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Guns and Crime

Robert Engle overcame and saved lives at a Tennessee church



The adrenaline that pumps through our veins and causes us to take action is known as the “fight or flight” reflex. This is a base instinct that can’t be overcome no matter how civilized we become, and no matter how much some people think if we just don’t resist an attacker they will leave us alone. Most of us choose to flee when a gunman opens fire and we are unarmed and defenseless. A much smaller percentage of us will confront an attacker and embrace the “fight” aspect of our natural instinct.

A young man by the name of Robert Engle was one of these when a Sudanese immigrant by the name of Emanuel Samson walked into the Burnette Chapel Church of Christ in Antioch, Tennessee and opened fire with a handgun. The 22-year-old Engle, unarmed but with an instinct to defend himself and his fellow parishioners, fought with Samson until Samson accidentally shot himself. One person was killed and seven wounded in the shooting.

Personally, I applaud young Mr. Engle for his courage and his quick instinct. Everyone else ran or found somewhere to hide. This young church usher decided to fight, saving the lives of God only knows how many people in the process. No one was expecting this to happen when they went to worship that morning. Does anyone?

No. People really don’t expect attacks like these to happen, but we should all be prepared for them all of the time. There is evil in the world, and it’s not people who want you to pay for your own contraceptives or your own health care, and it’s certainly not the vast majority of police officers. It’s actually concentrated largely in many of the places the radical left considers heroes.

Think about it a minute. Islamists. Immigrant gangs. Professional athletes (yeah you guys can protest cops shooting thugs when you stop beating your women). Violence can come at us at any time. I’ve written a couple of articles on the value of the 2nd Amendment and I imagine I’ll write many more, but this isn’t one of them. What I want people to think about right now is simply being aware.


Usher hailed as ‘hero’ after stopping church shooter“I’ve been going to this church my whole life,” Engle said. “I would have never, ever thought something like this would have happened.”

“I ask everyone to pray for the victims, family members of the victims, our church community. Please pray for healing,” Engle said in a statement. “Also, please pray for the shooter, the shooter’s family and friends. They are hurting as well.”

Father of man who helped stop gunman during mass shooting says he’s proud | WZTV speaking about Robert Engle’s heroic actions, his father James held back tears and pride.

“I’m seeing my son’s face was covered in blood,” James Engle said. “I’m sitting here, thinking, ‘dadgummit, I think he got shot’.”

“Some of the people he was close to here have talked to him, and he said it was just an instinct– just a reaction,” Engle’s former employer said. “Just something he did out of impulse, which is not surprising. It’s just kind of who he is.”

Personal turmoil weighed on Nashville church shooting suspect Emanuel K. Samson | The Tennessean 10:01 a.m., he sent a message to his employers at Crimson Security Service saying he would not be returning to work. Within an hour, investigators said, he arrived at Burnette Chapel Church of Christ in a hail of gunfire.

Now, police say, the congregation he once called home has lost a member at his hands.

Accused church shooter worked as security guard, was renewing li – KRTV News in Great Falls, Montana I-Team has confirmed that last Friday, Samson was taking a class at the Academy of Personal Protection and Security in Nashville in order to renew his license.

“He was quiet and nice,” said owner Buford Tune. “There was nothing outstanding about him at all.”

Final Thoughts

I wish we could get to a place where we could all just learn to live together in harmony, but until Christ calls us home someday that isn’t going to happen. Until then we must be vigilant at all times. Each of us must decide what that looks like for us.

I’m not going to tell anyone what they must do to be ready for violence when it does come. I will be happy to tell you what I do to be prepared.

  1. Except where it is disallowed by law (I avoid these places as much as possible) I carry a concealed handgun with me at all times.
  2. Carrying a gun isn’t enough. I train with it regularly. I’m actually a former military and civilian firearms instructor so I happily teach others to shoot as well. Training is essential. I don’t care if your eyes a Navy SEAL, you’ve NEVER had enough training.
  3. My home is always adequately stocked with food, water and supplies that would allow me to hole up for a couple of weeks or more if needed in the even of large-scale violence like we’ve seen in he past few years (although I live in Texas, not Baltimore, so that wouldn’t last long here).
  4. I ALWAYS pay attention to my surroundings. I’m not paranoid, but I know who is around me, and generally what they are doing at all times.

