11 Defensive Gun Uses Show How Lawful Gun Owners ‘Get It Right’ thumbnail

11 Defensive Gun Uses Show How Lawful Gun Owners ‘Get It Right’

By Amy Swearer

Often lost in conversations about gun violence is the reality of who is responsible for the bulk of that violence. Most gun crimes aren’t committed by lawful gun owners but by a small subset of repeat violent offenders who already are prohibited from legally possessing firearms.

At the same time, the vast majority of the nation’s millions of lawful gun owners will never use their firearms to harm themselves or others (excluding, of course, actions taken in lawful self-defense).

Nevertheless, sometimes people make questionable—or even downright abhorrent—decisions with their lawfully owned firearms. This was quite apparent in recent weeks as several gun owners made national headlines for all the wrong reasons, recklessly resorting to the use of lethal force when it likely wasn’t warranted.

Although these individuals rightly should have their actions scrutinized, the reality is that Americans with legally possessed guns are far more likely to “get it right” than they are to “get it wrong.”

Almost every major study has found that Americans use their firearms in self-defense between 500,000 and 3 million times annually, as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has acknowledged. In 2021, the most comprehensive study ever conducted on the issue concluded that roughly 1.6 million defensive gun uses occur in the United States every year.

For this reason, The Daily Signal publishes a monthly article highlighting some of the previous month’s many news stories on defensive gun use that you may have missed—or that might not have made it to the national spotlight in the first place. (Read other accounts here from past months and years. You also may follow @DailyDGU on Twitter for daily highlights of recent defensive gun uses.)

The examples below represent only a small portion of the news stories on defensive gun use that we found in April. You may explore more using The Heritage Foundation’s interactive Defensive Gun Use Database. (The Daily Signal is Heritage’s multimedia news organization.)

  • April 4, Fort Worth, Texas: Police said a dispute inside an apartment complex ended with a chaotic exchange of gunfire among several individuals, including two juveniles who began shooting at a maintenance man. The maintenance man, who received minor injuries, was armed and returned fire to defend himself. Police arrested two teens.
  • April 6, Glendale, Colorado: Just six minutes after a pawn shop opened, an armed robber entered and pointed a gun at employees, police said. The pawn shop’s jeweler—working at the other end of the store—was able to retrieve a firearm, approach the robber from behind, and fatally shoot him. The dead robber, who had a lengthy criminal history, was sentenced to 10 years in prison for robbery in 2014. He apparently had been paroled, only to plead guilty in February to aggravated auto theft. He was paroled again just one month into that sentence.
  • April 6, Noblesville, Indiana: Two robbers disguised as food delivery drivers forced their way inside a home at gunpoint, only to be fired upon by an armed housesitter, police said. One robber was killed; the other was arrested two weeks later and charged with murder for the death of his accomplice, as well as with burglary and armed robbery.
  • April 7, Coeur d’Alene, Idaho: Police said an elderly man and his wife returned to their truck after a shopping trip only to find a would-be thief trying to take the vehicle. The man drew his gun, prompting the thief to flee to his own car. Thinking the situation was resolved, the elderly man holstered his gun. The thief, however, quickly accelerated his own car toward the man, lifting him onto the roof and leaving him hanging on as the car sped off. Police said the elderly man was able to draw his gun again and fire, killing his assailant. The man was treated for injuries he received when he was thrown from the thief’s car shortly before it crashed.
  • April 9, Bronson, Florida: On Easter Sunday, a woman fatally shot a former boyfriend who showed up at her home with a firearm, leading to a physical struggle between the two. Eventually, police said, the woman retrieved her own gun and shot the man once in the chest.
  • April 14, Bakersfield, California: Police said an elderly woman’s mentally ill adult son arrived at her home and, apparently hallucinating and accusing her of keeping lottery winnings from him, broke through a metal security door with a shovel and assaulted her. The woman’s 86-year-old neighbor intervened and fatally shot the son, likely saving the woman’s life.
  • April 15, Houston: A robber wanted for murder in a different state approached a man as he made a withdrawal from an ATM, ordered him to hand over his money, and pistol-whipped him, police said. An armed good Samaritan, driving past the scene, saw what was happening and stopped. He fired several rounds at the robber, wounding him in the leg and foot.
  • April 17, Goodyear, Arizona: A homeowner confronted two burglars whom he caught trying to break into his car, police said. One pointed a gun at the homeowner, who was armed, and they exchanged gunfire. Police said the armed burglar was wounded, and he and a juvenile accomplice fled. Police later arrested them; the armed suspect faced charges of aggravated assault, third-degree burglary, and unlawful discharge of a firearm. The homeowner wasn’t hurt.
  • April 20, Cleveland: A man and a friend arranged over Facebook Marketplace to meet for a car sale, police said, but when they arrived, they were ambushed by three armed robbers. The two victims drew their own guns and exchanged fire with the robbers, who fled. Neither victim was injured. Responding officers found the bullet-riddled getaway vehicle and arrested two wounded suspects, police said. It reportedly was the third time in recent weeks that area residents had been lured into armed robberies by bogus sellers on Facebook Marketplace.
  • April 22, Albuquerque, New Mexico: A business owner fatally shot a burglar whom he caught tunneling through a wall in the middle of the night, police said. The store owner had warned the burglar that he was armed but, instead of fleeing, the burglar assaulted him with a large hammer and an ax. The victim told police that he had been sleeping in his store because of a previous overnight burglary.
  • April 25, Philadelphia: Police said a concealed carry permit holder turned the tables on a man who tried to rob him at gunpoint, drawing his own firearm and firing “at least 10 shots.” The robber was fatally wounded; a female accomplice fled in a vehicle.
  • April 29, Grand Bay, Alabama: A woman fatally shot a man who was staying temporarily at her uncle’s home after he set fire to the residence while several people, including a child, were inside. Police said the man dragged her into a bathroom and poured acetone on her when she tried to get relatives out of the residence. Police records indicate that the man had been drinking heavily and had “an extensive violent criminal history,” including a 2021 arrest for first-degree arson.

Defending the Second Amendment doesn’t mean we have to defend every action by every gun owner. Those who choose to exercise their constitutional right to keep and bear arms should strive to be proficient with their guns, but also level-headed and judicious about when they resort to the use of lethal force.

Sometimes, gun owners get it wrong. When they do, they should be charged and prosecuted, and, if convicted, face appropriate consequences.

But on the aggregate, a well-armed civilian population does far more to benefit public safety than to undermine it. And, as these defensive gun uses in April help demonstrate, when lawful gun owners do have to rely on their right to keep and bear arms, it often can mean the difference between life and death or serious injury.

This article was published by The Daily Signal and is reproduced with permission.


As we move through 2023 and into the next election cycle, The Prickly Pear will resume Take Action recommendations and information.

‘There’s a Remedy for Our Nation — and That Remedy Is Not Gun Control’: Congressman thumbnail

‘There’s a Remedy for Our Nation — and That Remedy Is Not Gun Control’: Congressman

By Family Research Council

Waves of grief continue to break over Texas, as the tight-knit Allen community comes to grip with the weekend’s senseless shooting. As the names and pictures of Saturday’s victims were released by police, hearts across the country shattered at the news that two families had lost multiple loved ones. A six-year-old boy, orphaned by the death of his parents and brother, is all that remains of the Cho family. Other moms and dads reeled at the horror of losing two elementary-aged daughters as the Mendozas did. After Nashville, Louisville, and so many other devastating tragedies this spring, people are desperate for answers. When will it end — and what can we possibly do to stop it?

Congressman Tim Burchett (R-Tenn.), who had a front-row seat for the overwhelming sorrow that followed The Covenant School killings in March told “Washington Watch” guest host Jody Hice that he stepped off the House floor after those murders and said, “This country needs a revival.” As a result, he pointed out, “I was mocked by the national media and across the country — and maybe across the globe, I don’t know. But I still stand by that.”

As usual, Hice said, the Left is “trying to blame the instruments of death.” “So they’re going after the guns. But as Christians,” he pointed out, “we know that evil exists in our world. We know that there’s a remedy for our nation — and that remedy is not going to be found simply in gun control. We’ve got to go to the heart of the issue, which is the heart of mankind — mankind which has turned away from the Lord.”

While Democrats like Texas State Senator Roland Gutierrez blame Republicans — “We’re living in a Texas nightmare, and it’s a nightmare that [the GOP] created” — the reality, Hice insists, is that guns have been around “for hundreds of years.” “It’s just now that we’re seeing a change, a surge in violence. So it’s not the guns.”

Burchett agreed. “Well, it’s an easy scapegoat,” he pointed out. “… And it’s an election year coming up, [and] they have a weak candidate [in Joe Biden]. So [gun control is] what they’re going to go for. … [I]t’s symbolism. It’s what sells. And … these murders are just horrible.” But, he went on, “We lose 100 people a day in automobile accidents every 39 minutes. We lose somebody to a drunk driver. Yet nobody’s wanting to take alcohol or cars away from people. And so, to me it’s pretty telling about what’s going on.”

When Americans look at what happened in Brownsville, Texas on Sunday, “a man with murder in his heart [used] his vehicle to attack others,” Hice said. “[But] there are no cries to do away with SUVs, right?”

That’s because, as Bishop Charles Flowers said later, “You cannot legislate righteousness. Policies don’t change the heart of a person,” he insisted on “Washington Watch.” “But policies do set the environment in which either evil or righteousness flourish. And with respect to the right to bear arms, that is the responsibility that you and I have been given — not by men, but by God — to protect that which belongs to us.”

It’s important to remember, Flowers said, “The gun itself has never shot anybody.” It’s in someone’s hands. “And the person who has their hands on that weapon is either more or less likely to use it based on what kind of environment … that is around them.”

“Every lost life, of course, is a sad situation in any case,” he emphasized. “But it’s not the possession of guns that do[es] it. I believe in responsible gun ownership. [But if] you put the guns in the hands of somebody that … [will] aid them in their already twisted behavior, you don’t do that. That doesn’t make good sense. But at the same time, [you also don’t] pull that right and responsibility from everybody else who would rightfully use the weapons.”

As Hice mentioned, this is a “heart” problem, and that heart is molded by several so many factors. “We have this outcry to get rid of guns. Why is there no outcry to restore the family, to restore morality? Why this misguided blame for an issue that they’re trying to address with a Band-Aid rather than get to the heart of it?”

Flowers said the answer, at least from the Democrats’ perspective, is simple. “Gun control is part of a larger agenda, and that agenda is to disarm the citizens so that another power can come in and massively control the citizenship. A broken family assists that agenda, so they can’t tout the strength of a strengthening family, because it is counterproductive to what the end goal is.”

