Anatomy of a BAD SHOOT – Brailsford Kills Shaver

When I heard about this incident, I thought, “No way, this can’t be a bad shoot.”  Over the last several years, I have investigate a number of shootings, detailing each and every word spoken and action taken to see if there’s anything which could have been done differently in order to change the outcome.  One such example involved the Kajieme Powell shooting.

I began by finding a well-written article on the subject, one with full video.  I used this article:  Lohr, D. (December 8, 2017). Former cop acquitted of fatally shooting unarmed man who begged for his life.  HuffPost.  Retrieved from:  https://www.yahoo.com/news/former-cop-acquitted-fatally-shooting-174933492.html

In order to prevent any writer’s prose from coloring my judge, I watched the video, first.  My first reaction was, “My GOD? WHAT ‘failure to comprehend simple instructions?’ ”  By the second time through the video, I began to see some inconsistencies and irregularities and began taking notes.  It took seven complete times through the video, with many pauses and section re-plays for detailed notes, before I arrived at the following conclusion:

This MORON hasn’t the SLIGHTEST FREAKING CLUE that MOST people, when surprised by someone pointing a gun at them will respond in three ways:

  • Freeze in stark raving terror.
  • Autonomously continue (as in walking) as their brain attempts to make sense of what’s going on.
  • Flee in stark raving terror.

Few people actually respond immediately and appropriately to shouted instructions. That actually takes training, such as the kind of training common to law enforcement and military.

Upon reviewing my notes again, I arrived at some detailed conclusions:

This $HIT for brains wrongly assumed that the general public will respond in the same way.

This $HIT for brains FAILED TO FOLLOW PROCEDURE, which involves securing (handcuffing) suspects. You DO NOT stand there and talk to them as if you’re on some kind of power trip. You DO NOT question them at gunpoint.

“If you move we are going to consider that a threat.” WRONG. “Listen to my instructions and do not make a mistake.” WRONG. People under duress COMMONLY make mistakes. Law enforcement is SUPPOSED to be trained to DEAL deviations from exact adherence to given commands. In fact, POST standards DEMAND the law enforcement recognize deviations as NORMAL and NOT SHOOT.

This $HIT for brains began screaming at the suspect. There’s a HUGE difference between yelling and screaming. Yelling is necessary to overcome noise in the communications channel, such as traffic, crowds, or machinery. Screaming occurs when the officer has LOST CONTROL OF HIMSELF.

“You do that again we’re shooting you…” WRONG – WRONG – WRONG. This $HIT FOR BRAINS has made up his mind that any additional failure on the guy’s ability to exactly follow his commands is grounds for pulling the trigger. That is NOT the standard to which he was trained.

At this point he has inexorably convinced me that he has VIOLATED his training, going off on his own. Who’s to say why? Perhaps he played too many first person shooter games in his spare time. If so, that’s his fault, as well, as those games DILUTE and may actually COUNTER proper law enforcement training.

“Keep your hands straight in the air. If you think you’re going to fall you better fall on your face.” This $HIT FOR BRAINS is now commanding a human being to voluntarily counter a strong, instinctive reflex. That’s DEFINITELY counter to proper law enforcement training. He’s also further upsetting his suspect by threatening to shoot him.

YOU NEVER THREATEN TO SHOOT ANOTHER HUMAN BEING. There’s nothing wrong with being ready to do so if they do anything that’s actually a threat. But by threatening them, particularly with additional information like this guy was tossing out, simply backs people into a very dangerous, desperate corner.

“Brailsford said he thought Shaver was reaching for a gun when he fatally shot him. No gun was found on Shaver’s body.”

