Simply unbelievable

Many on the Left were certainly hoping to use last week’s school shooting to push for more gun control (there’s even been talk of a “semiautomatic weapons ban,” which would essentially outlaw the vast majority of rifles and handguns in circulation today).

But as the facts come out about this tragedy, it’s more and more clear that anger — and an insistence on maintaining the right to self-defense — is far more appropriate.  To summarize:

  • Local police had been called to alleged shooter Nikolas Cruz’s residence 39 times over the previous seven years, with the Broward County Sheriffs involved in 23 of them.
  • The Broward County Sheriff has admitted his department did not follow standard protocols regarding such a recurring residence, and two deputies are under investigation in that regard.
  • The FBI says it also failed to follow protocols after being warned in January about Cruz — one of two such warnings it received.
  • During the event, Cruz was able to leave the school undetected because officers were watching security video they thought was live but had been rewound more than 20 minutes.   As much as I try not to use it, all I can say to this is WTF?
  • And to top it all off: there was an armed, uniformed sheriffs deputy assigned to the high school as a resource officer who never entered the building or engaged the shooter during the entire massacre!

The Broward County Sheriffs Department released that last item Thursday morning, right after the previous evening’s CNN “Town Hall” on the event, during which Sheriff Scott Israel puffed his chest and pointed fingers at Dana Loesch and the National Rifle Association, as though the failures listed above are somehow their fault.  Sheriff Israel had to have known of his officers’ failures even as he preened for the cameras!

Given all the above, public school teachers would be justified in refusing to work until/unless they are given permission to be trained and armed.  These data points starkly illustrate the truth of the adage “when seconds count, the police are only minutes away.”  The gunfire lasted four minutes.  Time that on a clock, and while the timer’s running, imagine being a teacher or teenager in a closet hearing gunfire the whole time… with no effective way to fight back.  While a armed veteran officer cowered outside the school, a 15-year old JROTC cadet died holding a door for fellow students to escape (one of three cadets to die that day), others quickly thought to use kevlar mats to protect their classmates, and a beloved coach, with no weapon available to him, died shielding his students with his own body.

This entire event is best summarized by a military acronym whose use I also keep to a minimum:  FUBAR.  I’ve really, really tried not to entertain theories that mass shootings are a conscious tool of people who want to disarm us, but such a complete and catastrophic failure makes that increasingly difficult.  It doesn’t help the government any that one of the most prominently featured students with various media is the articulate son of an FBI agent.  There’s also the fact that four months after the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history (in Las Vegas), the authorities are either still clueless about what happened and why, or are simply refusing to tell the public anything.

The Left wants us to be angry, and I am.

I’m angry that government at every level utterly failed to recognize and act on a wealth of threat information about Cruz.

I’m angry that the information was not routed in such a way as to prevent Cruz from purchasing his weapons (the entire POINT of a background check!).

I’m angry that a veteran officer (with enough time to qualify to retire) did NOTHING as 17 people died around him.

I’m angry that only the resource officer has had the sense of shame enough to resign (although he stands to collect his retirement).  While there have been public calls for people to be fired, recent history doesn’t lend much confidence anyone with real authority will be held accountable.

I’m angry that institutions such as the FBI are more focused on political witch hunts than they are actual protection of citizens.

I’m angriest that all of this is being exploited emotionally to try to further restrict our means of self-defense, even as it becomes apparent we cannot count on anyone else to take care of it for us.  There’s not a law or restriction that could have solved the failures listed above, and I don’t intend to pay for somebody else’s abdication of responsibilities.

The Bible cautions us “in your anger, do not sin.”  I don’t think it’s a sin to warn the gun-grabbers they don’t know the fire they’re playing with.  In the same passage we’re told not to give the devil an opportunity.  The history of firearm confiscations would seem to show it’s just that – a grave opportunity for evil.  So I’ll conclude with a phrase that’s being seen more and more these days:



Stop looking to government to save you

Because it’s plain that is its last priority.  Our nation’s Federal law enforcement has now spent over a year investigating politically charged claims that President Trump somehow colluded with Russia to “steal” the election away from Hillary Clinton.  (After all, how else to explain the anointed one’s failure to ascend to the throne?)

But apparently that same apparatus had no resources to spare when told specifically and repeatedly about the threat posed by Nikolas Cruz.  More than FIVE MONTHS before the troubled young man shot up a school on Wednesday, a YouTube channel owner alerted the FBI to online comments Cruz made under his own name about wanting to be a “professional school shooter.”  Today the FBI admitted it was also given very specific threat information about Cruz SIX WEEKS ago… and did NOTHING:

‘The caller provided information about Cruz’s gun ownership, desire to kill people, erratic behavior, and disturbing social media posts, as well as the potential of him conducting a school shooting,’ said the FBI in a  statement on Friday.

The agency went on to state that this information, which came in over their Public Access Line, should have been classified as ‘a potential threat to life’ and the Miami field office notified about the information.

Those protocols were not followed however for reasons that are still not clear, and on Wednesday Cruz shot dead 17 people.

