Governor use the Virginia National Guard to force compliance:

“And ultimately, I’m not the governor, but the governor may have to nationalize the National Guard to enforce the law,” Rep. Donald McEachin said. “That’s his call, because I don’t know how serious these counties are and how severe the violations of law will be. But that’s obviously an option he has.”

Now that was enough to send some into calling for armed resistance, the start of the next civil war and debates on if the national guard would even follow any such order to use possible force on the very citizens they are sworn to protect. But then Maj. Gen. Timothy P. Williams, the Adjutant General of VA stepped up and posted a response to the representatives statement by posting on Twitter (taking a play out of the Presidents playbook?):

Many think the tweet says that the VA National Guard would be willing to take action. I do not see that said anywhere, what I do see is the very obvious omission of any mention that the VA National Guard taking any side and no mention of response to the Representatives call.

So the big question is really how far will this go? Well the VA Democratic controlled Legislature decided to push the situation to an even higher level of anger and threats by filing Bill 67 in the legislature that would result in any law enforcement officer, Sheriff, or other public employee who refuses to enforce what they felt was an unconstitutional law (following the very oath of office they took) being fired and not able to be employed as such for at least 12 months.

So what does this all mean? Well Virginians elected a Democratic majority and a Democratic Governor and now are seeing exactly what that can mean for rights. We do not have the electoral college at the state level and this is what happens when highly populated dense areas are able to outvote all the other areas in a state and force upon the rest of the citizens the views that do not apply to them or the rest of the state. Elections have consequences. Turnout is key and the Republican turnout did not help in this state.

So what is going to happen in Virginia? Will the state legislature pass these obviously unconstitutional laws? And will the local county and city elected officials decide they are not going to enforce those new laws? If so will the Virginia government decide to try and fire all those law enforcement and county city officials who say no more restrictions? Or will the Governor of Virginia force the issue by employing the National Guard to try and use force against the very citizens they are sworn to protect and defend from unconstitutional enemies? That could result in armed conflict. If that happens will it spread to other places and outside Virginia? Could this be the spark that ignites the next American Civil War?

I think that people are beginning to see that our Constitutionally protected rights (they do not come from the Bill of Rights or Constitution, they are protected by it and restrict the Government from infringing on them) and they are tired of seeing more and more limitations being placed on rights.

Think about this for a second, only one right in the entire Bill of Rights includes the words “shall not be infringed”. There is a very good reason for that. The citizens were supposed to be able to have the same weapons as the standing army so that should it become necessary they could fight that standing army or the agents of the government to take it back and re-institute that Government of the People, by the People and for the People that our forefathers fought a war to establish and many have died to defend. Is it time again to feed the tree of liberty? #boogaloo

I would be very interested in your thoughts on the legislation, the stance of the people and where you think we are headed.

Terror Attack in England Highlights Lack of Ability for Self Defense.

OK with knife attacks in England and the Hauge there are people that try to point out that if the attacker had had a gun then the death tolls would have been a lot higher. No kidding. Then they go on to try and say that is proof that removing guns works. That’s where they lose all credibility. They say we need gun control like England. We need to only let the cops have guns and so on. Maybe they should actually research a bit before making themselves look so uneducated on the subject.

First, let’s address crime overall in England. This is from a recent BBC article: “Violent crime recorded by police in England and Wales has risen by 19% in a year, latest Home Office figures show. The number of homicides – including murder and manslaughter – rose from 649 to 739, an increase of 14%, in the 12 months to the end of September 2018. It is the the highest total for such crimes since 2007. Robbery went up by 17%, as did recorded sexual offenses, according to the data released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). Overall crimes recorded by police went up by 7% with a total of 5,723,182 offences recorded.”

Now lets look at crime in the US: “FBI data released Monday suggests that the violent crime rate in the U.S. remains on a decades-long downward trend, falling by 3.9 percent in 2018. Overall, the violent crime rate has plunged by more than 50 percent since the highwater mark of the early 1990s.The drops came across categories of violent offenses, including murder, non-negligent manslaughter and robbery, and property crimes like burglary, larceny and vehicle thefts, while aggravated assault numbers remained about flat. The rate for rape bucked this trend, however, up slightly for 2018, and in each of the last six years.”

So when people say they want us to follow England’s gun control, tell them they are idiots and don’t know what they are talking about. In England, they are now calling for knife control. They tried to get rid of the guns (which are still used in crimes) and saw a huge increase in knife crimes, now they want those too. In the US Americans bought more firearms than ever and guess what, crime went down, some by more than 50% over the last decade! While you cannot link guns to the drop in crime specifically, one would have to be foolish to not count it in reasons for the decrease. Fear of being dead is a great deterrent to crime.

Take a good look at the photos from the attack. Especially the one of the guy who was reduced to using narwhal horn to try and defend against the terrorist.

My everyday carry, Block 41, .45 caliber.

Florida Legislator Wants Punishment for Murder Reduced!

Sometimes you can’t make this stuff up! Talk about truth being stranger than fiction.