Former Mesa police officer Mitch Brailsford is a BLITHERING IDIOT. I can’t call this 1st Degree murder. In fact, I’m wondering if this is 2nd Degree murder, as it appears to lack the three typical situations that can constitute second degree murder:

  • A killing done impulsively without premeditation, but with malice aforethought
  • A killing that results from an act intended to cause serious bodily harm
  • A killing that results from an act that demonstrates the perpetrators depraved indifference to human life

But is it voluntary manslaughter? “The circumstances leading to the killing must be the kind that would cause a reasonable person to become emotionally or mentally disturbed; otherwise, the killing may be charged as a first-degree or second-degree murder.”

He’s a law enforcement officer, trained and certified by an academy, the department, and by proxy, the municipality of his employment. It is REASONABLE to assume they have weeded out people who will NOT become emotionally or mentally disturbed in those situations. Therefore, it’s not voluntary manslaughter.

So let’s revisit the three typical situations that can constitute second degree murder:

1. A killing done impulsively without premeditation, but with malice aforethought
2. A killing that results from an act intended to cause serious bodily harm
3. A killing that results from an act that demonstrates the perpetrators depraved indifference to human life

The nature of the officer’s comments, such as “if you don’t do exactly as I say we will shoot you” certainly meets the requirements of the first situation. As a trained police office, he is most certainly aware the act of shooting a person causes serious bodily harm or death, and he pulled the trigger five times, so he really meant it.

I think the third point, if it even applies, would be very difficult to prove. Regardless, the definition only requires that ONE of these conditions be met, and former Mesa police officer Mitch Brailsford’s actions meet two of them.

I watched the video, first, as I didn’t want the reporter’s opinion to taint my observations. Now that I’ve read it, let’s continue:

The excuse that Shaver was reaching for a gun is found to be immaterial for two reasons. First, he didn’t have a gun. Still, one might reasonably conclude he was reaching for a gun, EXCEPT for the fact that his EMPTY hand was returning towards the front of his body, fully visible by both Brailsford and his body camera, BEFORE Brailsford fired the first shot at 4:25.  Don’t believe me?  Watch it for yourself:

Here’s the still of Daniel Shaver’s EMPTY HAND prior to Brailsford firing his first shot:

Daniel Shaver Empty Hand

Second, and this is the most important reason: Former Mesa police officer Mitch Brailsford’s WRONGFUL ACTIONS actually PRECIPITATED the moment. He failed to follow procedure. He either failed to understand or refused to recognize how his screaming and threats of shooting the suspect directly CAUSED the suspect’s emotional breakdown.

Here’s the real kicker: “The investigator had noted he didn’t see anything that would have prevented officers from simply handcuffing Shaver as he was on the floor.”

BOOM. He SHOULD have been found guilty of 2nd Degree Murder.  The jury failed our system of justice.  Indeed, “Two months after the shooting, Brailsford was removed from the force for violations of departmental policy. Prosecutors ultimately charged him with second-degree murder and reckless manslaughter.”

The department was absolutely correct in their assessment that he violated department policy.  The fact that his policy violations result in the death of an innocent human being is itself grounds for at least manslaughter.  The rather heinous ego-maniacal, control freak way he went about doing what he did, however, clearly bumps this well into the category of 2nd Degree Murder.

The jury, for whatever reason, FAILED to administer justice.  It FAILED to hold this bad cop accountable.  The jury FAILED to serve the needs of society, one of which involves keeping wayward governmental authorities in check.

However, “civil charges will likely be charged against Brailsford in the near future.”

Good. He needs to work his butt off for the rest of his life to help compensate the loss experienced by Shaver’s wife and two children.  If I ever come across Brailsford in a dark alley, I’ll be inclined to deck him with every ounce of strength I have in my body.  I will undoubtedly refrain from doing so, however, as I’m a retired military officer and am unlikely to lose control, no matter how much this incident ticks me off.

The “Progressive” Bi-Partisan Gun Law DEBACLE

Calling these ridiculous proposed measures “bi-partisan” does NOT make them “common-sense. Let’s examine some of these claims:
 
1. “…the legislation would make background checks for gun buyers more thorough and precise by enforcing measures that strengthen the existing National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).”
 