But there is hope, he insists, and it starts with prayer and action. “Pray, he says in Second Chronicles: ‘If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek his face and turn from their wicked ways …’ Turning is a prerequisite,” Flowers pointed out. “… ‘Then will I hear from heaven. I’ll forgive their sins, and I’ll heal their land.’ Secondly, don’t let passivity gulf you up like the vicious monster that it is. We have to begin to act — and act out our morals in the social environment.”


Suzanne Bowdey

Suzanne Bowdey serves as editorial director and senior writer at The Washington Stand.

EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. ©2023 Family Research Council.

The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

Amid Rising Antisemitism, Jews Are Embracing The Second Amendment thumbnail

Amid Rising Antisemitism, Jews Are Embracing The Second Amendment

By The Daily Caller

  • As antisemitism continues to climb in the U.S., the Jewish community has turned to the Second Amendment to protect themselves, according to several experts that spoke with the Daily Caller News Foundation.
  • Tzvi Waldman, leader of the NYS Jewish Gun Club, told the DCNF that many synagogues can’t afford expensive private security but they have little choice when states like New York simultaneously ban guns in synagogues and don’t curb rising antisemitism.
  • “In the last six and a half years, I have seen, unfortunately, and fortunately, a massive uptake in Jews going out and getting guns, training and starting to be a lot more vocal about how important the Second Amendment is,” Yehuda Remer, founder of The Pew Pew Jew, a Jewish Second Amendment advocacy organization located in Texas, told the DCNF.

In response to rising antisemitism over the past few years, Jews are increasingly embracing firearms as a means of self-protection, community leaders and experts told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

Jews reported 814 antisemitic incidents in 2021 alone, while the number of anti-Jewish assaults across the country in 2021 increased by 16% from 2020, according to FBI hate crime statistics. In response, more Jews have begun exercising their rights under the Second Amendment to protect themselves and their communities, according to experts that spoke with the DCNF.

“I entered the [gun] industry about six years ago, and at the time, I was kind of disheartened to see that Jews didn’t have representation in the Second Amendment world,” Yehuda Remer, founder of The Pew Pew Jew, a Jewish gun rights advocacy organization located in Texas, told the DCNF. “In the last six and a half years, I have seen, unfortunately, and fortunately, a massive uptick in Jews going out and getting guns … and starting to be a lot more vocal about how important the Second Amendment is. I think a lot of these people never would have picked up a gun, or even given it a second thought, if it wasn’t for the rise in antisemitism.”

Rabbi Yossi Elifort, the founder of Magen Am USA, a non-profit organization that helps create armed security teams within the Jewish community, also noted the increasing amount of interest in self-defense in the Jewish community.

“I probably trained 300 first-time shooters in the last two years,” Elifort said. “So there are a lot of first-timers coming out. What’s interesting about American Second Amendment culture is that I found the people who own guns for longer and grew up shooting tend to be less interested or concerned [about] training and those that are getting into it now are more open to it.”

One study, from Americans Against Antisemitism, found that, in New York City, those who were easily identified as Jewish made up 94% of the victims of antisemitic hate crimes from 2018 to 2022. Remer said that Jews have traditionally been silent about the hate directed at them, but as the incidents have escalated, from swastikas spray-painted on synagogues to muggings and shootings while walking down the street, there has been a greater push to learn how to defend themselves.

Raziel Cohen, also known as the Tactical Rabbi, and founder of the National Defensive Firearms Training Academy, told the DCNF that many of the people they’ve helped train in recent years had never even held a firearm.

“A big portion of what we’re dealing with is people who have never touched a firearm before,” Cohen said. “So there’s definitely a different level of training that goes into teaching a beginner so that they are confident and safe, especially since owning a firearm, in general, is obviously a very serious responsibility. There is a large amount of people who have never been involved but either had an attack happen to them or came to the understanding that it’s very possible and that’s why they’re now making the decision to go forward with it.”

Remer and Cohen noted that the number of Jewish women looking to learn how to shoot has also heavily increased. Cohen explained that women are typically more serious about training because the risk to females at home, or walking down the street, is much greater than to men.

Jewish synagogues have also experienced an increasing level of violence. In December, a man was arrested in Michigan after threatening a Jewish synagogue and preschool, and then, in February, another man walked into a San Francisco synagogue, firing blank rounds into the ceiling, during a small gathering.

Tzvi Waldman, who heads the NYS Jewish Gun Club in New York, told the DCNF that part of the reason Jews are at risk is because of laws that prevent them from carrying guns in houses of worship. Waldman said that many synagogues can’t afford expensive private security, but they have little choice when states like New York ban guns in places of worship.

“We shouldn’t have to rely on a third party nor the government,” Waldman said. “I mean the First Amendment, it’s our right to free speech, [but] I don’t have to hire a press secretary to talk and I’m allowed to get on social media, or just stand in front of my house with a microphone and say whatever I want to say. The more effective way, and the way of constitutional law, is to have [trained] citizens within the community to be there, just in case, … [but] you’re not allowed to do that under the current law.”




RELATED ARTICLE: Jewish Reporter Files Lawsuit After Allegedly Getting Kicked Out Of A Bar For Being A ‘Zionist Fascist’

EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Caller column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

All content created by the Daily Caller News Foundation, an independent and nonpartisan newswire service, is available without charge to any legitimate news publisher that can provide a large audience. All republished articles must include our logo, our reporter’s byline and their DCNF affiliation. For any questions about our guidelines or partnering with us, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

Armed Teachers thumbnail

Armed Teachers

By Dr. Thomas Patterson

Americans were outraged to learn of the Nashville school shooting, where a transgender female shot and killed three children and three adults at a Christian school.

As always, a fierce political debate broke out after the murders. Gun control advocates, mostly Democrats, again made impassioned and often vitriolic pleas for more stringent gun laws.

It would be a wonderful world if there were some laws we could pass, some clever strategy to keep criminals from having guns. The big problem is that gun control laws don’t work, much as we might wish otherwise. If they did, Chicago, Baltimore, and other big cities, with their strict gun laws on the books, wouldn’t be the murderous hell-holes that they are.

It’s been pointed out many times, but it’s still true: violent criminals don’t follow the law. The victims are the law-abiding citizens who bring knives to a gunfight.

Conservative commentator Matt Vespa recently wrote a thoughtful column advocating instead for posting “resource officers” in every school. He notes that it took 14 minutes for police to arrive at the Nashville shooting and that other killers have had even more time before facing significant deterrence.

On the other hand, there are many accounts of officers in schools who were able to prevent potential murders just by being present.

But there’s a problem.  There are approximately 115,000 K-12 schools in the US, according to Dun and Bradstreet. If we lowball an estimate of $50,000 yearly to support an FTE, that means placing an officer in every school would, according to my back-of-the-napkin calculator, cost at least $5 and $6 billion annually.

That would be a justifiable cost if we were facing an epidemic of school killings, but the numbers tell a different story. Although the especially traumatic nature of school killings and extensive media coverage make the shootings seem commonplace, for the last 35 years school shooting deaths have hovered around 20–30 per year, less than one for every two states.

From 2010 to 2019, there were 305 incidents involving guns and 207 deaths, or about 20 per year. Arizona, with about 2700 schools, has had one shooting death ever, in 1987, in addition to four suicides and one accidental death.

For American schools, this computes to an annual average of one shooting death for every 4000 schools. Full-time school resource officers would, over the course of a career, have an infinitesimal chance of preventing even one shooting.

Throwing money at a problem without a sober cost-benefit analysis, however passionately we may feel about it, seldom works out. A more practical solution would be to authorize one or more teachers per school to carry concealed weapons.

These teachers would be volunteers who are licensed carriers and would undergo additional training in the very focused area (confronting an armed criminal in a school setting) that their duty might entail. They would receive a modest stipend.

Would recruiting be a problem? I like to think there are enough teacher-heroes with a heart for their students who would be willing and up to the task if called upon. Remember, it has often been teachers who answered the call when peace officers cowered in emergency situations, as in Uvalde and Parkland.

Moreover, the deterrent effect of armed teachers would be inarguable. Schools would be changed from soft targets with idiotic “Gun Free Zone” signs into places where criminals with bad intentions would know they were risking their lives by entering.

Unfortunately, the teachers’ unions have pitched a fit. Their purported worries include the safety of their members, the qualifications of the volunteers, and the image of teachers involved with violence.

Their arguments are easily rebuffed, remembering that no solution is perfect and the point is to pick the best available. But the unions are powerful, tough competitors in public debate, even when the facts and arguments are against them, as when the schools were shut down during Covid on their demand.

Wasting a few more billion in a nation over $30 trillion in debt may not seem like much, but we have to start somewhere. Let’s believe in our educators and look to American resilience and resourcefulness to protect our children.


As we move through 2023 and into the next election cycle, The Prickly Pear will resume Take Action recommendations and information.

Four Underused Tools to Stop School Shootings thumbnail

Four Underused Tools to Stop School Shootings

By James D. Agresti

In the aftermath of school shootings, media outlets often amplify calls for gun control while ignoring or spurning evidence-based ways to protect students. Here are four life-saving tools they are missing or dismissing.

Shatter-Resistant Entryways

As documented in the academic journal Victims & Offenders, an “immediate and economical” way to protect students “is to tighten” access to school buildings. Many school administrators have done this simply by locking doors. However, there are roughly 460 million firearms in the U.S., and the bulk of them will quickly shatter the glass entrances that are a common feature of schools, allowing killers to enter in a few seconds.

That is precisely what happened in the Covenant Christian school shooting in Nashville where the killer took the lives of three 9-year-old children and three staff after shooting out the school’s glass doors and walking into the building.

Likewise, the perpetrator of the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in Newtown, CT broke into the building by shooting out a glass panel at the school’s entryway. He then proceeded to slaughter 20 students and 6 adults.

These and other such tragedies may be prevented if schools took a simple and affordable action: apply a security film that prevents glass entryways from shattering when bullets hit them.

Note that the treatment doesn’t make glass bulletproof or impenetrable. Instead, it makes the glass shatter-resistant. This slows down intruders and affords precious time for students to flee or help to arrive.

Nor does every piece of glass in a school need to be treated. Just installing the film on exterior entryways can substantially improve safety, and selecting other strategic locations can help as well.

Security film is relatively inexpensive and quickly installed. From large public schools to small private ones, the cost of this potential lifesaver is typically less than 1% of a school’s annual budget. Once applied, it lasts for the lifetime of the glass.

