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VETERAN’S DAY, AND A CHURCH ON THE HOMEFRONT — 23 Comments

  1. Don-Pa,

    Thanks for your kind words. I can relate to your feeling you don’t belong in the same group as “real veterans”. Like many young men in our age group, I was resigned to the fact that I was going to be drafted as soon as I lost my student deferment upon graduation from college. The first draft lottery of 1969 sealed my fate, my birth date was the 4th one drawn. Like you, I sought out a National Guard unit, intent on avoiding Viet Nam.

    I began Basic at Fort Polk July 23, 1970. This was the first time I was literally surrounded by “Yankees”. I was raised with many preconceived notions about the breed. I quickly discovered that they were not all that different from me. We all shared similar goals and aspirations. I made some great friends with several guys from Pennsylvania. One of these could very well be a common acquaintance as he ended up a Lt. Colonel in the Pennsylvania National Guard, alas, he passed away several years back in an accident involving a riding lawn mower (go figure).

    Like you, even though I served, I hesitate to accept the praise that those who actually fought and died in uniform so rightfully deserve. I do take solace in the fact (and so should you) that I did serve in a manner that satisfied my duty to my country, but like you, I will not portray my service and sacrifice as equal to their’s.

  2. Dennis, as usual, your words are not just the right words, they are heartfelt – there can be no doubt that you mean what you say. I get choked up whenever I read your posts. I share your opinions of the state of things in our beloved US of A. and our veterans. It’s funny, when I was in the Army, I viewed it as a sentence, a chore, a sort of requirement for men of my age and station in life. Now, while I’m grateful when someone thanks me, I’m also a bit embarrassed. I guess I feel like I don’t belong in the same group as the “real” veterans?

  3. Denial that victims can successfully defend themselves is a variation on sour grapes. Since they (mistakenly) believe themselves to be helpless, their defense mechanism is to insist that everyone else is equally helpless. This frees them of any responsibility to save themselves or anyone else.

    There are numerous examples to show how much people on the scene can accomplish even if they are unarmed. After he shot Gabby Giffords and others, Jared Loughner was stopped by a middle aged woman who grabbed his magazine as he reloaded. That momentary interruption gave others the opportunity to jump on him. Yesterday, other shoppers took down a mentally ill man at the Mall of America after he stabbed two people. The most important attribute isn’t equipment or skill. It’s the conviction that your own life and the lives of other innocents come before the life of an assailant.

    • Kendahl – it is more than just a defense mechanism. It is also inherent in the left-wing ideology. Leftists WANT the people to be helpless sheep. They WANT them to be utterly dependent upon a central government controlled by the Leftist establishment. Therefore, they continually feed the people propaganda which tells them that being a sheep is good. That being a sheep is safe. To never resist.

      Therefore, it is in the interest of the Left to minimize the effectiveness of any type of resistance action at every turn.

      Yet, there are numerous cases where resistance, even against those more heavily armed, was effective. In addition to the examples that you provide above, you can add the well-known case of the hijacking of the cargo ship Maersk Alabama by pirates off the coast of Somalia. The pirates were armed with AK style assault rifles. The crew had nothing much more than a knife. Yet, they resisted the pirates at every turn. They shut down the systems of the ship so that it could not move. They even captured one of the pirates at knife-point. By the time they were done, they had driven the pirates completely off the ship and forced them to escape in a separate boat. It is true that the pirates did manage to kidnap the ship’s Captain and take him with them. However, the delaying actions by the crew enabled the US Navy to catch up with them. In the end, all the pirates were dead or captured and the Captain was rescued.

      If the crew had followed the advice of the Leftists and just been sheep, then the entire ship and crew would have been carried to Somalia and held for a ransom which, if paid, would have only served to finance even more piracy.

      The lesson is that: Resistance is not futile!

      • Well said. And imagine what the crew could have done if it had been armed! They wouldn’t even need help from our tax-supported government. Shiver me timbers!

  4. I wish that I had something earthshaking to say, unfortunately it has already been said or written right here. Thank God Mr.Willeford and Langendorff were there. Mas, thanks for the links and your blog.

