The Texas church shooting: dancing in the blood of the victims

I note with real anger the display by various politicians and other commenters, who’ve jumped on the tragedy in Texas yesterday (sometimes literally within minutes of the news breaking) and used it as yet another excuse to promote their views.  Some of the comments, particularly from non-religious or anti-religious perspectives, have been sickening:

They were in a church that was full of prayers. They need a government who will enact common sense gun laws. #GunControlNow
    — rosanne cash (@rosannecash) November 5, 2017

thoughts and prayers for people who were mowed down in a church sounds especially hollow.
    — Karen Tumulty (@ktumulty) November 5, 2017

They were in church. They had the prayers shot right out of them. Maybe try something else.
    — Michael McKean (@MJMcKean) November 5, 2017

“Thoughts and prayers” again, @realDonaldTrump, idiot? These people were in CHURCH. They WERE praying.
    — Keith Olbermann (@KeithOlbermann) November 5, 2017

The murdered victims were in a church. If prayers did anything, they’d still be alive, you worthless sack of shit.
    — Wil Wheaton (@wilw) November 5, 2017

There are many more at the link.

One thing to note about those who rail against religion, and try to debunk it in the case of a tragedy like this:  they’re all arrogating to themselves the right to tell God how he/she/it must conduct him/her/itself.  They aren’t asking for explanations – they’re providing them, according to their perspective, and more or less explicitly rejecting anything that doesn’t fit their preconceptions (including the existence [or otherwise] of God, the operation of grace, and so on).

I’m not out to convince anyone of God’s existence.  I believe He does;  but talking about it won’t persuade many people.  It’s my job to live my belief, so that others may see in my life (rather than hear about) the fruits of my faith.  That’s why, when people want to tell me what they believe, I respectfully say to (or of) them I’d prefer that they showed me.  (As the famous quotation, wrongly attributed to St. Francis of Assisi but undoubtedly based on his teachings, says:  “Preach the gospel at all times.  If necessary, use words.”)

Another aspect is the issue of gun control.  Yes, the gunman was aided in his violence by the possession of an AR15-type rifle;  but if he hadn’t had access to it, there are many other ways in which he could have killed as many, if not more victims.  For example, the worst school massacre in America didn’t involve firearms, except for the perpetrator’s suicide;  explosives were the weapon of choice.  Some of the worst nightclub disasters around the world (e.g. Happy Land in New York, USA;  Blue Bird Café in Montreal, Canada;  Whisky Au Go Go in Brisbane, Australia;  etc.) involved arson using gasoline, not firearms.  In almost all the incidents mentioned, casualties were higher (sometimes much higher) than they were in yesterday’s shooting.

As I pointed out after the Winnenden school shooting in Germany:

You can’t stop criminal actions by banning things. You can only stop them by stopping the people who commit them. The tools used are basically irrelevant.

I said something similar a couple of years later, in connection with another incident.  Those words remain as true today as ever they were.  The tragedy in Texas yesterday won’t change it.

Back in 1925, H. L. Mencken skewered gun control proponents in his usual inimitable style.  Kevin, over at The Smallest Minority, offers one of the best debunkings of gun control that you’ll find on the Web.  Barry Snell has another excellent perspective on the gun control debate.  Finally, the late Weaponsman calculated that there may be as many as 660 million firearms in circulation in the USA.  Just how does anyone expect a gun control law to confiscate them all – particularly when those of us who value our Second Amendment rights have no intention of surrendering them?

I won’t say more about the Texas shootings yet, because information is still coming out.  Those who are using it to attack religious faith, or agitate for more gun control, know no more than the rest of us;  yet they’re gleefully piling on with their attacks and their insinuations.  They’re dancing in the blood of the victims.  I don’t know any other way to describe their behavior.



  1. In my most humble opinion any priest rabbi minister pastor or any other flavor of religious leader who does not immediately state categorically that any church member with a carry permit is ENCOURAGED to do so at services is a fool and highly neglectful of their flock.
    Last night on of the usual suspects was pontificating about how all churches would now need armed security and how unfair this was for smaller poorer congregations. I switched channels as the man was obviously an idiot who never in his life had been part of a small religious group. Having been involved in such myself the first reaction to a problem situation is always how can we resolve this within the congregation.