For example, it took one day and cost $5,000 in materials and labor to treat a church with more than 20 glass entryway panes on the front, side, and back of the building. Similarly, public school administrators who were hesitant to install security film due to cost concerns found they were able to apply it in a lot more locations than they originally anticipated because it was so affordable.

Seemingly unaware of this life-shielding opportunity, ABC News recently reported:

Brad Garrett—a retired FBI agent and an ABC News contributor, who has done security audits on schools—said fortifying entrance doors with material like bulletproof glass, is cost prohibitive for most schools, especially a small Christian school like Covenant. He said metal doors are a cheaper option, but they make schools feel dark and “prison-like.”

Thus, it appears that a massive media outlet and a former FBI agent who specializes in school security are unfamiliar with an option that addresses those concerns.

Don’t Make Celebrities of Mass Murderers

The 1999 Columbine High School massacre was the first mass shooting that received wall-to-wall media coverage, and ever since then, the press has made the perpetrators of such slaughters into household names. During this same era, fatal school shootings have occurred every year in the United States.

Documenting the impact of this and offering a simple solution, Dr. Peter Langman, a Ph.D. psychologist and one of the world’s leading authorities on the “psychology of school shooters and other perpetrators of mass violence,” writes that:

because of the frequency of mass killers citing previous perpetrators as role models or sources of inspiration, it is critical that media outlets give careful consideration to how they cover such incidents. It seems likely that the more the media focuses on the perpetrators rather than the victims, the more people who are at risk of violence will be influenced to commit their own attacks, whether due to imitation, inspiration, idolizing, perceived similarities, sympathy with the cause, or their desire for fame.

Compulsory Mental Health Treatment

While the vast majority of people with mental illness are not violent, the perpetrators of mass shootings are far more likely to suffer from serious psychiatric disorders than the general population. This is especially true of people who commit indiscriminate mass shootings in which an attacker wantonly kills people in a public setting like a school, park, or church.

A study published in the journal Criminology & Public Policy found that 35% of people who committed indiscriminate mass shootings from 1976 to 2018 had paranoid schizophrenia, and 60% of the shooters “had been either diagnosed with a mental disorder or demonstrated signs of serious mental illness prior to the attack.” Some examples include the perpetrators of the slaughters at:

  • Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
  • Sandy Hook Elementary School.
  • Virginia Tech.
  • Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.
  • the Orlando Pulse Nightclub.
  • an Aurora, Colorado movie theater.
  • a Boulder, Colorado grocery store.
  • Fort Lauderdale International Airport.
  • the Tucson, Arizona “Congress on Your Corner” event with Gabby Giffords.

In comparison, less than 1% of the U.S. general population have schizophrenia or a related disorder, and 4.6% of noninstitutionalized U.S. adults have a serious mental illness.

Perhaps more telling, the Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology published a study of people who committed a mass shooting from 1982 to 2019 and survived. The study focused on the survivors, as opposed to those who died, because the ensuing legal proceedings revealed “the most reliable psychiatric information.” Among the 35 mass shooters who survived, 51% had schizophrenia, and 80% had a psychiatric diagnosis.

Although 18.8% of U.S. adults received mental health services in 2021, people who desperately need such help often refuse care. For instance, the:

  • Parkland killer “received extensive mental and behavioral health services until he turned 18 and decided himself to stop treatment.”
  • Sandy Hook killer “refused to take suggested medication and did not engage in suggested behavior therapies.”
  • Virginia Tech killer “was the biggest impediment to stabilizing his mental health.”

It is important to understand that correlation does not prove causation, but there is a very strong correlation between the rise of indiscriminate mass shootings and the mass deinstitutionalization of psychiatric patients that occurred in the U.S. from 1955 to around 2010.

During that period, the portion of the U.S. population in public psychiatric hospitals declined by 96%. Highlighting the implications of this, a 1997 academic book about “America’s mental illness crisis” explains:

  • “The magnitude of deinstitutionalization of the severely mentally ill qualifies it as one of the largest social experiments in American history.”
  • About “763,391 severely mentally ill people (over three-quarters of a million) are living in the community today who would have been hospitalized 40 years ago.”

Over the periods before, during, and after the U.S. experiment in mass deinstitutionalization, the rates of indiscriminate mass shootings sextupled.

With no regard for those facts and without presenting any evidence to support his claims, U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D–CT) has declared, “Spare me the bullshit about mental illness. We don’t have any more mental illness than any other country in the world. You cannot explain this through a prism of mental illness, because we don’t—we’re not an outlier on mental illness. We’re an outlier when it comes to access to firearms and the ability of criminals and very sick people to get their hands on firearms. That’s what makes America different.”

Likewise, media outlets such as the Washington Post and New York Times allege that the only material difference between the U.S. and developed countries with vastly lower murder rates is that America has more guns. Thus, they conclude that guns must be the problem—commonly using Japan as a comparator because it has very low gun ownership and murder rates.

In reality, however, a major difference is that the U.S. has one of the lowest rates of psychiatric institutionalization in the developed world, and Japan’s rate is about 10 times greater.

It is not easy to craft policies to ensure that people who seriously need help get it without forcing others to undergo unnecessary mental health treatments. However, cases like the Virginia Tech massacre—the deadliest school shooting in U.S. history—show there is much room for improvement. As detailed in the official report of this tragedy that cost the lives of 32 students and faculty:

  • “It is common practice to require students entering a new school, college, or university to present records of immunization. Why not records of serious emotional or mental problem too? … The answer is obvious: personal privacy.”
  • In social and classroom settings, the student engaged in a pattern of “threatening behavior,” such as taking out a knife at a party and “stabbing the carpet.”
  • A poetry professor “began noticing that fewer students were attending” her class, so she “asked a student what was going on, and he said, ‘It’s the boy … everyone’s afraid of him’.”
  • While the chair of the English department was personally working with the student, she wrote a letter to a dean stating that “all of his submissions so far have been about shooting or harming people because he’s angered by their authority or by their behavior. … I am encouraging him to see a counselor––something he’s resisted so far.”
  • After numerous incidents and a finding by a clinical social worker that the student “was mentally ill, was an imminent danger to self or others, and was not willing to be treated voluntarily,” the student was involuntarily hospitalized for one night. However, he was released after he falsely denied “any previous mental health treatment.” The psychiatrist took his word for this because that’s the “standard practice” and “privacy laws impede the gathering of collateral information.”
  • Upon his release, a special justice ruled that the student “presents an imminent danger to himself as a result of mental illness” and ordered him “to follow all recommended treatments.” However, the counseling center he went to had a “policy” of allowing “patients to decide whether to make a followup appointment,” and the student did not.

Similar circumstances surrounded the mental health of the mass murderer in Parkland and the perpetrators of other such massacres.

Arming Selected Teachers

Despite knee-jerk reactions to arming teachers, this action can significantly and discretely improve the safety of students for a fraction of the cost of employing officers or security guards. This is because teachers and other school employees:

  • who are willing and able to protect students can be quickly trained to be as safe and proficient with a firearm as police.
  • are ubiquitous in schools and can provide ample coverage of buildings and campuses, something that has been severely lacking in school massacres.
  • would covertly carry, giving them an advantage of surprise over would-be attackers.
  • can be seriously trained, appropriately armed, and generously paid for about 1% of what is already spent on schools.

Large crowds—like those found in schools, concerts, and sporting events—are prime targets for mass murderers. That’s why the Superdome in New Orleans—which has a seating capacity of 73,208 people—has more than “900 public safety personnel” on duty in the stadium and surrounding area during “large events such as football games.”

That amounts to one security personnel for every 80 people, including “armed public safety officers, non-armed game day security guards along with officers from the Louisiana State Police, New Orleans Police Department and Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Department.”

In comparison, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School—which had about 3,200 students at the time it was attacked—had only one armed guard on duty. This is about 1/40th of the security per person at the Superdome.

Columbine had about 1,900 students and one armed guard, or 1/24th of the Dome’s.

During the Virginia Tech slaughter, the campus had 26,370 students and “131 major buildings spread over 2,600 acres,” while “only 14” officers were on duty, including “5 on patrol and 9 in the office.” In other words, each patrol officer was responsible for protecting about 5,000 students, 25 buildings, and 500 acres.

Such security is grossly inadequate because killers can easily find a soft spot without guards. This need not be the case. Given that the average pupil/teacher ratio in public schools is about 16 to 1, arming one out of five teachers would equal the Dome’s ratio of 80 to 1.

Moreover, teachers would carry the weapons covertly, making it nearly impossible for assailants to determine who is armed and who is not. This can provide an element of surprise crucial to saving lives.

Contrary to claims spread by CNN and NBC, teachers can rival the firearm skills of police officers. This is because even recreational shooters fire as accurately as police, and most officers only receive a modest amount of firearm training.

In 2015, the International Journal of Police Science & Management published a study on the risks of “deadly police shootouts.” This involved testing “the level of shooting accuracy demonstrated by law enforcement recruits upon completion” of “their firearms training in comparison with novice” recruits who had not yet received this training. The study found:

  • “no difference” in accuracy at any distance between recruits who had completed law enforcement or military handgun training and those who only had “recreational” handgun experience.
  • trained officers were “only 10% more accurate” than recruits with “minimal/no experience” at ranges of 3 to 15 feet, which is where a “majority of gunfights and critical situations will likely” occur.

On average, police receive 71 hours of firearms instruction in their initial academy training and less than 15 hours per year thereafter. They also get very little real-world experience with firing guns. A 2017 Pew poll found that “only about a quarter (27%) of all officers say they have ever fired their service weapon” in the line of duty.

These facts point to the conclusion that selected and well-trained teachers would be very effective in protecting the lives of students. Even the general public saves far more lives with guns than are lost in accidents. U.S. civilians use guns to stop potentially lethal violence more than 100,000 times per year, while there are less than 600 fatal firearm accidents per year.

Despite claims that arming teachers would be too costly, it would amount to a drop in the bucket of current school spending. Even under a high-cost scenario where teachers receive five times more gun training than police and are well paid for their training time, the annual cost of equipping, training, and supervising one out of five teachers would be about 1% of government spending on schools.


Assumptions, politics, and sentiments aside, people can quickly and inexpensively reduce the risk of school shooting deaths by:

  • hardening the glass entryways to schools by treating them with films that prevent the doors from shattering if shot.
  • limiting the amount of fame bestowed on the perpetrators of mass murders.
  • implementing policies to ensure that people with serious psychiatric disorders get the help they need, even if they are unwilling to be treated.
  • arming and training selected teachers who are willing and able to protect students.

This article was published by Just Facts and is reproduced with permission.


As we move through 2023 and into the next election cycle, The Prickly Pear will resume Take Action recommendations and information.