Oooh! That sounds nice! It MUST be good if it tickles my ears that well!
 
Not so fast. Couple of points:
 
a. The U.S. already has mandatory FBI background checks. The federal government gives the states the option to perform their own, IF they meet or exceed federal requirements. Here in Colorado, for example, the SBI (state background investigation) costs a “whopping” $15 because the state keeps very good records on whose been naughty and whose been nice.
 
b. While backgrounds do catch the idiotic 15% of gun-buyers whose criminal past prohibits them from buying, owning/possessing, and carrying firearms, they have done nothing to stop mass shootings. Indeed, nearly all mass-shooters have no criminal or psychological record at all. Therefore, if someone things increased background checks will do anything to curb mass shootings, well, they’re ignorant, misinformed, or otherwise just sadly wrong.
 
c. Aside from keeping a few of the dumbest criminals from getting their hands on firearms through the front door, background checks don’t actually solve anything. They don’t stop mass shooters. The smarter criminals simply obtain firearms by other means, of which there are plenty.
 
2. This bill aims to help fix what’s become a nationwide, systemic problem so we can better prevent criminals and domestic abusers from obtaining firearms.”
 
a. Only a very tiny fraction of domestic abusers are ever likely to commit murder or a mass shooting. If you want to argue about statistics, let’s talk about race and location, as the odds are far, far greater those known segments of society will commit murder. If you find that “offensive,” then stop talking about the far less statistically likely group of domestic abusers.
 
3. “…a shift in public sentiment…”
 
a. Shifts in public sentiment may very well drive members of Congress to change their votes. Neither they nor changes in Congressional votes, however, will do ANYTHING to solve the problem, when the proposed solutions DO NOT WORK.
 
4. “Moreover, National Rife Association endorsements ended up hurting rather than helping Republican incumbents and frontrunners in critical races.”
 
If this were true, then Democrats would have increased seats in the Presidency, the Senate, the House, gubernatorial races, state legislatures, and city/town councils. Instead, the opposite is true in all areas save one: Mayoral races. That’s the only area where Democrats gains seats in 2016. They lost seats in all other areas.
 
5. “Following the election, I conducted a poll with 600 voters in Virginia with Everytown for Gun Safety on the role that gun-related issues played in the campaign…
 
This “poll” is biased three ways.
 
a. First, 600 voters is not enough respondents to achieve a sufficiently high Confidence Interval or reduce the Margin of Error to acceptable thresholds. It also tells me this article is a piece of ignorant, journalistic trash.
 
b. Second, the poll was take only of voters in Virginia, hardly representational of the other 49 states in our 50-state Union.
 
c. Third, the selection was highly biased by asking questions of a very one-sided group, namely, “Everytown for Gun Safety.” Along with “Moms Demand Action” and “The Brady Campaign,” they have repeatedly perjured themselves in the court of public opinion by floating every repackaged Democrat/liberal anti-gun idea on the planet, NONE of which have EVER worked no matter where they were implemented.
 
Thus, the remainder of Douglas E. Schoen’s “study” and “conclusions” have absolutely zero merit whatsoever in the decision-making pipeline and should be ignored, UNLESS legislators really WANT to be lead by the nose to slaughter.
 
6. If you REALLY want to put a dent in both murder and mass shootings, do the following, all of which are based on verifiable, proven measures which ACTUALLY and GREATLY reduce gun violence in other countries:
 
a. Mandatory two-year federal service upon graduating from or dropping out of high school. People can opt for local or state service. The room and board would be spartan, but the knowledge, experience, and the discipline to be gained is invaluable. Besides, it’s an excellent opportunity to identify who is psychologically fit to keep and bear arms and who is not. Countries like Bermuda, Kuwait, Singapore, Switzerland, Switzerland, Austria, Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Israel (and many others) ALL have some form of mandatory military service, along with a mandatory civilian, unarmed, or non-combatant service option.
 
