Friday, December 21, 2012

December 18th Letter: Some "Common Sense" Thoughts...

December 18, 2012

Dear Pastors:

Whatever this ole man writes relative to the shooting in Connecticut, it will not help the grief those families are undergoing. But, I do want to take what I might call some "common sense" thoughts and put them in play in spite of what our president said, at that Sunday night prayer vigil, delivering "words that on their face appear soothing, hope-filled and decisive, which is exactly what's expected of presidential leadership." "These tragedies must end," he said. "And to end them, we must change."

But when Obama repeats that single-worded slogan from his presidential campaign, we know what kind of "change" he wants. New York City Rep. Jerry Nadler came out waging war on the NRA; New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg declared, "We don't need people carrying guns in public places"; Sen. Dianne Feinstein, Senate Democrat Dick Durbin, and Senate Judiciary Committee Democrat Charles Schumer have all jumped on the "ban the gun" bandwagon as a way to stop from happening what happened in Connecticut last Friday.

However, let me say that before the tragedy in Connecticut a shooter at an Oregon shopping mall was stopped by an armed citizen with a concealed carry permit who refused to be a victim, preventing another mass tragedy.

In the target-rich environment of the Clackamas Town Center two weeks before Christmas, the shooter managed to kill only two people before killing himself. A far worse tragedy was prevented when he was confronted by a hero named Nick Meli.

As the shooter was having difficulty with his weapon, Meli pulled his and took aim, reluctant to fire lest an innocent bystander be hit. But he didn't have to pull the trigger: the shooter fled when confronted, ending his own life before it could be done for him.

We will never know how many lives were saved by an armed citizen that day.

From Virginia Tech to a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, to a school in Newtown, Connecticut, such mass shootings are usually in venues declaring themselves gun-free zones.

Other mass shootings from a high school shooting by Pearl, Mississippi, to the New Life Church shooting in Colorado Springs, Colorado, which took place before the massacre in Aurora, have been cut short when someone retrieved a gun from a car or elsewhere and confronted the shooter.

John Fund, writing in National Review, notes that the Aurora shooter had a choice of seven movie theaters within a 20-mile drive of his home that were showing the Batman movie he was obsessed with. The Cinemark Theater he chose wasn't the closest, but it was the only one that banned customers from carrying their guns inside, otherwise allowed under Colorado law. [But, dear friend, you would not have expected the ‘politically correct’ national news media to have brought forth this fact.]

On April 16, 2007, there was no one able to shoot back when Seung-Hui Cho shot 32 people to death on a Virginia Tech campus that, like the theater in Aurora, had declared itself gun-free. The state of Virginia is not a gun-free zone, and crime has dropped where guns are allowed.

Handgun purchases increased 112% between 2006 and 2011, and violent crimes committed by people using handguns fell by 22%. In 2006, there were 23,431 violent crimes in Virginia, and that dropped to 18,196 in 2011. As I have stated now for some time, more guns in the hands of potential victims means less crime.

If heavy gun-controlled Norway let citizens carry concealed weapons, lone gunman Andres Brevik would not have been able to shoot 68 unarmed people after setting off a car bomb in the heart of Oslo that killed nine others.

At Sandy Hook, 27-year-old teacher Victoria Soto hid students in a bathroom or closet and died trying to protect them from shooter Adam Lanza. If she, the principal, or any of the other adults in the school had access to a firearm, things might have turned out differently.

President Obama, in the middle of genuinely moving remarks, managed to inject a subliminal need for gun control. We can expect to be lectured about gun rights and gun control by an administration that funneled the same type of weapons used at Sandy Hook to Mexican drug cartels in the Fast and Furious scandal.

As long as the president says we are not doing enough to protect our children and "these tragedies must end," how about a federally funded program to place armed security guards, perhaps retired cops, at each of the nation's schools? It is the disarming of potential victims that must end.

The slaughter in Norway, under its "heavy gun-control laws," shows the ineffectiveness of gun-ban laws, as does the violent crime in the big U.S. cities — such as Bloomberg's New York and Emanuel's Chicago — with the strictest gun control.

Criminologists Don B. Kates and Gary Mauser found in an exhaustive 2007 Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy study of gun laws and violence rates in the U.S. and Europe, "many high gun-ownership nations have much lower murder rates" than low gun-ownership countries.

As the Washington Post's Jennifer Rubin notes, "liberals' religious-like faith in government and in the ability of legislation to control and even perfect the human condition" is no protection against mass murderers, whose crimes do "not seem to be affected by the economy or by law enforcement strategies."