It’s really not that hard. It’s really not that much. Do whatever you feel is necessary to make yourself and your family safe in the event of something terrible happening. Statistically you better never need it, but if you do, won’t you be glad you took the time and effort to prepare? Rarely do you simply rise to the occasion like Robert Engle did, so be ready ahead of time.

Benjamin Wilhelm served as a commissioned officer in the United States military for 10 years, serving one combat tour in Afghanistan. He is a recipient of the Bronze Star and Combat Action Badge among other military awards. Ben has worked in a variety of private sector businesses both large and small. He is a former military and civilian firearms instructor and an advocate for veterans issues. Ben is a strict Constitutionalist who sees the Federal government as an out of control leviathan, and the federal debt as a burden that will break the country. Ben is a divorced father of two boys.

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Culture and Religion

Armbands and the death of a Republic



Weeks ago, David Hogg and sister unleashed a new fashion statement for “their” movement. In an attempt to copy Tinker, they want people to protest guns by wearing armbands. The movement Lauren Hogg named #ArmbandsForChange encourages students to make their own armbands, a surprising move for people trying to capitalize off of the death of 17 students. Nonetheless, obvious criticism and comparisons to Nazis ensued. However, I believe Corey Stallings of LowderWithCrowder correctly opined:

Before you break out the hammer and nails to crucify me, I’m not saying the kids are Literally Hitler. I’m not a leftist, after all. I know their choice of armbands wasn’t intentional and they’re copying student hippies from the ’60s. Alls I’m saying is a group of armband-clad underaged lemmings marching in the name of big government isn’t the best look, regardless of their intentions.

We have to cut the kids a little slack on account of their ignorance. They lack experience and perspective to understand the complexities of issues and their actions. This is also why it’s silly to let them dictate American gun policy.

Also, while we’re on the subject, armbands, ribbons, and other grandstanding gestures don’t do anything for a cause. I have yet to find a single person who changed their opinion on a subject thanks to a clever Twitter hashtag. Facts and stats, on the other hand, are effective like Michael Moore taste-testing for Little Debbie. Unfortunately for anti-gunners, facts to back up their views are scarce. Which leads to the dependence on superficial gestures. Which might accidentally harken back to Nazis.

The March for Gun Confiscation is taking place, and while armbands aren’t a major theme, the implications of what they are doing are a reason for liberty overs everywhere to brace themselves. Mob mentality has a dark history and they compare to a little-known story that impacted the Founding Fathers and our history.

Not Quite Tinker

Tinker v Des Moines is a case about students who wore armbands to protest US involvement in the Vietnam War. This is what 14-year-olds learn about in high school government classes. In both cases, armbands are involved; however major differences arise. For Tinker, it was a passive method of protest. Also, Tinker was honest, in that, the Vietnam War was the subject of protest. The Hoggs, on the other hand, want major gun restrictions, to put it mildly. They mask this intent under the guise of protesting gun violence, a term coined by gun control activist in the first place. The scopes of these respective protests are vastly different. One protested a poorly executed military misadventure, the other wants to take away the rights of the people. The latter is quite aggressive. As Stallings noted, the facts aren’t on their side, so they rely on emotions to dictate policy and conversation. They are trying to awaken the mob. Emotions and intimidation are all part of a time-tested means to advance evil. The Nazis are only one example. Another brought down a Republic.

The Dutch Republic

Before the United States, the Dutch had a Republic. The Dutch Republic was a maritime empire dominating Europe in world trade. They even had the world’s first stock market. But all the while, the Dutch struggled with a division between people who believed in the ideals of Republicanism(Republicans or Patriots) or the people who wanted a strong government leader, the Orangist (monarchists). The Orangist supported the royal family, in this instance is William III Orange.

There’s a Dutch movie on Netflix called Admiral. It’s about how Admiral de Ruyter, one of the greatest admirals of all time, navigated both war and politics. Better action scenes than most of Hollywood. It features Charles Dance, who played Tywin Lannister, so there’s some familiarity for the American viewer. Anyway, in the movie, the Orangists are depicted wearing Orange armbands.