‘Not A Firearms Expert’: Biden’s ATF Chief Admits He Can’t Define What An ‘Assault Weapon’ Is thumbnail

‘Not A Firearms Expert’: Biden’s ATF Chief Admits He Can’t Define What An ‘Assault Weapon’ Is

By Trevor Schakohl

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Director Steve Dettelbach was unable to define the term “assault weapon” during his agency’s Tuesday budget request hearing before a House Appropriations subcommittee.

Dettelbach told Republican Texas Rep. Jake Ellzey that he had expressed support for passing an assault weapons ban in Ohio during his unsuccessful 2018 campaign to become the state’s attorney general, noting that the Biden administration endorses instituting “an assault weapons ban.” Ellzey asked Dettelbach to define an “assault weapon” in 15 seconds.

“I’ll go shorter than that, because honestly, if Congress wishes to take that up, I think Congress would have to do the work, but we would be there to provide technical assistance,” Dettelbach said. “I, unlike you, am not a firearms expert to the same extent as you maybe, but we have people at ATF who can talk about velocity of firearms, what damage different kinds of firearms cause, so that whatever determination you chose to make would be an informed one.”

Ellzey had said he has some expertise in weaponry and self-defense weapons, citing his status as a military veteran and 20-year gun owner. The Senate confirmed Dettelbach to lead the ATF in July, despite 15 state attorneys general arguing he would “merely rubber stamp” Biden’s “partisan anti-gun platform.”

This article was published by The Daily Caller and is reproduced with permission.


As we move through 2023 and into the next election cycle, The Prickly Pear will resume Take Action recommendations and information.

Tennessee thumbnail


By Bruce Bialosky

Whenever one blinks these days, there is a new story about which people get hysterical.  Tennessee has always been best known for Nashville country music and Memphis barbeque.  But it has become focused currently on two cultural events that are related, but in their own way completely separate.

You certainly are familiar with the fact a transgender individual entered a Christian day school and killed six people – three older adults and three young children. If you read the “wrong” news service, there is no mention the shooter was transgender.  Or you might read seven people were killed due to the fact that the Nashville police did their job and killed the shooter –possibly saving many lives. That is not the topic of this column. It is another incident.

A gun control proposal was put forth in the Tennessee State Legislature. Everyone I know is in favor of gun control. It is just the Left wants to control guns for law-abiding citizens.  They cite countries that have confiscated guns from their citizens, and you pretty much saw what happened during the pandemic where these countries ran roughshod over people’s rights in ways Americans could not imagine.

Republicans and Conservatives want to control guns in the hands of people who are most likely to commit crimes and punish those who use guns in the commission of a crime. There is an argument that reasonable procedures should be analyzed to see if that would help in controlling incidents like what happened in Nashville at the day school.

That is where the story goes off the rails. The Tennessee legislature is a part-time bicameral body. It meets 90 days a year. The Senate voted in a committee to floor any gun laws until 2024 to give people a chance to analyze what might be best. The Left wanted to “strike while the iron is hot” and move legislation now. The Republican-controlled legislature paused on the issue until 2024.

That was not good enough. I previously stated: “It never fails to amaze me how focused or preoccupied some get on issues like this that they cannot accept reasonable boundaries. And then they call the opposition zealots.”

The first moment I became aware of the issue continuing was when I read the Assembly was moving to expel three members. My initial thinking was that was an extreme action. I knew nothing of the three members other than they were Democrats.  This to me was an over-the-top reaction.

Then I read up on the facts and not the slanted press that omits facts. I found out two of the members had not only goaded a crowd to disrupt the Assembly, but they had also used a bullhorn on the floor of the Assembly. One of the two expelled said he was not educated on the decorum of the Assembly. He asked how he could be tossed for being ignorant. If he was ignorant, it was willful ignorance. When I found out the two had used a bullhorn, I knew nothing about the two — sex, ethnicity, etc. I just knew they were either idiots, zealots, or both. 

I found out Justin Jones in his short 27 years has been arrested multiple times for his political activism. He ran for office before but this time he beat another Democrat in the primary and received 8,596 votes (100%) in the general election. He appears to never have had a job in private industry. His running mate, Justin Pearson, bills himself as a “community organizer.” He is currently 28 years old. Pearson won his special election with 52% of the vote (1,235 votes).    None of these facts were known to me when I decided they were justifiably expelled. They apparently think they can harass the other members of the Assembly into complying with their policy wishes.

Here is a fun fact: The leadership of their caucus told them to stop their errant behavior. They “walked off the House floor after a heated confrontation with their own Democrat leadership.”   BTW, the white woman who was the third protester did none of this extreme behavior. She survived the expulsion vote because of that, but not by much.

It was pointed out to me that if the two were expelled then the third person should also have been because it now seems it was based on race.  I responded that it would then be characterized as being racist and sexist. Sure enough, Rep. Gloria Johnson argued the expulsion was racist despite arguing in her own defense that she did not participate in the same activities as Jones and Pearson. Then she claimed the action was sexist and racist. She invoked possibly the stupidest expression in history (and it’s a high bar), “I was talked down to as a woman and man-splained to.”

This isn’t about race, ethnicity, or sex. But that does not matter to some as race-baiters like Kammy Harris rushed to Tennessee to assuage the wounded miscreants.  While Democrats in the Assembly understand the proper conduct of a legislator, the band of “everything you think is based on race,” jumped in to defend these two juveniles in men’s clothing.

The problem we have in this country is there is a lack of boundaries. No sense of propriety.  Even the Three Stooges would have understood you don’t whip out a bullhorn on the floor of a legislature and start having a rally.

Members of their community have stated they will reinstall these two knuckleheads into their seats. My question is, don’t you have anything better to offer? A wise man once said, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”


This article was published in Flash Report and is reproduced with permission from the author.


As we move through 2023 and into the next election cycle, The Prickly Pear will resume Take Action recommendations and information.

Anti-2A Kamala: ‘Weapons of War Have No Place on the Streets’ thumbnail

Anti-2A Kamala: ‘Weapons of War Have No Place on the Streets’

By Discover The Networks

Thursday on FOX’s Jennifer Hudson Show, epically incompetent Vice President Kamala Harris declared that an “assault weapon” ban is reasonable.

Kamala said, “When I look at the tragedies all over our country that have affected so many people so personally, and the senseless nature of it all. Here is the thing: first of all, we should not have to be presented with this false choice which suggests you are in favor of the 2nd Amendment or you want reasonable gun safety laws. That is a false choice. The point is to say it is reasonable to say we would have background checks. Because it is reasonable, you might want to know if someone has been found by a court to be a danger to themselves or others before they buy a gun.”

Fact checks: we already have reasonable gun laws. We already have background checks.

She continued, “It is just reasonable. It is reasonable to say weapons of war have no place on the streets of America. I mean assault weapons, weapons of war. They were designed to be weapons of war. We need an assault weapons ban. These are reasonable things to do. Also, as we look at our children, so many of us were blessed to grow up at a time where we did not have the experience what the children of America are having to experience right now. Which is as they are learning to read and write, they are being taught how you hide and be quiet if there is a rampant gunman, a mass shooting happening in your classroom.”

“Weapons of war” and “assault weapons” are propagandist words that Democrats can’t — or won’t — define when asked, because they 1) don’t know anything about guns, and 2) they want to be able to ban all guns.

Kamala concluded, “I think it is pitiful that the people in the United States Congress do not have the courage to stand up to the gun lobby and the NRA and say I support the Second Amendment, but we need reasonable gun safety laws.”

Fact checks: again, we already have reasonable gun laws. And Kamala Harris does not support the Second Amendment. She and her fellow Democrats would scrap the Second Amendment in a heartbeat if they could. But they can’t, so they have to keep chipping away at it by punishing law-abiding gun owners instead of targeting gangs and career criminals.

RELATED ARTICLE: Michelle O: ‘Unfettered Access to Firearms is Not a Good Thing’

EDITORS NOTE: This Discover the Networks column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

FACT CHECK: Has One In Five U.S. Adults Had A Family Member Killed By A Gun? thumbnail

FACT CHECK: Has One In Five U.S. Adults Had A Family Member Killed By A Gun?

By Charlotte Whelan

A new report from the Kaiser Family Foundation claims that 19% of American adults say a family member was killed by a gun. They note that this includes death by suicide but fail to add any more context to the gripping headline. So how true or helpful is this claim?

The biggest issue with this new gun death statistic is the lack of definition for a “family member.” As some have pointed out, “Is your great-aunt’s second cousin you’ve never met a family member?” Or as one of my IW colleagues quipped, “Since my great great great grandpa, who was a bank and train robber in California, was killed by gunfire, I can claim that I’ve had a family member killed by guns.”

Even the bare numbers don’t make sense.

The most problematic aspect of the Kaiser poll is that it hides how small its poll sample was. If you track down the methodology, you find that this study was conducted online and by telephone among a sample of only 1,271 U.S. adults. That number is hardly enough to represent the 258.3 million American adults, nor make the claim that familial gun death has affected 51,660,000 U.S. adults.

It is a tragedy for anyone to be killed, and the recent shootings in just the last two weeks have brought the issue of gun violence to the forefront of many minds. And the mental health crisis in the U.S., noted in the study by the mention that “about half of deaths (55%) in the U.S. involving guns are suicides,” is a real problem we need to address as a nation and as individual communities. But using vague and likely inflated statistics to get an attention-grabbing headline is no way to make headway on the issue.

This article was published by Independent Women’s Forum and is reproduced with permission.


As we move through 2023 and into the next election cycle, The Prickly Pear will resume Take Action recommendations and information.

That Kaiser Gun Study The Media Love Is Garbage thumbnail

That Kaiser Gun Study The Media Love Is Garbage

By David Harsanyi

It’s become virtually impossible to find reliable data or polling on gun violence these days. A new Kaiser Family Foundation report being shared by virtually every major media outlet this week offers us a good example of why. The headlines report that “1 in 5 adults” in the United States claim that a “family member” has been “killed” by a gun. And, let’s just say, that’s a highly dubious claim.

There are 333 million people living in the United States, and somewhere around 259 million of them are over the age of 18. Twenty percent of those adults equals nearly 52 million people. There were more than 40,000 gun deaths in 2022, and around 20,000 of them were homicides — a slight dip from a Covid-year historic high that followed decades of lows. So, according to Kaiser’s polling, every victim of gun violence in the past few years had hundreds, if not thousands, of “family members.”