IT WORKS.
 
b. Adhere to the Second Amendment in every iota: “the right of the people to keep and bear arms SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED.” Obviously, just as you wouldn’t hand a loaded gun to a toddler, those who don’t have the mental capacity to safely keep and bear arms shouldn’t be allowed to keep and bear arms, either. But everyone else would, and sooner or later, the 5% of society who are criminals would LOOSE to the 95% of the rest of society who OBEY THE LAW.

Where’s the Grace? Qur’an vs Bible and Muhammad vs Jesus

Here’s a thought… Let’s throw grace out the window and treat Muslims precisely the same way they treat people of other religions, people they call “infidels” and “unbelievers.” Here are the verses they use to justify their horrific acts:
 
Qur’an 3:28- Muslims must not take the infidels as friends.
Qur’an 3:85- Any religion other than Islam is not acceptable.
Qur’an 5:33- Maim and crucify the infidels if they criticize Islam.
Qur’an 8:12- Terrorize and behead those who believe in scriptures other than the Qur’an.
Qur’an 8:60- Muslims must muster all weapons to terrorize the infidels.
Qur’an 8:65- The unbelievers are stupid; urge the Muslims to fight them.
Qur’an 9:5- When opportunity arises, kill the infidels wherever you catch them.
Qur’an 9:123- Make war on the infidels living in your neighborhood.
Qur’an 47:4- Do not hanker for peace with the infidels; behead them when you catch them.
 
ON SECOND THOUGHT… Why would we operate as they do? If we did that, we would be no better than them!
 
Anyone who calls himself or herself a Christian should listen and heed to what Jesus said about it:
 
Matthew 5:38-48, New International Version (NIV)
 
Eye for Eye
38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ 39 But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. 40 And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. 41 If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. 42 Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.
 
Love for Enemies
43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
 
NOW… Jesus’ comments were directed at his disciples, how they as individuals should respond to evil. Please bear in mind that Jesus himself qualified his statements with examples, such as someone slapping you on the check, taking your shirt, walking with another, giving to those who ask.
 
That’s a far cry from letter others harm, maim, violate, imprison, crucify or otherwise kill you, as the Qur’an clearly encourages its followers to do towards “infidels” and other non-believers.
 
There is a line, and the Qur’an clearly crosses it.  In those instances, we have ever right under both man’s laws and the laws of God to defend ourselves, including by use of deadly force, if necessary.
 
Similarly, however, if the Qur’an and Muslims who follow it cross that line, then it would foolish to think that we could cross that line without a self-defense justification and escape either the consequences of man’s or God’s laws.
 
Nay! Muslims who cross that line, even with all the faith in the world, are going to Hell. Why? Because they crossed the line? Not at all. They’re going to Hell because their faith is misplaced. They believe in the wrong thing. They think that they can work their way to heaven by works.
 

That’s not salvation. That’s Satan’s mind-job to get people spinning their mental wheels, wasting their time and money in ways that keep them busy and feeling good about themselves so they have reason to ignore the truth: No one is righteous, not even one, except for Jesus Christ.  While faith without deeds is indeed dead (James 2), wrongly-placed faith is also dead.  Furthermore, the kind of “deeds” mentioned in the Qur’an aren’t deeds at all, but rather, heinous if not mindless acts of violence extolled by a mad man and perpetrated on innocents by mad men.  It’s JUNK, and I can’t even call it junk “religion” because there’s absolutely nothing religious at all about raping, maiming, dismembering, beheading, and otherwise murdering other human beings.

Ephesians 2:

As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time,gratifying the cravings of our flesh[a] and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace,expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
In closing, I would like to remind you of one inescapable truth:
Exposing Hate Speech is NOT Hate Speech!