  2. I was not surprised that neighbors ran down the shooter. I was a bit surprised that no one in the congregation returned fire…though I admit it is still too early to know for sure. Still, a small 50ish congregation with over 40 casualties says he got most of them one way or the other, so likely no return fire from inside.

    And yes, the Lord works in many ways, usually through mere mortals…even ones with a CHL.

  3. Well stated, Peter. The people who are dancing in the victims' blood are more than horrible, odious despicable creatures. They are actively abetting future violence of this type. I just saw a terrific meme over on the Gateway Pundit blog – something like, "Gun control is like stopping DUI drivers by taking away everyone's drivers license". And make sure you see James Woods' Twitter feed in response to some of the idiocy, including from Obama.

  4. It must be remembered that an armed citizen engaged the attacker when he heard gunfire, and stopped the deaths at 29, rather than hundreds. Thank God for those of us with arms and with training.

  5. Peter,
    I may not agree with your views on God, but please do not use your views to cloud the logical part of your brain, God does not encourage you not to think.
    1. Making guns difficult to obtain makes it easier for police enforcement to catch those who seek out weapons of destruction.
    2. This doesn't just apply to guns the strict control of explosives, chemicals and equipment to create chemical weapons have al, lead to numerous terror plots in the UK. And because automatic assault ruffles are non existent even in criminals hands the damage caused is limited.
    3. Australia, UK, Scandinavia actions by Government after serious events lead to them being eliminated or at least minimised.
    We can never eliminate evil in this world, but we do not have to arm it and give it free rain to kill over 80 people within weeks. In the UK we have suffered evil via terrorism but even then Westminster 4, Borough Market 8 means it was not 100's I know you love your guns but please look at the evidence,

    1. @anon, given the type of small country church that was targeted which in all likelihood has a max of two exits, a murderous loon could likely have killed everyone in the church using household cleaning chemicals, a few plastic jugs, rags, and gasoline. It's not the thing , it's the person.

  6. Render unto God the things that are God's: Your prayers.
    Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's: The things of the material world; situational awareness, ability to defend yourself and your neighbors, the will to act when you must.

  7. To anonymous at 3:06:
    It isn't the weapons. In the US, we have more homicides with hands and feet than the UK does from all causes.

  8. Anon at 306pm isn't telling the whole story. Just like the media in this country.

    So snark on. Ya I want to have a country like the UK where I am a subject, not a citizen. Where all authority to violence is owned by the state. Where the person who defends themselves from thugs is more likely to go to prison than the thug. Where anything sharper and larger than a nail file is illegal. There is a politically incorrect word we use for those who won't defend themselves or their loved ones. That is what the subjects of the UK have become.

    Yep that's the place I want to live. The old saying here in the US that when guns are outlawed only outlaws will have guns is true in the UK and Europe as well. The criminals there seem to have no problem getting small arms. So two groups have small arms. The government (thugs) and the criminals (thugs). Anon better look closer at their statistics. There in the UK criminal use of small arms still happens with regularity. There have been mass shootings after their wonderful confiscatory laws were passed.

    So Anon at 306pm. Bollocks and Feck off. Next time you have to defend yourself from another dictator don't expect any assistance from US.

    I apologize only to Peter.

  9. "You can't stop criminal actions by banning things. You can only stop them by stopping the people who commit them. The tools used are basically irrelevant."

    And that's it in a nutshell

    – Charlie

  10. Both the murderer and Stephen Willeford, the man who stopped, him used AR style rifles. On one local news broadcast the murderer's rifle was described as an "assault rifle" but Willeford was described as using a "rifle."

  11. I feel it's worth pointing out that it was already illegal under existing law for the perpetrator to possess a firearm, much less purchase one. So anyone who is saying that we need more "common sense gun laws" is either lying through their teeth or doesn't know the facts of this situation. The "common sense gun laws" they are saying we need are already in place. The law states that anyone who is dishonorably discharged in the way this POS was is not allowed to possess a firearm. The Air Force failed (imagine that, government screwing something up) to get that information into the NICS Database that is used when a person fills out a background check form (on which, of course, this sack of garbage lied about his past, a felony offense) to purchase a firearm.