Gruesome school violence in America is, unfortunately, nothing new. In 1764, during Pontiac's rebellion, schoolmaster Enoch Brown and 10 children were scalped. In 1887, in Tennessee, Miss Irene Fann was shot dead by the brother of a schoolgirl she whipped. There are dozens of other such school killings to be found throughout U.S. History.

Honoring Newtown's child victims doesn't mean changing America. It means taking action that works, like rethinking the politically motivated emptying of mental facilities a half-century ago; a more regular police presence in schools; and forcing Hollywood and violent video game manufacturers to accept some blame for people who turn on-screen fantasy into bloody reality.

Ole jav doesn't have all the answers for all life’s problems. But, he does have some of the answers. Common sense will help greatly. Father Abraham, in the 14th chapter of the book of Genesis, "armed" his trained servants. They were then able to "rescue Lot’s captives." Putting guns in the hands of all teachers might not be the answer. Doing that might make it easy for a deranged kid to lay hands on a gun when "teacher’s attention" was elsewhere. But, putting an armed "policeman" [even though he might be retired] in the schools and "the publicizing of that fact," would, I think, give the potential "murderer" cause to think before entering that school.

Several years ago, I was preaching in Arkansas for the Weido brothers. I left there after church on Sunday night and drove back to Oklahoma. Driving somewhere on a very good road in North Texas, I kept watching the gas price signs so I could then gas up. East of Paris, Texas, a little way I was going through a little town and a convenience store had one pump lit up from which you could buy $75 worth of gas with a credit card, even though the store was closed.

So I whipped in there and stepped from my van, took off the gas cap, and turned to the pump to insert my credit card. Just as I turned, from my peripheral vision I sensed black young men sneaking up on an old "whitey" whom they thought would be an easy mark. Immediately, I pulled my pistol from my pocket. At that time I was carrying a Beretta Model 21A .22 caliber pistol. That weapon, I might add, is the weapon of choice for Mossad assassins. I pointed it at the feet of the black boys and said, "Hold it right there, fellas," or something like that. What I said made no effect upon them. They still had that predator look, as if they knew they could take him.

Now, according to "my concealed carry" instructor, I cannot shoot my weapon until I believe my life is in danger. The Oklahoma authorities wanted this ole man to be armed should such an instance as what happened in Fort Worth in 1999 happen here. So, they created a special "concealed carry class" that Joe Finn, Tim Young, Bill Johnston and I attended.

Here is the story about Wedgewood Baptist Church in Fort Worth, Texas: Eight people died and seven others were injured after a man dressed in black walked into a church service filled with teen-agers Wednesday night, pulled a gun and began shooting before fatally shooting himself, police said.

Fort Worth police Lt. David Ellis said three teen-agers and three adults were shot to death inside the Wedgwood Baptist Church in the city's southwest corner. Another victim died at a hospital. The shooter appears to have been in his 30s, and his motive was unknown.

Seven others were taken to hospitals, and some had injuries that appeared extremely critical, Ellis said.

Now, back to my North Texas "convenience store" story. I believed that at that moment my life was in danger. But, I did not want to kill these young black men. Therefore, I made a very quick decision, right, wrong, or indifferent, and shot a round between the feet of the biggest of the black fellas. It seemed as if those boys were on pogo sticks, for they shot straight up in the air, turning as they went up, and then when they came down they were motoring away from their "supposed victim." I lived to work again another day. And that is the only time I have used my "concealed carry" weapon since I obtained the license 13 years ago.

Now, the lines which I have written can do nothing for the grief the families are carrying for the loss of their loved ones in Connecticut. But, they might give "courage" to you or one of your family members to be ready "should events suddenly place you in harm's way."

In conclusion, I'm still battling serious physical issues. Pray for me regarding those. Last evening at 6 PM, my cell phone rang. It was Lt. Colonel Guy Markizano calling [2 AM Israel time] just to check on me. He is the officer in charge of the IDF Officers artillery school in the Negev. I must tell you that it really encouraged my heart to have an IDF Colonel call me to check up on my physical well-being.


1 comment:

  1. My dear beloved friend Jim Vineyard,

    Your wisdom is much appreciated and accurate as usual.

    We love you and intercede for your health and strength renewal immediately and completely, in complete faith of the Messiah of Israel. Lt. Col. Guy is a blessing, bless him in his work of protecting Israel. Again your experience of real life shows us some hard lessons and bless you for sharing them to those not so trained in combat. We are including your family and you in our prayers(tefillos).

    We are building the walls of the Eastern Gate, weapons in one hand and the trowel tempered(morter) in the other while eagerly awaiting the arrival of Messiah - Yehoshua HaMashiach.

    Shalom Shalom Yehudi Chaverim, Woody and Mary Marvel