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People Died in Red Bluff, California and There are No Easy Solutions

November 16, 2017

A man willing to murder also ignored other laws. We already have 23 thousand firearms regulations, and that didn’t stop this murder. Since stopping criminals is hard and passing laws is easy, I expect the California politicians to call for more laws to encumber honest and sane citizens. These new laws, and the media opportunities they generate for politicians, won’t stop the next murder either. The new laws will allow the politicians to appear relevant. The real problem is complex, and frankly, the problem is beyond the sound-byte politicians in Sacramento.

So here are the facts we know about the recent murders in Red Bluff, California. The murderer had long term mental health problems. He attacked his neighbors. He was then forbidden to own firearms.  That didn’t stop him from murdering his wife by shooting her with a gun. He violated a protective order filed by a neighbor, murdered his neighbors, and then went on a shooting spree that killed and injured many more. I notice a pattern. Laws don’t stop the mentally ill from being violent. Gun laws don’t stop violent people from killing others. Time and again, California politicians said they would solve the problem of violence by disarming honest people. In the Red Bluff murders, we see the latest victims of that flawed approach. It is easy to place blame, and hard to solve real problems.

Rancho Tehama is a sparsely populated rural community near Red Bluff, California. The murderer believed that all his neighbors were out to get him. The murderer grew marijuana, but thought his neighbors were dangerous druggies making methamphetamine. That is more evidence that mental illness and paranoia are a difficult problem.

The neighbors heard automatic gunfire coming from the murderer’s house at all hours of the day and night.  They called the sheriff’s office many times. Responding deputies could not tell if the man was at home, and he would not come to the door when deputies knocked. That pretty much ended the legal recourse.

In an encounter earlier this year, the murderer cut a neighbor with a knife. It is unclear how the encounter began, but the murderer took the knife from the neighbor and then cut her with it. The murderer was charged. The neighbors took out a restraining order. The murderer was barred from owning firearms or contacting his neighbors. The murderer’s guns were confiscated. In theory, that solved everyone’s problems. Obviously not.

Obviously, the murderer got more guns. Firearms are easy to get. The politicians who say they will protect us are very good at regulating legal gun owners. Disarming the honest people may work in theory, but in practice it doesn’t reduce violence. In many cities, an illegal gun is cheaper and faster to buy than a legal one. In theory, the murders in Red Bluff couldn’t happen. The practice speaks for itself. Gun prohibition is as effective as drug prohibition. In this case, preliminary reports say the murderer simply built his own guns.

California closed many of its mental institutions. That threw the problem of dealing with the mentally ill back on local communities. That works some of the time. Very few people with mental health problems are violent. Those who seek treatment are less violent than the untreated. When the mentally ill are violent, it is often out of fear and frustration from living in a world that makes no sense to them. I have sympathy for everyone involved.

The people for whom I have no sympathy are the California politicians who think another law will solve this sort of problem. Mental health treatment is expensive. Pen and ink are cheap, and every problem calls for more laws when all you can afford are pen and ink.



The Invisible Hands of God and Man

November 15, 2017

Millions of parishioners, pastors and church elders woke up to a new world after the murders at a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas. They felt the responsibility to keep their families and their congregations safe. We bring every problem with us to church.  Fortunately, we also bring solutions. We are god’s hands, so it is up to us to stop violence when it comes to church. We are already doing so, and have been for years. You probably won’t notice it, but the change is very real and already underway.

Do we really need to defend god’s house? We can say that god will provide, but we still pay the electric bill at church so the building stays comfortable. We say that god will provide, but we fix the roof to keep the rain out. The United States was formed, in part, after religious persecution drove millions of people out of Europe. God provided the United States. Now, the broader culture is extending its resources back into the church.

Every day, several million of us go legally armed in public. We don’t notice because these armed civilians carry concealed. Millions more go armed occasionally, but not every day. Millions decided to carry in church after the mass murder in Texas. All but two states allow it. This is new in degree, but not by type. Concealed carry in church has been happening for years, so insurance companies already allow it. Insurance companies also insure church security teams, just as they insure armed staff in schools.

This is less of a change than it might appear. The self-defense culture just got a little bigger and more active. It changed from an eight hour a day by  five days a week attitude to a 24 x 7 orientation. The murder in Sutherland, Texas changed the way church staff think of their job and the way parishioners think of their church. The changes affect large and small congregations, and they are complementary rather than antagonistic. Protecting your church from a crazy man is only the tip of the iceberg. 