America’s TRUE First Responders

What’s up with the emphasis on police, fire, and emergency medical being “First Responders?”  While their help is appreciated enough by the community that we’re willing to fork out significant change for their services, they are almost always not the first people to the scene of an accident, crime, fire, or medical emergency.  That distinction almost always belongs to the people who called them.  Obviously, ordinary citizens responded first, assessed the situation, offered help where they could, and if the situation was beyond their training or abilities, they called 9-1-1.

Speaking of 9-1-1, its official name is the “Emergency Telephone Number for the North American Numbering Plan.”  It includes the phrase, “can send emergency responders to the caller’s location in an emergency.”  It is also referred to as “the national emergency number for the United States,” and that “calling this single number provides a caller access to police, fire, and ambulance services.”  It goes on to say that the number has come to be known as a “common public-safety answer point (PSAP).”  Enhanced 911 automatically gives the dispatcher the caller’s location, if available.  (Source)

Do you see the term “first responder” in there, anywhere?  I don’t.

We used to call police, fire, and rescue, well, “Police, Fire, and Rescue.”  Around the time EMERGENCY! came on the air in 1972, the term “Emergency Services” become more common, and “Rescue” was changed to “Paramedics.”  Now, watching Chicago Fire, I observe their firehouse is broken down into three sections, including the Firefighters of Truck 81, the Rescue Squad of Squad 3, and the Paramedics of Ambulance 61.

Still no “First Responder,” though.  Indeed, almost each and every scene of both the 1972 and 2006 shows begins with regular people who were actually at the scene, first, some of whom provided initial assistance.  For some reason, the writers, directors, and producers, and possibly the technical advisors, thought it would be cute to make the real first responders look like idiots.  Then, after some years passed, they began calling themselves “first responders” as if the the actual first responders didn’t even exist.  Seriously?  Who do you think placed the 9-1-1 call?

Merriam-Webster Dictionary says the first known use of the term “first responder” occurred all the way back in 1970.  Apparently, it took decades for the term to catch on.

The term first responder is defined in U.S. Homeland Security Presidential Directive, HSPD-8, which reads:

The term “first responder” refers to those individuals who in the early stages of an incident are responsible for the protection and preservation of life, property, evidence, and the environment, including emergency response providers as defined in section 2 of the Homeland Security Act of 2002 (6 U.S.C. § 101), as well as emergency management, public health, clinical care, public works, and other skilled support personnel (such as equipment operators) that provide immediate support services during prevention, response, and recovery operations.

Oh.  So it does have an official definition.  So, does the official U.S. definition include people like you and I who first come across a situation requiring immediate assistance?  Why, yes!  It does!  In fact, 6 U.S. Code § 101 – Definitions, (6) reads: “The term “emergency response providers” includes Federal, State, and local governmental and nongovernmental emergency public safety, fire, law enforcement, emergency response, emergency medical (including hospital emergency facilities), and related personnel, agencies, and authorities.”

So, we

So when did people start calling emergency response providers “first responders?”  If you thought, “Hollywood,” you’d be correct.  “First Responders” was the name of the Season 1, Episode 1 pilot for the TV show, “The Unit,” first aired in 2006.  Only then did the term come into common use in place of “emergency response providers.”  The First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) of the United States was created under the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 (MCTRJCA) as an independent authority within the National Telecommunications and Information Administration(NTIA).  The purpose of FirstNet is to establish, operate, and maintain an interoperable public safety broadband network.

Let’s go back to the official definition:

U.S. Homeland Security Presidential Directive, HSPD-8, which reads:

The term “first responder” refers to those individuals who in the early stages of an incident are responsible for the protection and preservation of life, property, evidence, and the environment, including emergency response providers

So you see, ANYONE who is first on the scene can be a “first responder,” provided they act in a manner consistent with “the protection and preservation of life, property, evidence, and the environment.

Let’s take me, for example, but first, a Disclaimer:  NEVER TRY THIS AT HOME!