  12. Our cousins in the UK have the sort of gun control nirvanna that our American gun ban fanatics can only dream about. Elimination of virtually all handguns, severe restrictions on types of long arms, and now honing in on swords and large knives.
    And all they've had to surrender is their God given right to self defense. Small price to pay for peace and safety.
    Just one small flaw in this scenario, according to official UN statistics the UK, a modern English speaking nation, has a violent crime rate between four and five times that of gun crazy America.
    So it would appear that the premise the entire gun control agenda is based upon is nothing more that the usual pack of left wing wishful thinking and outright lies.

  13. Uncle Lar:

    those UK crime rates are VERY under-reported, according to English Bobbies. The various governments, especially England, put a great deal of effort into obfuscating the data. It is apparent that most all of their crime laws are designed to hide the extent of all types of crime, especially anything to do with violence. NONE of their officially released data is believable. Think Soviets when you see any of it.

  14. Saw a piece on CNN, where they were "answering" the question about whether more guns makes the world safer.

    In typical fashion, they pointed out that the US has more guns per capita than any country in the world. True enough, and yay for the US!

    And then they showed a graphic showing how many mass shootings there are. Per country. Why didn't they show a statistic of how many mass shootings there are….PER CAPITA? I have no idea what those numbers would look like (and I don't have the time at the moment to do the research). I'm just asking the question of why they don't measure things the same way.

  15. Thornharp:

    Pardon my digression, but that is not a correct interpretation of Mark 12:13-17.

    13. And they sent to him some of the Pharisees and of the Herodians; that they should catch him in his words.

    Being jealous of his popularity, and hating his righteousness, the Pharisees – who professed to love the Law against the world – and the Herodians, the collaborators, the sons of Israel who wished to tear down the Law, together made common cause; as if, during WWII, Vichy France and the Resistance had hated one man enough to set aside their enmity.

    14a. Who coming, say to him: Master, we know that thou art a true speaker, and carest not for any man; for thou regardest not the person of men, but teachest the way of God in truth.

    It was the practice in Jesus' day that, when one rabbi or another taught, they would cite as their authority some older rabbi, or portions of the Law itself.

    Jesus did not do so. He taught "as one having authority" – as if He had the right to interpret the Law given by God, or even to promulgate a new Law, even against the scribes and the pharisees; even against MOSES.

    Jesus claimed greater authority than Moses. And here the Pharisees give Him a backhanded complement, to remind their listeners that once He said, "before Abraham was, I AM".

    14b. Is it lawful to give tribute to Caesar; or shall we not give it?

    Here the scribes and Pharisees seek to trap Jesus. For if He teaches that it is lawful to pay the tax demanded by Caesar, they can easily disclaim Him as a blasphemer and rile the Zealots against Him. But if He answers that it is not lawful to pay the tax, then they can disclaim Him to the Romans as a rebel, for He denies Caesar's authority.

    15. Who knowing their wiliness, saith to them: Why tempt you me? bring me a penny that I may see it.

    But Jesus, knowing the hardness of their hearts, disposes of their poisonous question with the utmost subtlety and simplicity.

    16. And they brought it him. And he saith to them: Whose is this image and inscription? They say to him, Caesar's.

    Upon the denarius given Jesus, laid a graven image – forbidden to the Jews – and a blasphemous text. For the coin read – "Augustus Caesar, son of the god Julius."

    There were many among the Pharisees who claimed that even to possess such a coin, much less to use it in trade, was sinful. But one or more among them has such a penny on his very person; and by their own actions, they prove themselves hypocrites, piling up heavy burdens for others but not lifting a finger to carry them themselves.

    17. And Jesus answering, said to them: Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's. And they marvelled at him.

    And the as Our Lord spoke, he not only utterly blew away the trap they had set for him, laying their plans in ruins, but also spoke a timeless, universal, marvelous truth. For if the coin we are obligated to render unto Caesar bears his image and his inscription, what bears the image and inscription of God, that we are obligated to render unto him?

    Genesis 1:26. And he said: Let us make man to our image and likeness: and let him have dominion over the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the air, and the beasts, and the whole earth, and every creeping creature that moveth upon the earth.

    Jeremiah 31:33. But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel, after those days, saith the Lord: I will give my law in their bowels, and I will write it in their heart: and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

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