Church was never a safe place, and religious institutions have become less safe with time. Robbery and assault on church property are far more common than mass murder. One of the original legal cases that brought legal concealed carry to Illinois was the case of Mary Shepard. Mary is the treasurer of her church. She and another woman were nearly beaten to death during a robbery at church late at night. Now, Mary Shepard can carry in Illinois, and at her church.

One size does not fit everyone, and one solution doesn’t fit every church. Large churches want a security team to keep their pastor and his family safe. These teams also protect guest speakers and visiting celebrities. The security coverage extends from the parking lot into every building. These security teams include both paid and volunteer members. That is one end of the security spectrum.

In smaller churches, parishioners still want to keep their family safe. They will carry when and where they can. The great news is that parishioners and volunteers are involved in every church activity. Sure, they are at the main service on Sunday, but they are also part of the men’s group that meets at night during the week. They are part of the woman’s group that meets on weekdays and the food kitchen that provides free meals every morning.

Since they were unofficial and concealed, you never knew these church activities were protected. Like society at large, these volunteers are everywhere, from the church parking lot to the church nursery. That is true today more than ever.

Churches security can be simple or complex. In either case, churches don’t have to re-invent “church security.” It is already in place at tens of thousands of religious institutions across the United States. These churches are willing and eager to share. The solutions are easier than you might imagine. In fact, part of the solution is taking place whether it is recognized by church staff or not.

We’ve always protected ourselves and our families. Now, we protect our businesses and our schools. After the murder in Texas, Armed America embraces our churches, our synagogues, and our mosques.


Legal use of force training for church staff- Greg Hopkins

Church security and security plans- Ben Branam

Armed training for church staff- Laura Carno

Jury says it’s deadlocked in Sen. Bob Menendez corruption trial- Chicago Trib

November 14, 2017

“The jury in the bribery trial of Democratic U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez and a wealthy donor and friend told the judge it couldn’t reach a verdict on any of the 18 counts against them, prompting the judge to order it to return on Tuesday to continue deliberating.”


The jury in the bribery trial of Democratic U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez and a wealthy donor told the judge it couldn’t reach a verdict on Monday.

Source: Jury says it’s deadlocked in Sen. Bob Menendez corruption trial

Lack of data makes it hard for background checks system to work properly

November 11, 2017

I’m trying to find out which states don’t report criminal records to the federal national instant background check system. Most don’t, but now I need names. RM

A system to keep guns from the mentally ill doesn’t always get the information it needs. ..states are not required under federal law to submit mental health records to NICS. There are no consequences if states choose not to send records, resulting in major information gaps.

Only about 30 percent of the estimated 4.4 million mental health records in the United States over the past two decades can be found in NICS

Source: Lack of data makes it hard for background checks system to work properly

Wake Up, Christians! Sutherland Springs Outrage Sends a Message

November 8, 2017

From my colleague, Greg Hopkins. He is right on both counts.  Read him at Clash Daily.

I train armed church security teams.. There are no longer any sacred or safe spaces..the murderer had a personal beef with someone who attended there, or some group, that caused him to direct his rage at the entire congregation. Otherwise, he is a psycho who was obsessed with a suicidal mania to run up the highest body count possible.

Wake Up, Christians! The Sutherland Springs Outrage Sends a Message which American churches need to heed.

Source: Wake Up, Christians! Sutherland Springs Outrage Sends a Message

Said it Better Than I Could

November 8, 2017

Frank from Florida said it better than I could say it. Thank you.

Repost- Coincidence Pro-Rape Hollywood and Media are Anti-Gun by John Nolte- Breitbart News

November 7, 2017

Nolte nails it. Sexual abuse is about power, not about sex. I’m grateful to the awesome women who work to protect our rights every day. You are real face of equality and empowerment. RM

From Nolte, “Thought experiment…

“The year is 1992 and Hollywood becomes an industry filled with women who purchase firearms, get the NRA training available to safely learn how to use them, and obtain the permits required to carry what is the only tool available that puts them on equal footing with an abusive man.

“In that culture, some 25 years later, do we have a Harveywood scandal? Are there 90 women coming forward to allege the anti-gun Weinstein raped and harassed them?

“Now do the same thought experiment with our elite media.

“Men who rape, assault, grope, harass, or masturbate in front of women, are not driven by sexual attraction. This appalling behavior is about demeaning, degrading, humiliating, shattering, and debasing women — it is purely a power thing.”

Read it>

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