Maybe too many agents were busy trying to trap Trump associates.  Maybe they were all busy sending thousands of text messages to their lovers.  The truly cynical part of me can no longer dismiss the possibility some in our government allow such things to happen because the public then willingly surrenders more of their rights in an elusive quest for security from Uncle Sam.  Whatever the reason, Florida Governor Rick Scott is right to call for the resignation of FBI Director Christopher Wray.  But accountability shouldn’t stop at that mostly symbolic gesture.  EVERY agent who was privy to the information that citizens had provided should be fired and prosecuted for gross dereliction of duty resulting in loss of life.

We’re constantly told we need a perpetual surveillance society, and that if we “see something, say something.”  But what good does it do to surrender our rights to privacy and accept an Orwellian panopticon if those in authority fail in their part of the devil’s bargain and refuse to protect us?

And the Left wants us to give up even more of our rights by disarming?  I think not.  In fact, it’s plain the opposite needs to occur: more citizens need to arm and train themselves.  At the same time pundits are praising the willingness of Coach Aaron Feis to give his life shielding students, they’re asking what needs to be done to prevent such tragedies.  It shouldn’t be so hard to connect the dots: train and arm willing teachers so schools stop being inviting soft targets.  No teacher who is willing to risk their life for their kids as Coach Feis did should have to face an attacker unarmed.  I saw this graphic online recently and it speaks for itself:


Nothing in the above list is more precious than our children — our future.  The utter failure of the FBI in this case reinforces the adage that “when seconds count, the police are just minutes away.”  We have a God-given right to “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness,” and that includes the right to defend those things.  We may delegate some of that authority to police agencies, but one of the first things I learned as a military officer is that while you can delegate authority, you cannot delegate responsibility.  All of us, as citizens and parents, are ultimately responsible for the defense of our families and communities.  That responsibility means facing head-on the fact there is evil in this world that requires the average person to be prepared to confront it at any moment.

It also includes the responsibility to punish those we empower to act on our behalf, but who fail to do so.  There MUST be a revival of accountability — and personal responsibility, including self-defense — in this country!

Hope in the storm

Hurricane Irma is scheduled to start her run Sunday up the spine of Florida–a State I have many ties to.  It’s a unique display of the destructive chaos of a fallen universe.  I don’t put much stock in leaders who often jump to declare individual disasters as specific judgments from God for specific failures of a group of people.  The Bible certainly confirms He has done so in the past.  And we live in an age literally hell-bent on thumbing our nose at God.  But I believe in this age of Grace we now live since the sacrifice of Christ, these “acts of God” are less often conscious action on His part than they are inaction to stop the built-in consequences of a creation frustrated under the weight of sin.

There are two things to consider here from God’s view.  First, the world increasingly rejects anything to do with Him.  Second, times of catastrophe focus us on what’s truly important and necessary far more than do times of calm and comfort.  So rather than seeing God as a cosmic killjoy looking for excuses to hurl lightning bolts at wrongdoers, I believe the better analogy is one of a rejected Lover who has sadly granted our world’s desire to leave His presence and prescriptions, and as a consequence lose His protection as well.

But that’s the “big picture,” so to speak.  The wondrous part of all this is that God doesn’t just deal with humanity.  Or a specific nation.  Or a specific city.  He treats with each of us individually, desiring a personal relationship based on reciprocal love.  This is unlike any “religious” conception on earth: the Creator desiring individual communion with His created.  Despite humanity’s sinful nature He cares for us and hears us — our needs, wants, fears, and confessions.  Just this week a family I know was stranded far from home with a broken car well after business hours.  Yet God answered their pleas for help with an amazing turn of events that brought the right people (including an off-duty mechanic) and provided the resources to get them safely on their way again.

So in the midst of the storm; in the midst of the effects of the rule of this present darkness, we all have the privilege to seek shelter through prayer in the love of the Father, made possible by His Son, Jesus Christ.  It’s not simply a “get out of jail free” card, or some kind of magic spell to ward off tragedy.  No, this presence He offers provides comfort, perspective, and strength regardless of what happens physically:

(King) Nebuchadnezzar answered and said to them, “Is it true, O Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the golden image that I have set up? Now if you are ready when you hear the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, bagpipe, and every kind of music, to fall down and worship the image that I have made, well and good.  But if you do not worship, you shall immediately be cast into a burning fiery furnace. And who is the god who will deliver you out of my hands?”

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If this be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.”

That is the comfort and strength I’m talking about: the confidence to trust God, obey Him, and let Him work all things for the good of those who love HimIt may not be the “good” we think we want.  “Unfair” things will happen.  We may lose our jobs.  Our earthly possessions.  Even our life.  But for those who love God and trust Him, any and all of that pales in comparison to the eternal joy that awaits us when we see Him face to face.

Everyone reading this is facing storms.  It may not be a Category 4 hurricane, but we each have pressures that threaten to crush us.  Know there is a God who cares for you, who is far more powerful than any storm you could face, and who desires what He knows is the best for you.  Ask Him for peace.  For calm in the midst of the storm.  And    *Even If*    it seems the storm has taken everything away from you, know that if your trust is in God you already have everything you need.  There is nothing that can take that away from you.


May the Lord bless and keep us all, according to His good will.