On October 17th, 2019 Florida Senator Bracy (D – Orange County) filed a bill that just defies logic or common sense. While most bills are designed to try and solve some issue or address a error in past laws, this one is unique!

Florida Senate Bill 564 – Murder

General Bill by Bracy. Murder“Revising the elements of murder in the first degree and murder in the second degree; revising the elements of what constitutes felony murder, for murder in the second degree; deleting provisions relating to felony murder, for murder in the third degree; authorizing persons convicted under certain murder provisions to file a petition with the sentencing court to have his or her murder conviction vacated or to be resentenced, as applicable, on or after a specified date, etc.”

You see, Sen. Bracy thinks that if we lower the punishment for certain “types” of murders it will help to reduce the “prison overcrowding” and more “fairly” address a person’s role in a murder. What? What part of a murder is not a serious crime?

This is what he wrote to justify the bill: “WHEREAS, there is a need for statutory changes to more equitably sentence offenders in accordance with their level of involvement in homicides, and WHEREAS, it is a bedrock principle of the law and of equity that a person should be punished for his or her actions according to his or her level of individual culpability, and WHEREAS, it is necessary to amend Florida’s felony murder rule to limit convictions and subsequent sentencing so that the laws of this state fairly address the culpability of the individual and assist in the reduction of prison overcrowding, which partially results from lengthy sentences that are not commensurate with the culpability of the individual…”

Sen. Bracy wants to reduce the level of punishment for some levels of murder, if you are involved in a violent felony like robbery or sexual battery and someone is killed. In what world does that make any type of sense? It does not seem to matter to Sen. Brady that the murder rate nationally has been going down over the last 20+ years or so. Facts and reality do not seem to matter to this Senator.

Murder rate down over many years.

You have to ask yourself why in the world would anyone want to do this? What motivation would one have for wanting to reduce prison time and the seriousness of murder charges? One can only guess.

We have had a decline in the Murder rate nationwide over the last couple of decades, and it’s not by making the punishment less for murder. Maybe the good Senator should look at making other laws have more serious punishments and making enforcement a priority? Like maybe raise the level of crime for using a firearm to commit a serious crime? How about mandatory time for using a firearm in a violent felony? Instead of trying to pass meaningless firearms control laws that will do nothing to reduce murders or crimes, make the use of a firearm in a crime even more punitive!

I am sorry but this legislation is one of the stupidest things I have seen in years. Want to read it for yourself go here: http://bit.ly/2W44OXH

Newsweek Outright Lies to the American People about Firearms Deaths!

Why am I not surprised that another supposed “news” source would publish a article “STUDY: U.S. GUN DEATHS SURGE, EXCEPT FOR TWO STATES WITH RESTRICTIVE GUN LAWS – BY ASHER STOCKLER ON 10/8/19” that is not only full of falsehoods, but the headline itself is an outright lie.

Is it any surprise that the American people no longer trust “news” sources like Newsweek? When supposed news sources publish such blatant lies about a topic rather than take 5 minutes to actually research reliable sources, you get results like this:

Screen grab from Newsweek.com

Now if you read that headline you would think they at least were telling you the truth. But would it surprise you if I told you that according to the FBI “2018 Crime in the United States” firearms murders went down the last two years? Firearms murders have decreased since 2016. 2018 was lower again from 2017. So why would Newsweek want to mislead or lie to the American public? Well of course we know why, they want to influence the public into thinking there is a “surge” or “epidemic” or “crisis”. When in reality the only one of those is in the minds of those who manufacture these claims.

From: FBI “2018 Crime in the United States” report.

According to the FBI homicide data, murder over all is down again also in the US. That’s great news so why not share that good news? Isn’t murder being down a good thing? Oh that’s right if they admitted that it would make things like “gun control” the “assault weapons ban” and other things pointless. Well they are pointless.

Here is the homicide rate per 100,000 people in the US over the last 48 years. Notice anything? You can easily see that the Murder rate was much higher from about 1998 and prior. After the rate started dropping in the nineties it has stayed pretty stable until about 2008 when it dropped a little more. With the mass murder in 2016 it climbed but still not to previous levels. And now it has dropped again to 5 murders per 100K like it was back in 2009. Again it is still far lower than in the past prior to 1999.

Graphic by Down Range with Chris Wagoner. (chriswagoner.us)

So one has to also consider this. We are a nation of 350+ MILLION people. And a nation with hundreds of millions of firearms, some estimates are even more firearms than people. If firearms were the issue would we not have far more firearms murders than 10,265 out of 350+ MILLION people with all those firearms in the US? Of course we would. This is a very simple way of showing it is not the inanimate object that is a problem, but the person behind it. Just like it is the driver behind the wheel of a car driving DUI and not the car. It is obvious when you see that “hands and feet”, “Blunt objects” like clubs and hammers, and even “knives and cutting instruments” are used to murder far more people than those “assault rifles” that many say are the biggest threat to people these days.

So to Newsweek I make this challenge, if you want to put anyone up for a debate live online, I will gladly take you up on ti. Subject? The real numbers behind firearms, murder and fake crisis you are trying to manufacture.

I know they won’t take me up on it, but it’s fun to hope! Stay safe out there.