In 1991, I heard and saw my neighbors exit their apartment screaming as a roiling cloud of black smoke followed them.  I was outside before they were halfway down the stairs, and asked, “What’s burning?”  “Kitchen,” one answered.  The other said, “Grease!”

I pulled the fire alarm, grabbed the CO2 extinguisher from it’s mount, took a couple lungfuls of air, and entered the apartment.  As the burner control was very near the flames, the FIRST thing I did was cover the pot of burning grease with its lid.  No oxygen, no flame.  Next, I turned off the burner.  I spied two oven mitts, put down the CO2 bottle, donned the mitts, and very carefully moved the grease to a cool eye.  I then exited the apartment with the CO2 bottle to catch my breath.

The apartment manager had heard the alarm, was walking up, and said, “Fire Department is on it’s way!”  I held up my still-mitted hand waving acknowledgement, and reentered the apartment, holding my breath once again.  Even though the roiling black smoke was rapidly clearing, a lighter-colored smoke was coming from above the range.  The cabinets above the range hood had caught fire!  I hit them with a couple of short shots from the fire extinguisher, and waited.  When they flamed up again, I hit them with a much longer shot, long enough to cool off the wood and penetrate into whatever cracks were there.

I ran out of breath and exited the apartment a second time.  A fireman with his own CO2 bottle was walking up the stairs.  I said, “Grease fire, it’s out.  Fire penetrated the cabinets above.”  He proceeded inside.

I was the first responder, not the fire department.  In fact, it was they who said had I not put the fire out when I did, the entire apartment building would have been engulfed in flames and destroyed due to the source of the fire and where it had begun to spread.  They said that those two minutes made all the difference in the world.

I’m going to show you two videos which demonstrate just how fast fires can spread.  In the first video, the Christmas tree was acting just like the burning pot of grease, a hot ignition source which rapidly caught everything else on fire.

The second video clearly shows that even without a hot ignition source such as a dry Christmas tree or boiling and on-fire pot of grease, interior fires can spread very rapidly.

The fire department said it took them just a few seconds over three minutes from the time I pulled the fire alarm to the time they arrived.  If I, as a first responder, had not pulled the fire alarm, the entire apartment building would have been totally destroyed.  Even after pulling the fire alarm, they said if I had not put out both the grease fire as well as the fire where it had begin burning up behind the cabinet, there would have been very little they could have done to save the building.

We the People are the First Responders.  We’re the first ones on the scene.  We’re the ones who call for backup (9-1-1), help others to safety, administer first aid, and yes, put out fires.

A further word about the DON’T TRY THIS AT HOME disclaimer:  At the time of the fire, I had been trained in multiple jobs how to fight fires, including as a lifeguard/pool manager, camp counselor, and U.S. Air Force aircrewman.  I avoided injury by being careful and following my training.

Finally, here’s what the kitchen fire actually looked like (without someone dumping a cup of water into the boiling, on-fire grease):

In 50+ years of life, there have been roughly a dozen times where I, as the first responder, have saved life, limb, and property, from damage or destruction.  I am not saying this to pat myself on the back.  I am saying this to clarify that emergency response providers such as police, fire, and rescue should not refer to themselves as “first responders” unless they truly are the first ones on the scene.

This Is Reality

first responders

Transgenderism in the Military

As a retired member of the military, I can attest to the fact the the sign describing denying transgenderism in the military as “bigotry” is flat out wrong.  It’s about safety of the individual and the unit, readiness, and successful accomplishment of the mission.
The military is not subject to many of the “right of employment” laws that exist in the U.S. Commanders have wide latitude, with few restrictions, on setting standards for acceptance into and continued service with the U.S. Armed Forces. Pretty much any aspect about a human being that a commander believes will cause a reduction in the unit’s readiness is subject to being addressed, and if the issue cannot be resolved, the individual is subject to being reassigned. If the problem is severe enough, the individual is, within the limits imposed by the UCMJ, subject to discharge.
 