In history, Charles II made an alliance with the French and German states to coordinate an invasion of the Netherlands. The statesmen, Johan de Witt had long helmed the Republic and through multiple wars, but this war would be his last. The alliance caused such a panic, that mob rule took over. The Orangists seized Cornelius de Witt, Johan’s brother for “conspiring against William III” and tortured him. Violent demonstrations took place. Johan de Witt resigned. He shortly after went to see his brother. The mob seized the de Witt brothers and tore them to pieces and hung the remains against a lamppost. 1672 was the fall of the Dutch Republic. Though the rise of William III, the eventual King of England following the Glorious Revolution, would save them from England, the Dutch Golden Age was ending.

History Matters

The mistakes made in the Dutch Republic were noted by the Founding Fathers. In Federalist 20, James Madison critiques the Dutch Republic as an example of a failed confederacy. He refers to the United Netherlands as “imbecility in government.”

A weak constitution must necessarily terminate in dissolution, for want of proper powers, or the usurpation of powers requisite for the public safety. Whether the usurpation, when once begun, will stop at the salutary point, or go forward to the dangerous extreme, must depend on the contingencies of the moment. Tyranny has perhaps oftener grown out of the assumptions of power, called for, on pressing exigencies, by a defective constitution, than out of the full exercise of the largest constitutional authorities.

The Founding Fathers put in place many precautions in order to prevent mob rule or imbecility in government as seen in the Dutch Republic. The confederacy, Madison argues was ineffective, and true patriots know that we must avoid the same mistakes.

Hoggs and Mobs

Whether it be larger forces than them or they themselves, their actions are dangerous. I don’t believe that these kids were trying to be Nazis; however, they are, likely knowingly, trying to incite a mob. A more accurate comparison than Nazis would be that they are like the Orangists, wearing orange coincidentally used to protest guns every June. Their protest is assertive and, if successful, will strip the natural freedoms away from many Americans, especially their age group of young adults. Their armbands are identifiers in which they intend to normalize and further mobilize their calls to control the liberties of the people. Calls to actions such as theirs are why the people necessitate a Constitution empowering a unique federal system including a Bill of Rights to specifically protect freedoms from a single tyrant and or the tyranny of the majority.

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Guns and Crime

Is Operation Choke Point making a comeback in GOP-controlled Washington?



In 2013, Barack Obama and Erik Holder launched Operation Choke Point (OCP), an initiative that gave the government power to use banks and financial institutions to track down companies suspected of illegal activities.

Like just about everything else Obama did, OCP violated our Constitutional rights—in this case the Fourth Amendment’s protection against unreasonable search and seizure. However, the community organizer also used OCP as a back-door method to dismantle the Second Amendment by using banks to shut down “risky” gun dealers by denying them bank services. In 2015, a gun store in Hawkins, WI, was driven out of business when their bank closed their account simply because they sold guns and ammo.

Obama’s dictatorial use of OCP eventually led to the Financial Institution Customer Protection Act (FICPA) in 2016. Co-sponsored by Sens. Ted Cruz and Mike Lee, the bill was designed to prevent the government from using banking services to target firearms businesses for doing nothing more than exercising their Constitutional rights.

FICPA was revived in 2017 in the House, and while it hasn’t become law yet, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced last summer that he was committed to ending the unconstitutional program.

But all of this transpired before the high school shooting in Parkland, FL. Since that tragedy, there’s been a new willingness by Trump and the GOP to abandon liberty in the name of safety. Gone is the commitment to protect the Constitution. Instead, a Dianne Feinstein-friendly approach to chipping away at the Second Amendment has taken its place.

Already on record as being in favor of denying due process rights in order to seize our guns, Trump has joined hands with Republicrats, Trumplicans, and Democrats—sorry if that was being redundant—to advance a host of anti-Second Amendment schemes.

One such scheme is a proposal known as “Fix NICS.” Though supposedly an improvement to background checks, this bill is so flawed that it would give government the power to seize guns simply for having unpaid parking tickets. Bad news, right? That’s not the worst of it. Fix NICS is part of the new Omnibus bill to finance the government for the rest of the year.

Since we’re talking about gun control and finances once again, it looks like Operation Choke Point could be on the way back. Citigroup announced yesterday that they will cease doing business with firearms dealers unless they adopt a host of anti-gun proposals, such as not selling guns to anyone under 21.