Now, to be fair, we can’t really run the numbers because Kaiser doesn’t define its terms or parameters. For example, what constitutes a “family member”? Is your second cousin a family member? Because if so, that creates quite the nexus of people. What about your stepbrother’s second cousin? Or how about your uncle who died in Iraq? Or how about that grandfather you never met who committed suicide in 1968? Kaiser could have asked people about their “immediate” relatives. The opacity is the point.

Then again, you can always spot a misleading firearms study by checking if the authors conflate suicides and murders. Kaiser does. The underlying problems leading to a homicide or a suicide are typically very different. So are the solutions. There are numerous countries with virtually no private gun ownership that have persistently high suicide rates. There isn’t any other societal problem in which Kaiser wouldn’t stress the distinction between criminality and mental health struggles.

But even if we count suicides, the claim is fantastical. As are many of the others. If we trust this poll, we would have to accept that around 50 million Americans were personally threatened with a gun. And that 54 percent of American adults — which can be extrapolated to mean 140 million adults — have personally or have a family member who has witnessed a shooting, been threatened by a gun, or been injured or killed by one. (Another 28 percent, or 72 million people, contend they have carried a gun in self-defense — which is also exceedingly unlikely.)

Kaiser’s “key findings” highlight many issues tied to anti-gun activist talking points. In the middle of polling, Kaiser conveniently switches up the definition of an “adult” from 18 and older to over 19, so it can regurgitate the claim that firearms are the leading cause of death among children. Kaiser wonders if your “health care provider” has talked to you about guns or gun safety. Did you know, Kaiser asks, that 6 in 10 parents with guns in their households say a gun is stored in the same location as ammunition?

What Kaiser doesn’t mention in its press-friendly “key findings” — and no media piece I’ve read mentions — is that 82 percent of those polled feel “very” or “somewhat safe” from gun violence in their own neighborhoods. Only 18 percent of Americans say they worry about gun violence on a daily or almost daily basis, while 43 percent say they worry about it “rarely” or “never.” So, you’re telling me, half of American adults have personally experienced gun violence themselves or toward someone in their family, but less than 20 percent worry about it often?

There are numerous other problems with Kaiser’s findings. Perhaps the most important, though, is the sample size. Granted, I’m no polling expert, but I suspect that the self-reported thoughts of 1,271 people — answering a bunch of poorly defined questions about a highly emotional and politically charged issue “online and by telephone” — should not be relied on with any certitude. And yet, there isn’t a single establishment media reporter writing about the report that exhibits a hint of skepticism.

This article was published by The Federalist and is reproduced with permission.


As we move through 2023 and into the next election cycle, The Prickly Pear will resume Take Action recommendations and information.

Society-Wide Lack of Restraint a Cause of Mass Shootings: Mohler thumbnail

Society-Wide Lack of Restraint a Cause of Mass Shootings: Mohler

By Family Research Council

Only two weeks after the Covenant School shooting in Nashville, another mass murderer killed six people and wounded nine at a shooting at Old National Bank in Louisville, Ky. The incident was “absolutely horrifying and frightening,” Dr. Al Mohler, president of Southern Theological Seminary in Louisville, said on “Washington Watch,” but that should make it a call to action for Christians.

Mohler, whose predecessor’s son-in-law died in the Louisville shooting, diagnosed the tragedy as a symptom of “restraint being lifted off” of American society; “you see it just about in every dimension of life.” “Washington Watch” guest host Jody Hice said that “it seems like almost daily something like this is taking place,” these “extreme acts of violence taking place across the country.”

“There’s only one explanation for this, and that is premeditated violence carried out with a murderous rampage. There is no other factor here,” said Mohler. He warned against the attempts of secular society to reduce a mass shooter’s moral culpability to either socioeconomic factors or mental infirmity; neither explanation, he argued, applied in this case. “Many people want to reduce all sin and wrongdoing, even criminal behavior to some kind of socioeconomic explanation,” he added. “That’s basically all a secular society has.”

But Mohler said the real root cause is the same affliction we all suffer from. “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” said the Lord through Jeremiah (17:9). “If it turns out someone says this is ‘just this’ or ‘just that,’ I think we as Christians know that is not plausible,” Mohler summarized.

“As we’re watching more of these events take place all across the country,” Hice agreed, “we can’t blame it all on guns. We can’t blame it all on mental issues. There is a heart issue that must at some point be addressed.”

“When you look at … both the Old and the New Testaments, there’s plenty of evidence to the fact that one of God’s great gifts to humanity is restraint. And when those restraints are taken off of a society, horrible things happen,” Mohler continued. “When you look at the entire structure of biblical morality and biblical law, if you begin to unravel things over here, the unraveling is going to take place over [t]here as well.”

After recounting how a Sodom-esque crime unraveled into civil war, the book of Judges concludes, “In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes” (21:25). David’s last words poetically celebrate restraining authority, “When one rules justly over men, ruling in the fear of God, he dawns on them like the morning light, like the sun shining forth on a cloudless morning, like rain that makes grass to sprout from the earth” (2 Samuel 23:3-4). Paul wrote, “Rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain” (Romans 13:3-4).

For decades, Americans “have been unraveling the entire moral fiber, the moral structure of Western civilization … that’s based upon very clear biblical principles of morality,” Mohler went on. “Eventually, you end up with people who basically demonstrate what it looks like for a restraint to be gone, for inhibitions to be gone, and for people to follow example after example of horrifying behavior. … If God’s restraining grace is taken away from a society, the list of horrible things happening just continues.”

Mohler insisted the “break down of order and … restraint” is “not just in terms of giant crimes,” but it “gets all the way down to the way parents deal with children, the way that the schools deal with students. … Frankly, you look at America’s major cities, [and] you don’t see much restraint about anything.” Paul warned that “in the last days … people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God” (2 Timothy 3:1-4).

Mohler said the digital revolution and especially social media was instrumental in creating the conditions for people to cast off restraint. “It used to be that people were told, ‘think before you say something. Take responsibility for your words. Don’t say anything you don’t want to live with the rest of your life,’” he said. But now, “it’s an unmitigated … just sheer express. It is just absolute, uncontrolled, rampag[ing] emotion.”

Hice agreed, “It’s so easy just to throw out emotions” on social media. “And that certainly is fuel to the fire of extremism and whatever other isms we want to talk about.”

Given the societal ills we face, “we do not have a toolkit of policies with which to respond to this,” explained Mohler. “We as Christians understand that there is no solution for the basic problem of the human heart that comes from within ourselves, or that can be arranged by society. … Policies and laws? They can suppress, to some extent, the full expression of human evil. But the problem is in the heart and the only solution for the problem in the heart is the gospel of Jesus Christ.”

So, “what we have is the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ,” Mohler said. “The gospel of Jesus Christ is first and foremost about how sinners are saved from our sin through the blood atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ and the full justification of sins that comes to those who, by faith, come to know the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior.”

This means that “we have to return to first principles biblically,” Mohler argued. “We as Christians don’t have anywhere else to go anyway. The Christian church doesn’t have some kind of ‘policy exit’ from theology. … The New Testament gives us our agenda, that is, to preach the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, to build godly families, to build churches, and through that, to help bear witness to Christ.”

“But the larger society benefits by the presence of Christians and by the influence of Christianity,” Mohler added, because Christians “also have the sure biblical knowledge that the way you build a civilization is with healthy marriages based in a mother and a father and a husband and a wife who love each other and are devoted to each other; having children and raising them in the nurture and admonition of the Lord; building a society, a civilization based upon consistency with God’s law and God’s command; and seeking human flourishing in such a way that we know can only come by obedience to the Word of God and can only come by God blessing and providing restraint and protection.”

“As we look at a more radically secularizing society, it’s not just a challenge to us evangelistically,” said Mohler.” It’s a challenge to us just with the breakdown we see in the order around us.” Proverbs states, “Where there is no prophetic vision the people cast off restraint, but blessed is he who keeps the law” (29:18).

“The answer for Christians has to come back to the gospel of Jesus Christ and our eager witness to the fact that there is no rescue from sin but Jesus,” Mohler concluded. For this purpose, even the apostle Paul said his powers were insufficient apart from the power of God, “not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God” (2 Corinthians 3:5).

In keeping with Paul’s recognition of his own weakness, Mohler urged Christians to pray. “Our priority,” he said, “has to be to pray that God’s grace and mercy will be evident, especially in a situation such as this, and that Christ’s people will be deployed as agents of grace … that Christian parents will teach their children, Christian pastors will teach their congregations, and all of us will together learn by the spirit and the word what it means to be faithful Christians in such a difficult age.”

“God put us here in this time by his sovereignty for a purpose,” said Mohler. “Let’s pray we’ll be faithful to that purpose.”


Joshua Arnold

Joshua Arnold is a staff writer at The Washington Stand.

EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. ©2023 Family Research Council

The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

First They Come for the Sheriffs, Then They Come for your Guns thumbnail

First They Come for the Sheriffs, Then They Come for your Guns

By Kenneth R. Timmerman

What I have feared for the past two years is coming true: the federal government has launched a selective and politically-motivated prosecution against a conservative sheriff, to get him out of the way.

I have known Frederick County, Maryland Sheriff Chuck Jenkins for over a dozen years. Since he was first elected in 2006, he has been “the people’s sheriff,” standing up for the citizens of Frederick County against liberal politicians at the state and federal level.

He has stood for their gun rights, and their right to a secure place to live. He has fought hard against illegal immigration, and for many years was the only sheriff in Maryland to work cooperatively with Immigration and Customs Enforcement in a program known as 287g, which authorizes the feds to remove and deport noncitizens jailed in Frederick County for serious crimes.

In short, Sheriff Jenkins has protected and defended We the People from the over-reaching federal government. And that’s why they want him out of the way.

Sheriff Jenkins has gone to our southern border and spoken out about the chaos reigning there under Obama and again under Biden.

He was a strong supporter of President Trump and was endorsed by President Trump in his re-election campaigns.

So no wonder a left-wing federal prosecutor, appointed by Biden, should target him with a pathetic “check the box” indictment on allegations he submitted false weapons’ import forms to the ATF.

If you live in the Washington, DC metropolitan area, go to the Baltimore federal courthouse tomorrow, Wednesday, at 2 PM, when Sheriff Jenkins will be arraigned.

Here is a link to this sham indictment. I’ve put links to some of the news coverage below.

But NONE of the news coverage tells you the real import of this phony prosecution of the People’s Sheriff.

When I learned of this today it just blew me away with a sense of déjà vu. I had been expecting exactly this type of thing to happen since the Biden regime took control of our government. To disguise their unpopularity and illegitimacy, they need to render the people without defense. They need to take our guns, and Sheriff Jenkins stood in their way.