The crux of this issue is NOT whether or not transgenders can perform the same functions as well as others. Of course they can.
 
The issue IS whether or not including transgenders, with their mildly expensive HRT and seriously expensive SRS medical issues, their psychological and emotional issues, and the degree to which the enemy may exploit it, along with issues of unit safety and readiness, along with overall mission accomplishment, is preferable to hiring someone of comparable qualifications who has no such baggage.
 
Yes, BAGGAGE.
Courts throughout our land, up to and including the U.S. Supreme Court, have routinely and consistently upheld the military’s right to reject anyone for any medical, psychological, or physical condition the military itself deems contrary to mission readiness. Most recently, the courts have upheld both basic and special physical fitness standards (SEALs, Rangers) which must be passed and maintained before someone, regardless of sex, is allow in. People with nearly any psychological or emotional issue are routinely denied entry into military service, not only because of what military service requires of them, but also because of what military service could DO TO them, as well as what the risk of substandard performance could risk to life, limb, and welfare of others in the military.
 
The list of disqualifying conditions is long, and for good reason:  Such conditions run counter to the safety and effectiveness of the individual, the unit, and the successful accomplishment of the mission as a whole.

First Baptist Church Mass Shooting Tragedy in Sutherland Springs Texas

Headlines:  “At least 26 killed in a mass shooting at Texas church” (Source)
Dear Church Elders/Leaders EVERYWHERE: So-called “gun-free zones” are, by a factor of FIVE (5), the most dangerous locations for mass shootings. If you want your congregations to be safe, PLEASE DO NOT create a so-called “gun-free zone” in your church by depriving them of their Constitutional right to keep and bear arms. All that does is stop your members from defending themselves. It DOES NOT stop mass shooters any more than laws establishing gun-free zones or restricting carry have stopped mass shooters.
Indeed, “…only in a “sheer utopian fantasy” would people expect that “homicidal maniacs” would follow gun laws.” (Source)  The churchgoers at New Life Church here in Colorado Springs are certainly convinced.  Many of their lives were saved when an armed member of the congregation shot and stopped a mass murderer before he could open fire during worship service. (Source:  New Life Shootings)
 
While we armed, law-abiding citizens are not cops, we can and will protect ourselves and our loved ones in situations involving active armed in churchshooters. Many of us are either current or former military or law enforcement. We are careful, conscientious, mature, and well-trained. Had one or more of us been present in Texas, the shooter would almost certainly have been stopped long before he managed to murder 20 people and seriously injure many dozens more.  Indeed, this morning the news reports indicate a nearby neighbor heard the shooting and fired at the shooter as he went outside the church to reload.  The shooter then diverted to his car and sped away.  Thus, an armed, law-abiding citizen DID prevent the murder of many additional people.
 
This could have been prevented. It WOULD have been prevented, or at least largely mitigated (stopped while in progress) had the leadership and members of the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas prepared themselves in accordance with the protections afforded all Americans by our Second Amendment and “highly encouraged” by God himself throughout many areas in both the Old and New Testaments of his word.
 
My sincerest condolences to the surviving members of the First Baptist Church. Too many of you went to be with the Lord far too early. Remember the words of Nehemiah, who, when faced with the fallen walls and gates of Jerusalem, cried out to God in heaven, confessing the sins of himself, his family, and all Israelites before asking, “Give your servant success today by granting him favor in the presence of this man.” (Nehemiah 1:11)
 
The “the commands, decrees and laws you gave your servant Moses” include maintaining a strong defense against one’s enemies. Throughout the book of Nehemiah, he details the multi-faceted nature of that defense, including walls, gates, daggers, swords, spears, slings, and bow and arrow.
 