According to Citigroup’s head of global public affairs, Ed Skyler, this new policy isn’t intended to “rid the world of firearms.” However, it should be noted that Skyler served under former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg for eight years. As you’re probably aware, Bloomberg is the founder of Everytown for Gun Safety, a major player in the anti-Second Amendment movement.

Will Trump and the GOP keep OCP from making a return? Will they stop people like Bloomberg? Or will they cave to anti-gun hysteria and welcome them into their Constitution-killing fold. Based on recent history, the answer to these questions aren’t looking too good.

Originally posted on The Strident Conservative.

David Leach is the owner of The Strident Conservative. His daily radio commentary is nationally syndicated with Salem Radio Network and can be heard on stations across America.

Follow the Strident Conservative on Twitter and Facebook. Subscribe to receive podcasts of radio commentaries: iTunes | Stitcher | Tune In | RSS

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Culture and Religion

Sheepdogs, Guardians and Liberty control




The issue of security is a serious matter, we should be following the realistic examples of what works to keep our children safe.

So what is the best way to protect people from evil? Taking a page from ranchers or other rural folk who need to protect their flocks from predation may be the best way of figuring this out. We know what doesn’t work, and that would be depriving the people of their liberty of self-preservation. But this doesn’t stop the left from obsessing over inanimate object control. This is a futile pursuit since even in an environments where the Liberty of self-defense is heavily controlled, shootings still take place.

It would be far better if we did not need these measures, but the Socialist-Left has insisted upon tearing down the country’s moral underpinnings to replace them with it’s vile collectivist ideals. So we have to decide the best way to protect from that which the enemies of Liberty on the Left have imposed on the nation. The fact of the matter is that these commonly held arms have been around for over 100 years while these attacks are of a more recent phenomenon. It also needs to be pointed out that Despite Heightened Fear Of School Shootings, It’s Not A Growing Epidemic as reported on Left-Leaning NPR.

Examine how is security provided in other fields to decide what Will Work.

As has been always the case, Liberty control will not work because evil will always find a way to kill. Witness recent events in Austin, Texas where bombs replaced guns in bringing on terror. Even if guns could be wiped from existence criminals, terrorist or governments would find a way to deliberately slaughter people. Therefore the choice is that of restoring our moral underpinnings or providing new guards for our security. While the national socialist Left still holds sway over the culture, media and government indoctrination centres that necessary restoration will have to wait. So the only realistic option is one of armed, on-scene responders to protect our most precious resource.

Similar circumstances teach the best forms of security: The example of livestock control and protection.

Law enforcement personal are often referred to ‘sheepdogs’. They maintain control over crowds of people in varying situations while also protecting them. We can extend this analogy further as a way of illustrating the way to keep people safe from predation. Ranchers have two main types of animals to assist them, for control they use the venerable herding breeds of dogs ranging from the Border Collie, Australian Shepherd, Corgi, Sheltie, etc. To protect them they also have animals commonly referred to as Livestock guardians. These range from special breeds of livestock guardian dogs to Llamas or Donkeys. They normally live with the flock to provide around the clock protection. They also blend in with it to a certain extent so that the predators cannot single them out.

Guardian protect the flock while sheepdogs maintain control.

In both situations it’s the guardians who blend in and are always on the scene in case of attack. With the ‘flocks’ of humans, the guardians are the people carrying concealed weapons. Those bent on evil don’t know who this may be, their numbers or location. The element of uncertainty keeps the human predators at bay. By contrast the sheepdogs usually stand out in a crowd. While they also offer a deterrent effect, this can be negated by their visibility. They can also be targeted first in an attack to defeat that layer of security.

In the world of the rancher attempting to both protect his (or her) flock, they have the sheepdogs to move and control the flock while the guardians protect it. The sheepdogs do offer a layer of protection, but they cannot be present all the time. It’s the livestock guardians who bond with the flock who protect it around the clock.

The Takeaway.

Recent events illustrated that it’s impossible to keep people safe by banning guns or any other Liberty control measures. The only way to keep them safe in the immoral environment brought on by the Left, is to have both uniformed law enforcement and those carrying concealed on site as dual layers of defence. Merely decreeing a ‘Gun-Free’ zone or banning firearms are dangerous notions that do not work. These fanciful Leftist constructs only serve to deprive the innocent of the Liberty of self-defence and do nothing but raise the body count.

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