Once they take our guns, they can take our freedom. Once they take our guns, they can take our money, replacing it with a Central Bank Digital Currency (planned for this July!!), which they can prevent you from spending on things (such as guns) they don’t like.

Friends, this is serious. This is the first step. If we don’t hold the line with Sheriff Jenkins, the feds will go after other Sheriffs who are standing between them and We the People. 

Remember what Ronald Reagan said in his now-famous speech to the RNC on Oc. 27, 1964:

“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.”

Three years later, in his inauguration address as Governor of California, he added: “And those in world history who have known freedom and then lost it have never known it again.”

Losing our freedom is an experiment we don’t need to undertake in America. But mark my words: this phony, political prosecution is the first step.

If you can, show up. If you can’t, speak up.

©2023 Kenneth R. Timmerman. All rights reserved.


Frederick County Sheriff and Gun Dealer Indicted for Scheme to Illegally Acquire Machineguns | USAO-MD | Department of Justice

Judicial-Testimony-2016-Sheriff-CJ.pdf (house.gov)

Frederick County sheriff and shooting range owner indicted by federal grand jury for scheme to illegally buy machine guns

Biden Invites Expelled Tennessee Insurrectionist Democrats to the White House thumbnail

Biden Invites Expelled Tennessee Insurrectionist Democrats to the White House

By The Geller Report

If you can’t see that the Democrats are engaged in a civil war, you’re already a slave.

Furthermore, it bears nothing how the most senior Democrat leadership up the the Executive branch reveres and exalts violent insurrectionists. The GOP did not stand up for peaceful protesters calling for election integrity.

Biden Invites Expelled Tennessee Democrats to the White House

By: Sarah Arnold | Townhall April 08, 2023:

President Joe Biden invited the three expelled Democrats to the White House after being ousted from the state legislature for protesting against gun violence.

His invitation extended to the “Tennessee Three” along with a statement praising them for “seeking to ban assault weapons and standing up for our democratic values.”

“Earlier today, I spoke to Reps. Jones, Pearson, and Johnson thank them for their leadership and courage in the face of a blatant disregard for our nation’s democratic values. Our country needs to take action on gun violence — and to do that; we need more voices like theirs speaking out,” Biden said in a social media caption with a video of the president speaking with Democrats Justin Pearson, Justin Jones, and Gloria Johnson.

The invite came the same day Vice President Kamala Harris traveled to Nashville to meet with the ousted lawmakers who violated decorum rules. According to a White House pool report, the visit will occur in the future.

On Thursday, all three Democrats faced expulsion from their Republican colleagues for taking part in a protest calling for gun control after a March 27 school shooting in Nashville killed several children and employees.

In a statement on Friday, the Biden White House called the GOP response to the protests “dangerous” and “shocking,” adding that children are paying the price for Republicans’ gun stance. The Biden Administration also accused the party of punishing and silencing “duly-elected representatives of the people of Tennessee.”

Earlier, I spoke to Reps Jones, Pearson, and Johnson to thank them for their leadership and courage in the face of a blatant disregard of our nation’s democratic values.

Our country needs to take action on gun violence — to do that we need more voices like theirs speaking out. pic.twitter.com/oQl9jQSOy1

— President Biden (@POTUS) April 7, 2023

Furthermore, CBS anchor John Dickerson criticized the GOP’s actions, calling their decision to remove the Democrats from their positions extreme, warning that Americans, primarily conservative, will turn to violence.

“Politics needs some cartilage. It needs some give. It can’t be brittle. So when you have a situation in here where, okay, Republican lawmakers thought these Democrats broke decorum and stepped out of line, there are a series of steps to punish. But when you go to the maximalist and kick them out, that’s brittle. There’s no give,” Dickerson said. “When there’s no give, the other side gets to respond only by punching back. And so when you lose those interim steps, all you get is response and response and response. And that is not only — you know where that leads. Right? That leads to violence.”


Pamela Geller


INSURRECTION: First of Three Radical Tennessee Democrats EXPELLED FROM LEGISLATURE – Democrats Meltdown


EDITORS NOTE: This Geller Report is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Another Win for Bruen, This Time in Anti-gun Minnesota thumbnail

Another Win for Bruen, This Time in Anti-gun Minnesota

By Bob Adelmann

The effort by anti-gun Minnesota politicians to keep its citizens between the ages of 18 and 21 from keeping and bearing arms failed last week.

But the ruling was closer than it appeared, and the state’s radical Muslim Attorney General Keith Ellison is appealing the decision.

At issue is the state’s law limiting the Second Amendment’s rights to citizens aged 21 and above, neatly infringing on the rights of citizens 18 to 20 years of age. Three of those brought suit, along with the Minnesota Gun Owners Caucus, the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF), and the Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC).

On the surface, the decision appeared to be clear. Wrote U.S. District Judge Katherine Menendez: “The Supreme Court’s recent decision in … Bruen compels the conclusion that Minnesota’s permitting age restriction is unconstitutional, and Plaintiffs are entitled to judgment [in their favor].”

Menendez, a Biden appointee, tried her best to come to a different conclusion. She gave ample space in her 50-page ruling to the testimony of various anti-gun, anti-Second Amendment witnesses brought by the key defendant in the suit, John Harrington, Minnesota’s commissioner of public safety.

First up was a case decided in Florida on a similar issue in which the question of the applicable time frame was to be considered: 1791 (when the Second Amendment was ratified as part of the Bill of Rights to the U.S. Constitution) or 1868 (when the Fourteenth Amendment “incorporated” the Second Amendment against the states in addition to the federal government).

Menendez was forced to quote from Bruen:

…Constitutional rights are enshrined within the scope that they were understood to have when the people [the Founders] adopted them.”… [Emphasis in original.]

[W]e hold that when the Second Amendment’s plain text covers an individual’s conduct, the Constitution presumptively protects that conduct.

To justify its regulation, the government may not simply posit that the regulation promotes an important interest. Rather, the government must demonstrate that the regulation is consistent with this Nation’s historical tradition of firearm regulation.

Only if a firearm regulation is consistent with this Nation’s historical tradition may a court conclude that the individual’s conduct falls outside the Second Amendment’s “unqualified command.”

The Supreme Court’s decision in Bruen was so unambiguous that Judge Menendez, after hearing the arguments brought by Harrington et al. in the Minnesota suit, was forced to conclude:

Because the Second Amendment’s text presumptively guarantees Plaintiffs’ right to publicly carry a handgun for self-defense, under Bruen Defendants must demonstrate that the age requirement in [the Minnesota law] is consistent with the nation’s history and tradition of firearms regulation.

Based on a careful review of the record, the Court finds that Defendants have failed to identify analogous regulations that show a historical tradition in America of depriving 18–20-year-olds the right to publicly carry a handgun for self-defense.

As a result, the age requirement prohibiting persons between the ages of 18 and 20 from obtaining such a permit to carry violates the Second Amendment.

Defendant Harrington brought in another Second Amendment “expert,” college professor Saul Cornell. Cornell tried his best to persuade the court that the Second Amendment didn’t really mean what it said, that what the Founders intended was that possessing firearms was not a right but a duty citizens owed to the states, and that “imposition of a duty does not necessarily confer individual rights.”

The judge expressed her disappointment that Cornell’s testimony wasn’t sufficiently persuasive to save the Minnesota law:

Professor Cornell’s testimony raises a compelling question about the propriety of drawing conclusions about a modern regulation’s validity from the absence of laws prohibiting 18-to-20-year-olds from possessing weapons during the founding era….

Ultimately, the Court is constrained to conclude that Defendants have not met their burden to show that Minnesota’s challenged law is consistent with the nation’s founding-era history and tradition of [firearms] regulation.

That should have been the end of it. Case closed. Next.

Not quite.

Biden appointee Menendez whined that, under the old way of determining whether Second Amendment rights had been violated by state law, she would have ruled differently:

If the Court were permitted to consider the value of these goals [the “old way”] and how well Minnesota’s age requirement fits the ends to be achieved, the outcome here would likely be different.

But whatever the evidence may reveal about the wisdom behind enacting a 21-year-old requirement for publicly carrying a handgun, such analysis belongs to a regime of means-end scrutiny scuttled by Bruen. [Emphasis added.]

Under Bruen, the balancing of interests in public safety and the right to keep and bear arms has already been [quoting Bruen] “struck by the traditions of the American people.”

She then preached from the bench, holding that the times have changed and implying that the Constitution simply hadn’t kept up:

Second Amendment jurisprudence now focuses a lens entirely on the choices made in a very different time, by a very different American people.

Given the relative dearth of firearms regulation from the most relevant period where that lens is aimed, the endeavor of applying Bruen seems likely to lead, generally, to more guns in the hands of more people, not just young adults.

Some Minnesotans are surely fine with that result. Others may wonder what public safety measures are left to be achieved through the political process where guns are concerned.

But Bruen makes clear that today’s policy considerations play no role in an analytical framework that begins and ends more than two hundred years ago.

In laymen’s terms, the judge laments the olden days when states were largely free to emasculate the Second Amendment at will, using “public safety measures” as the scalpel.

But she did properly rule:

Because the plain text of the Second Amendment covers the Plaintiffs’ proposed course of conduct and Defendants have not met their burden under the historical prong of Bruen’s test, Plaintiffs are entitled to judgment as a matter of law on their Second Amendment claim.

Immediately following her ruling, Minnesota’s AG Ellison filed an emergency motion to delay its implementation so that he could have to time to prepare an appeal. And Governor Tim Walz, a favorite of the NRA, is at the same time pressuring Minnesota lawmakers to pass bills allowing for unconstitutional expanded background checks and an unconstitutional red flag law.

This article was published by The New American and is reproduced with permission.


As we move through 2023 and into the next election cycle, The Prickly Pear will resume Take Action recommendations and information.

Epically Incompetent Kamala Heading to Nashville to Support the ‘Tennessee Three’ thumbnail

Epically Incompetent Kamala Heading to Nashville to Support the ‘Tennessee Three’

By Dr. Rich Swier

Epically incompetent Vice President Kamala Harris is heading to Nashville to support the “Tennessee Three” lawmakers who voted against a school safety bill yesterday that seeks to place an armed guard in every school, according to Breitbart News.

Reps. Gloria Johnson (D), Justin Jones (D), and Justin Pearson (D), voted against the school safety bill on the same day that votes were scheduled to remove them from office for allegedly breaking House rules.

The Tennessee House voted to expel two of the lawmakers — Jones and Pearson — while Johnson narrowly missed being expelled as well.

Kamala reportedly will travel to Nashville to support the three.