“MT” of BiblicalDefense.com makes some very clear and astute observations:
 
In Nehemiah 4, Israelites have been sent back from captivity to rebuild Jerusalem. They were rebuilding their lives with the sanction of the civil ruler, King Artaxerxes. This was not a wartime scenario. It was closer to a racial integration scenario where racists wanted to kill them. Think of the KKK threatening black homeowners and students. They are surrounded by people who hate them and want to kill them.
 
These were citizens, not soldiers. Nehemiah 4:13 says that people stationed “people by families” around the city. These were not trained soldiers or law enforcement officers. They were merely concerned residents and settlers—citizens, not professional soldiers or law enforcement agents.
 
Note that these families were armed, with “their swords, their spears, and their bows.” This is a situation where they are willing to apply lethal force to defend themselves.
 
Let’s briefly discuss swords, spears, and bows. Swords and daggers killed Ehud, Amasa, and eighty priests. At longer ranges, we know bows and slings killed men like Goliath, King Joram, and King Ahab. Spears killed men like Asahel, Absaolm, the Israelite man and the Midianitish woman, and many others. These are handguns, shotguns, and rifles. These are implements of lethal force. In fact, at close range, a sword is more deadly than a handgun. These ancient weapons are as deadly as their modern counterparts.
 
Note that they are carrying these weapons for personal defense and civil defense, and that these are “assault weapons”, namely, the same types of weapons that armies would use for offensive purposes. And why wouldn’t they want assault weapons (for those weapons are the most effective weapons for defending oneself)? Why would you not want to use the best tools available for the task at hand?
 
Against what are they defending themselves? The crime of unlawful, racist murder. Hate crimes. They are defending their lives and their homes. Nehemiah 4:14 specifically says, “…fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your houses.” It is good and right to defend your family, even using lethal force weapons.
 
One final observation: In self-defense, these citizens did not merely own weapons. Rather, where they perceived a risk of harm to their persons, they carried their weapons with them, as many people legally carry weapons with them today, for the purpose of self-protection:
 
Nehemiah 4 17 Those who were rebuilding the wall and those who carried burdens took their load with one hand doing the work and the other holding a weapon. 18 As for the builders, each wore his sword girded at his side as he built, while the trumpeter stood near me. … 21 So we carried on the work with half of them holding spears from dawn until the stars appeared. …. 23 So neither I, my brothers, my servants, nor the men of the guard who followed me, none of us removed our clothes, each took his weapon even to the water.
 
If you live somewhere where you have reason to be concerned about crime, this would be similar to legally carrying a weapon to defend your family, even when running daily errands to the store.1
This tragedy was avoidable.  So long as we live in a fallen world, we will always be under siege from others controlled by our enemy, Satan.  The real tragedy in this incident involving the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, however, was the fact that the members of its congregation, same as the Israelites, have allowed the forces of the day to tear down their walls, unlock their gates, and disarm them to such a state they were no longer capable of defending themselves and their loved ones in Godly, Biblical self-defense.
1.  Biblical Self-Defense.  (2013).  The biblical view of self-defense:   What does the Bible say about self-defense?  Retrieved from http://www.biblicalselfdefense.com/.

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Media Incapable of Even Formulating the Gun Problem

Given the fact that “Roughly two-thirds of gun deaths are suicides,” please tell me what percentage of those were committed with the OWNER’S firearm and what percentage were committed with someone ELSE’S firearm? In particular, I would like it broken down thusly:

Suicide committed with the OWNER’S firearm: X%
Suicide committed with someone ELSE’S firearm: Y%
– firearm owned by an IMMEDIATE family member: A%
– firearm owned by an EXTENDED family member: B%
– firearm owned by a friend, acquaintance, or their immediate or extended family: C%
– firearm owned by someone unknown to the suicide victim: D%

Such that: X%+Y%=100%
AND
Such that: A%+B%+C%+D%=Y%

This information is VITAL in determining both IF and WHAT might be done to mitigate the issue.

If you’re incapable of properly formulating the question, you can NOT answer it as a journalist.