Thomas Gallatin / November 6, 2017

Hate Crime Hits Texas Church? (Updated)

A deranged criminal attacked Christians, murdering 26 people. He was stopped by a good guy with a gun.

As parishioners worshipped Sunday morning at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, a crazed individual attacked the church, killing 26 people before he was shot and chased off by a neighbor who responded to hearing shots fired. The attacker, who fled in his SUV, was eventually forced off the road and was found dead in his vehicle from a gunshot wound. The number of dead would most certainly have been greater had not a good guy with a gun shown up to confront and end the rampage.

The attacker was a 26-year-old former member of the U.S. Air Force who had been discharged for bad conduct in 2014 after a domestic violence conviction. He was court-martialed in 2012, spent a year in confinement and took a reduction in rank. He was married and a father of at least one young child. Several people who knew him have described him as an “outcast” but not a loner, and one who “preached his atheism” online. His online social profile does indeed lend support to the view that he was a vehement and, it now seems, militant atheist. There are also unconfirmed rumors that he was sympathetic toward antifa. Given antifa’s weekend “resistance” rallies, that makes us wonder…

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott stated, “I don’t think this is a random act of shooting, a randomly chosen location, but obviously someone who is very deranged.” President Donald Trump responded to the news from Japan, saying, “Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and families in today’s horrible … attack. In dark times, and these are dark times … Americans do what they do best: they pull together. We join hands, we lock arms, and through the tears and through the sadness, we stand strong.” He continued, “All Americans pray to God to help the wounded and the families of the victims.”

And of course, predictably, before any investigation had taken place or the facts were known, the anti-Second Amendment crowd quickly sought to politicize the atrocity by laying blame for the crime on law-abiding Americans’ right to bear arms, the National Rifle Association and Republicans. Never mind the fact that the killer’s domestic violence conviction already made it illegal for him own or possess a firearm or ammunition. Once again, gun control advocates ignorantly assign responsibility for the crime to the availability of firearms, irrespective of the actual laws on the books. A killer’s decision isn’t their focus.

Yet this atrocity should once again remind everyone that evil is real and no law can rid it from the hearts and minds of people.

Update: Police are now saying the killer died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, and that his motive was domestic and not religious.

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