The VP airhead said, “Six people, including three children, were killed last week in a school shooting in Nashville. How did Republican lawmakers in Tennessee respond? By expelling their colleagues who stood with Tennesseans and said enough is enough. This is undemocratic and dangerous.”

That’s not what happened.

The Christian school, which was attacked on March 27, lacked an armed resource officer.  The bill Johnson, Jones, and Pearson, voted against Thursday morning would place an armed guard in every school and “allow private schools to partner with local police for school security efforts, and require Tennessee Department of Homeland Security agents to be placed in each county to evaluate and support school safety plans in both public and private schools.”

All three chose to disrupt the proceedings in juvenile ways that prompted their colleagues to vote on expelling them.

Shouldn’t Kamala be doing something useful instead like fixing the border crisis she was tasked with?

Kamala Harris

116 Known Connections

Harris Praises Texas Democrats Who Fled Their State to Derail Republican Election-Integrity Legislation

On July 12, 2021, at least 51 of the 67 Democrats in the Texas House of Representatives fled their state and flew to Washington, D.C., so as to deny Republicans the quorum needed to pass new voter-integrity laws to which the Democrats objected. Harris praised those Democrats, saying: “I applaud them standing for the rights of all Americans and all Texans to express their voice through their vote, unencumbered.” “I will say that they are leaders who are marching in the path that so many others before did when they fought and many died for our right to vote,” the vice president added…

To learn more about Kamala Harris, click here.

RELATED ARTICLE: LOL: Newsom – DeSantis ‘Scared’ Because of ‘Extreme’ FL Gun Law

EDITORS NOTE: This Discover the Networks column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Tennessee House Votes To Boot Two Dem Members Who Joined With Mob In Capitol Protest thumbnail

Tennessee House Votes To Boot Two Dem Members Who Joined With Mob In Capitol Protest

By The Daily Caller

Editor’s note: This article has been updated.

Tennessee’s Republican-held House voted Thursday to expel two out of three Democratic members for leading what House leadership called an “insurrection” at the state Capitol last week following Nashville’s school shooting.

The House voted to expel Nashville Rep. Justin Jones 72 to 25 and Memphis Rep. Justin Pearson 69 to 26 for “disorderly conduct” via HR 65 and HR 63 introduced Monday. Jones, Pearson and Knoxville Rep. Gloria Johnson joined a group of gun control protestors in the building last Thursday, and joined in chants via a bullhorn between bills; resolutions to expel the three of them were introduced Monday, according to The Tennessean.

“The world is watching Tennessee because what is happening here today is a farce of Democracy,” Jones said in his opening statement. “I was not standing for myself, I was standing for my constituents…and I was standing for those young people…who are terrified by the continued trend of mass shootings plaguing our state and plaguing our station.”

Jones claimed that the resolutions to expel him and his colleagues were efforts to remove two young black members and one of the few female members – whose expulsion resolution failed to receive two thirds majority at 65 to 30 votes – of the Legislature.

BREAKING: @brotherjones_ a duly elected representative, has been expelled from the Tennessee State House for standing up for kids killed by guns. This is fascist, undemocratic behavior. #TennesseeThree

— March For Our Lives ☮️ (@AMarch4OurLives) April 6, 2023

The resolutions claim the three members “did knowingly and intentionally bring disorder and dishonor to the House of Representatives through their individual and collective actions,” according to The Tennessean.

A video of the three representatives joining in on the protests in the House chamber was shown before the vote was taken, with many Democrats opposing the viewing. The members started chanting “power to the people,” “no action, no peace,” and “gun control now.”

Reps. Justin Jones, Gloria Johnson and Justin Pearson entered the TN House chamber to chants of “Tennessee three.” The trio faces expulsion from the House later today. pic.twitter.com/I0PHfymOoH

— Adam Friedman (@friedmanadam5) April 6, 2023

Protesters flooded the state Capitol, demanding for strengthened gun regulations, making their way throughout the hallways and eventually to the chamber where the three members joined in. The protests came after 28-year-old Audrey Haley, who identified as transgender and used “he/him” pronouns, shot and killed three children and three adults at private Christian institution, The Covenant School.

Hale, who was reportedly undergoing medical treatment for an undisclosed “emotional disorder” prior to the shooting, was a former student of the school and might have harbored some “resentment” there, according to Nashville police.

Earlier in Thursday’s legislative agenda, the House passed Gov. Bill Lee’s school safety bill that would strengthen school safety at public and private schools. The bill will help ensure that exterior doors remain locked when students are present, requires every school system to have “threat assessment teams” and mandates that security guards undergo active shooter training.

“Their actions are and will always be unacceptable, and they break several rules of decorum and procedure on the House floor. Their actions and beliefs that they could be arrested on the House floor were an effort, unfortunately, to make themselves the victims,” House Speaker Cameron Sexton said in a tweet Monday.




RELATED ARTICLE: Chaos Unravels As Anti-Gun Activists Swarm Inside Tennessee Capitol

EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Caller column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

All content created by the Daily Caller News Foundation, an independent and nonpartisan newswire service, is available without charge to any legitimate news publisher that can provide a large audience. All republished articles must include our logo, our reporter’s byline and their DCNF affiliation. For any questions about our guidelines or partnering with us, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

Chaos Unravels As Anti-Gun Activists Swarm Inside Tennessee Capitol thumbnail

Chaos Unravels As Anti-Gun Activists Swarm Inside Tennessee Capitol

By The Daily Caller

Hundreds of protesters swarmed the Tennessee State Capitol on Thursday demanding gun control in the wake of Monday’s deadly school shooting.

Protesters showed up outside the capitol Thursday morning as lawmakers began their session, according to WKRN. Protesters were calling for stronger gun control following Monday’s shooting in which 28-year-old transgender Audrey Hale killed three nine-year-olds and three adults at a Christian elementary school.

One organizer told WKRN they hope “that we can make change.”

“It’s a tough state, I get it,” organizer Maryam Abolfazli said, according to WKRN.

Protesters overwhelmed the Capitol, filling the hallways and eventually making their way to the legislative session chambers.

Video shows a massive group of protesters screaming and trying to break past a group of troopers. One male protester storms through and is immediately taken into custody by authorities before being released as the crowd chants “give him back!”

Emotions outside the House Chambers are still high. Protesters are wanting to talk to lawmakers as they run to bathroom. This young person was briefly detained but let go. @NC5 pic.twitter.com/ybetfQ1fsZ

— Kelsey Gibbs (@kelseymgibbs) March 30, 2023

Another video shows protesters in the legislative chambers chanting “no action, no peace” and “enough is enough.”

⚡️🔥 HAPPENING NOW: Democrats @brotherjones_ @Justinjpearson @VoteGloriaJ have taken over the well and disrupted session. pic.twitter.com/QVXxfVnHFn

— The Tennessee Holler (@TheTNHoller) March 30, 2023

Authorities managed to clear the Capitol and resumed their session, according to reports.

More from @itsmelissabrown https://t.co/FDcgPSVjL2

— Kirsten Fiscus (@KDFiscus) March 30, 2023



News and commentary writer. Follow Brianna on Twitter.


Princeton University Professor Eddie Glaude Jr. Says Americans Are ‘Selfish’ For Wanting To Own Guns

Caravan Of More Than 1,000 Migrants Crosses Into El Paso Illegally As Chaos Erupts In Mexico

Video Shows Carjacker Almost Mowing Down Cops While Crashing Through Parked Cars

EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Caller column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

All content created by the Daily Caller News Foundation, an independent and nonpartisan newswire service, is available without charge to any legitimate news publisher that can provide a large audience. All republished articles must include our logo, our reporter’s byline and their DCNF affiliation. For any questions about our guidelines or partnering with us, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

WaPo Writer Agrees Transgender Killer Reacted Against Christian Brainwashing thumbnail

WaPo Writer Agrees Transgender Killer Reacted Against Christian Brainwashing

By Catherine Salgado

In the wake of the tragic shooting today that left three nine-year-olds and three school employees murdered, a sick Twitter user took to the platform to claim that, while murder is wrong, the shooter was just reacting to cruel indoctrination. You see, the murderer was a 28-year-old “transgender” woman named Audrey Hale who claimed the pronouns “he/him.” Furthermore, the targeted elementary school, Covenant School, is a private Christian institution, in a state (Tennessee) that restricts transgender surgery for minors and drag shows.

And a Washington Post contributor (Mike Wise) apparently praised the assessment that the school suffering from the tragedy was pushing “religious indoctrination.” One wonders if these freaky leftists would have had the same interpretation if the targeted school had been Muslim (Islam of course also condemns transgenderism)? Or if the shooting had happened in California?

About as inappropriate a response as Joe Biden cracking jokes about ice cream before speaking on the shooting.

Wise is already using the shooting to call for more gun confiscation, even though more than 90% of mass shootings occur in gun free zones and, as of 2019, “43 percent of criminals had bought their firearms on the black market, 6 percent acquired them via theft, and 10 percent made a retail purchase.” All of which is to say that Wise is completely delusional about “gun control” making mass shootings less likely. (Also, as a side comment on Wise’s post, the number of school shootings in the listed countries is deceptive about the countries’ safety; Afghanistan, for instance, is in the grip of the terrorist Taliban and China’s government is committing mass genocide).

You can also find Wise’s profile at the Post.

And it seems transgenders have been threatening violence in reaction to Tennessee’s anti-LGBTQ policies.

PJ Media reported:

“Nashville Chief of Police John Drake has since confirmed at a press conference that Hale identified as transgender. She was a biological female who identified as a man. Police also confirmed that Hale was a former student at the school and that she had a manifesto…The victims have been identified as Evelyn Dieckhaus, Hallie Scruggs, and William Kinney, all 9 years old; Cynthia Peak, age 61; Katherine Koonce, age 60; and; Mike Hill, age 61. Katherine Koonce was the head of The Covenant School.”

The fact that Wise and the other Twitter user immediately began bashing the victims and defending the murderess is not surprising, because leftists typically sympathize with the victimizer rather than the victim; but it is disgusting. Three young children and three adults have been tragically killed. It’s not a situation that should be exploited for shallow, woke virtue-signaling.

This article was published by Pro Deo et Libertate and is reproduced with permission.


As we move through 2023 and into the next election cycle, The Prickly Pear will resume Take Action recommendations and information.

How a Truly Catholic President Would Speak thumbnail

How a Truly Catholic President Would Speak

By Dr. Rich Swier

Michael Pakaluk: All Americans must take responsibility for the common good, which is our nation’s culture. You cannot change the world.  But you can change your own life.

Off the record – before his speech begins – to the press corps:

“I would ordinarily be enjoying an ice cream cone right now – you know how much I love the stuff; I’ve got a whole freezer full.  But I take my Catholic faith seriously, as you know.   It’s Lent.  I’ve been fasting. – (Laughs ) Yeah, me too! – Can I offer a personal confession? As president, I get briefed on a lot of bad things that the nation never hears about.  I have no idea how I’d be able to do this job without the graces that come from prayer and fasting, even outside of Lent.”

Press conference begins:

Good afternoon, fellow Americans. It’s common for politicians to use violence like the horrific crime this morning to attack their opponents for not supporting gun control or assault rifle bans.  I am not going to treat this tragedy that way. Because it would be exploitation.  About 500 people die in mass shootings every year.  While lamentable, a far larger number, 25,000 commit suicide each year with guns.  I’d insult you if I said the problem of suicide was a problem of guns.

Another 25,000 are murdered in our cities with guns.  Guns make it easier to murder, but for centuries criminals killed with knives.

The colonists all owned pistols and rifles. But mass murders of random people were relatively unknown in our country until recently.  One of the first was in 1949, the “Walk of Death” in Camden, New Jersey, by a decorated veteran.  He shot 13 at point blank, including children. Since 2000 these incidents have skyrocketed.  A bar chart would show a trend going sharply upward.

Guns do not rise up of their own volition, place themselves in people’s hands, and begin firing at school children.  They are instruments, for bad and sometimes for good.  Our country has a problem romanticizing guns. Surely, it’s easier to ban imaginary guns than real guns, no? I propose this, then: just as we did with cigarettes, let’s ban all guns from movies, tv shows, and video games.  Not sure that you’re in favor?  Well, until you stop wanting to entertain yourself by watching murders with guns, I won’t take seriously your talk of banning guns.

Let’s be honest that these shootings especially in schools disturb us because we take them to stand for our society as a whole.  In economics, we learn that, although each of us has freedom, when numbers are large, individuals will invariably display the motives that to some degree are affecting many.  The causes of these mass shootings are likely to be found there.

There are two kinds of mass killers.  One hates himself and wants to destroy himself.  He often begins by murdering his family and ends by killing himself.  Another hates everyone else.  Sometimes the two kinds of killers are combined in one.  And often a mass killer aims to “make a statement.”

So what kind of society produces citizens who want to make statements like that?

A story in the Wall Street Journal last weekend carried the headline, “America Pulls Back from Values that Once Defined It.” The report begins, “Patriotism, religious faith, having children. . .are receding in importance for Americans.”  In 1998, when the survey began, 70% said patriotism was important.  Now it’s 38%.  Religion used to be important for 62% of Americans; now it’s 39%.   Having children was 59%; now it’s 30%.  Another statistic won’t surprise you, if you’ve been paying attention to universities: tolerance has declined as a value from 80% to only 58%.

A pollster commented, “these differences are so dramatic, it paints a new and surprising portrait of a changing America.  I remind you that these numbers were dropping precipitously over the two decades when mass shootings were rising precipitously.  So, that is the first thing I want to say – culture abhors a vacuum.  If good recedes, we cannot be surprised if evil asserts itself.

The dramatic differences in that poll didn’t come from just anywhere.  In large part, they are the effect of our system of schooling, as many of you learned during the pandemic, when you could inspect your children’s curriculum.  Therefore, I am announcing today a whole-of-government effort to support school vouchers and parental choice, and to facilitate homeschooling.

Then there is the ideology of “the unencumbered self.”  The Supreme Court in Dobbs overturned Roe v Wade, which was based not on our Constitution but on this destructive ideology of autonomy.  Ask yourself: If it’s not so important what we choose, as that we are the ones who choose it – on what basis do we criticize someone’s choice to destroy rather than to build?  Why couldn’t malice express a person’s autonomy as much as love?

Culture abhors a vacuum.  Although several states have admirably acted to affirm the dignity of each human person from conception, I also announce today a whole-of-government approach to support women in carrying through their pregnancies.  I want to see a bipartisan effort to have all medical expenses of prenatal care, birth, and early childhood supported as a public good.  And I pledge to you that I will work to take up once again a Human Life Amendment.

Also, henceforth, the executive branch of the Federal government will in no way lend support to transgenderism, which is simply the latest expression of the destructive ideology of the “unencumbered self.”

Following President Washington’s example, I wish to give a warning.  I want all Americans to take responsibility for the common good, which is our nation’s culture.  You cannot change the world.  But you can change your own life.  If shooting down children in cold blood strikes you as “demonic” – not my words, but what you yourselves say – then reject anything occult and demonic, anything that even hints at it, in your own lives.  Have no part in it.

Finally, following President Lincoln’s example, 160 years later to the day, I hereby proclaim tomorrow, March 30th, as a National Day of Prayer and Fasting.

You may also enjoy:

+James V. Scall, S.J.’s Common Good/Uncommon Evil

M.T. Lu’s Naturally Good


Michael Pakaluk

Michael Pakaluk, an Aristotle scholar and Ordinarius of the Pontifical Academy of St. Thomas Aquinas, is a professor in the Busch School of Business at the Catholic University of America. He lives in Hyattsville, MD with his wife Catherine, also a professor at the Busch School, and their eight children. His acclaimed book on the Gospel of Mark is The Memoirs of St Peter. His new book, Mary’s Voice in the Gospel of John: A New Translation with Commentary, is now available. Prof. Pakaluk was appointed to the Pontifical Academy of St Thomas Aquinas by Pope Benedict XVI.


Biden says that a bullet from an AR-15 “blows up when it’s inside your body.” pic.twitter.com/KMgz1JHGl0

— Greg Price (@greg_price11) March 28, 2023

EDITORS NOTE: This The Catholic Thing article is republished with permission. All rights reserved. © 2023 The Catholic Thing. All rights reserved. For reprint rights, write to: info@frinstitute.org. The Catholic Thing is a forum for intelligent Catholic commentary. Opinions expressed by writers are solely their own.

If the Mentally Ill ‘Mustn’t Own Guns,’ What About ‘Trans’ People? thumbnail

If the Mentally Ill ‘Mustn’t Own Guns,’ What About ‘Trans’ People?

By Selwyn Duke

The timing of the tragic Nashville shooting, in which a MUSS (Made-up Sexual Status, aka “transgender”) individual killed six at a Christian school, is a bit odd. National Public Radio had just recently done a piece on how MUSS and other “LGBTQ” people are buying guns because, the story goes, they believe they’re imperiled by conservatives. As one sexual devolutionary NPR quoted put it, “If the world is dangerous, then you have to be dangerous back, and that very much has pushed me into where I am now.”

As for what pushed 28-year-old Audrey Hale into opening fire Monday at The Covenant School, which she once attended, the media largely pretend to have no clue. They don’t want you to have one, either. This is why, shamelessly, they often hide Hale’s MUSS status and instead focus on guns. Here’s how brazen it is, too:

With jihadist-like zeal and as a rule, the media will use a MUSS individual’s “preferred pronouns” and chosen opposite-sex name and seek to “cancel” anyone not following suit. Yet now, they not only happily “deadname” Hale, but identify her as a “female suspect” or “female shooter” and reference her using feminine pronouns.

Newsweek did this, making no mention whatsoever of Hale’s MUSS status. Metro at least noted that the woman “identified as transgender,” though it still used feminine pronouns even though the killer had embraced he/him ones. (The deadnaming is perhaps understandable, as reports that Hale was going by first name “Aiden” are unconfirmed.) I mean, you’d almost think these articles were written by Selwyn Duke — except for one thing:

The media hide Hale’s MUSS status because, if they didn’t, you just might suspect the shooting could’ve been an anti-Christian hate crime.

Second, it might occur to some people that maybe, just perhaps, society has more to fear from MUSS individuals than they do from society.

This is reality, too. Contrary to media myth and as I reported in 2020, studies have shown that MUSS individuals are less likely to be murdered than normal people are and are more likely to kill than be killed. (They’re also overrepresented among pedophiles.)

This raises a question, given “Red Flag” laws’ popularity: Do we need Rainbow Flag laws?

For the record, I’m skeptical of such legislation, to say the least, and know that removal of Second Amendment rights is not the real remedy for crime. The issue, though, is hypocrisy.

Red Flag laws have been sold with the idea that guns “must be kept from the mentally ill’s hands.” We’ve heard this continually. Yet how, then, does it make sense giving a whole category of mentally ill individuals a special dispensation from this prohibition by reclassifying their psychological disorder as an “identity” or “lifestyle choice”?

As I’ve pointed out for years, the MUSS phenomenon is not a biological matter requiring a biological remedy, but results from serious psychological issues. Audrey Hale isn’t the first MUSS mass shooter, either. WND cited other examples in 2019 and, quoting a report by website National Justice, related that MUSS individuals’ “small population is well represented among murderers, serial killers and pedophiles.”

Personally speaking, I cannot think of another group with so many hostile, unstable members. Coming to mind is the MUSS individual who commented, after I wrote an article criticizing the MUSS agenda, that he wanted “my head on a platter.” Then there was the 2015 Dr. Drew program incident in which Robert Tur (aka “Zoey” Tur), a large, muscular man in a dress, grabbed commentator Ben Shapiro’s neck and threatened to send him “home in an ambulance” (video below).

When was the last time you saw someone threaten this kind of violence during a political/social discussion?

Such behavior is hardly unfathomable. MUSS individuals are very troubled, generally unhappy people uncomfortable in their own skin. And the lie they’re living — that they can be the opposite sex — is so grand and fragile that Truth’s slightest utterance can burst their bubble. This can be enraging. They may externalize, too, attributing their unhappiness to others’ failure to affirm their delusion. They then may lash out at those they believe are making them miserable.

There also are the drugs MUSS individuals often take. Given the studies indicating steroid use can cause increased aggression, one could wonder: Was Hale on testosterone?

Hormones are powerful substances. How does putting people on a cross-sex hormone regimen, along with perhaps other drugs, affect their mentality? Is giving an already disturbed individual a cocktail of medications designed to induce opposite-sex physical changes really a good idea?

The bottom line, however, concerns whether we’re serious about keeping guns out of the mentally ill’s hands. If so, then “mentally ill” mustn’t be defined based on political will.

Contact Selwyn Duke, follow him on MeWe, Gettr or Parler, or log on to SelwynDuke.com

©Selwyn Duke. All rights reserved.


BREAKING: Trans Nashville shooter Audrey Hale was under doctor’s care for an emotional disorder.

America has a mental health problem.

— Collin Rugg (@CollinRugg) March 28, 2023

They were killed because they were Christians.

Remember them. pic.twitter.com/aZhWwf7AmW

— Collin Rugg (@CollinRugg) March 29, 2023