  5. Mr. Willeford was extremely well articulate and polite, as a retired police officer have nothing but the utmost respect and admiration for him. Thank goodness for an ordinary American who happens to be a gun enthusiast and shooting instructor who placed well placed shots into this monster and probably ended his life. He saved countless lives that day as in my opinion he wasn’t done with his shooting rampage. God bless Mr. Willeford for his bravery and dedication to his community.

    I

    • Tom in NC,

      Good comments. Imagine a church-goer grabbing a hymnal or Bible and hurling it at the shooter. That may stop the shooting for 2 or 3 seconds, at least. Yeah the church-goer will probably get shot afterwards, but will die a hero, confronting evil. Now imagine five church-goers hurling five hymnals at the shooter. After that barrage he could be tackled, maybe just maybe, but it’s worth a try.

      Sure hand guns aren’t as suitable to have in a fight as shotguns and rifles, but now imagine five church-goers firing back with little concealed pistols. That will stop the attack, or at least slow it down.

      Collateral damage? Oh well. The attack needs to stop. Do police officers create collateral damage when they stop goblins? Oh yeah, especially in cities.

      Stephen Willeford mentions the need for normal-capacity magazines, not California ten-rounders. What if the shooter had brought along one to four others shooters?

  6. Good comments above. There are so many things so very wrong with the linked-to Chicago Tribune article. Like so many anti-gun people, she is clueless about the history of how private citizens with pistols have stopped mass shooters (e.g., the church shooting in Africa where AK-47 armed shooters were stopped by a parishioner using a snubby revolver, among many other instances). She also gives no evidence of why, in her opinion, such resistance is futile, why “it is unlikely a parishioner armed with a handgun would have been able to subdue a determined killer”. Again, like so many on her side of this issue, she just “feels” that way, even in the face of many instances contrary to her “feels”.

    To Mas’ point, her statement that, “The attorney general is delusional if he thinks an armed church member or even a security guard could have frightened [the gunman] into submission” completely misses the point that self defense weapons are not meant to frighten anyone but to stop them. As Clint Smith is fond of saying, “If you want to frighten someone, get a scary mask!,” but don’t use a gun for that purpose.

    A couple of other things caught my eye:

    In reference to Ken Paxton saying it is impossible to keep guns out of criminals’ hands, she says, “With that attitude, we’d might as well just give up trying.” YES, PLEASE stop trying! (I note that “that attitude” of Mr. Paxton is simply an expression of reality, something many anti-gun people are unfamiliar with.)

    She also states, “The problem is with people like Paxton, who believe that carrying a weapon in church can put an end to mass shootings.” He didn’t say they’d put an end to mass shootings, but they certainly will stop some of them, deter others, and limit the damage done if one occurs. Just like having good people with guns in other “gun free zones”.

    God bless Mr. Willeford, Mr. Langendorf, the other good people of Sutherland Springs. And my home state of Texas!

    • Yes, the author of the Chicago Tribune Article actually was on the path to enlightenment. It was in these words:

      “ ‘You can’t necessarily keep guns out of the hands of people who are going to violate the law,” Paxton said. “If someone is willing to kill someone, they’re also going to be willing to violate a gun law.’

      With that attitude, we’d might as well just give up trying.”

      Absolutely Correct! Gun control is a failed policy. We see its failure in the very city in which these words were published (Chicago). When an approach is clearly a failure, then the logical thing to do is “give up trying” that approach and, instead, try something else. Indeed, the very basis of the scientific method is to recognize failure, learn from it, update your hypothesis and then try a different experiment. Clearly, politics is not yet a science! 🙂

      Sadly, the author did not write these words in earnest. Rather, she wrote them sarcastically with an underlying assumption that to “give up trying” is obviously wrong and that all good Leftists MUST KEEP ON TRYING.

      As I noted in a previous blog comment, one definition of insanity is to keep trying the same thing over and over and over again while expecting a different result. Under this definition, the American Left is “insane” regarding approaches for the prevention of violence. They have a “one track” mind and the only solution they can offer or are willing to offer is the failed approach of yet more gun control laws and restrictions.

      Gun control (aka Gun Prohibition) is not the solution that we need. Rather, it is a divisive policy that promotes discord, wastes time and effort and is clearly ineffective. It is long since time to discard it into the dustbin of history as was done with its ideological twin (Alcohol Prohibition).

  7. There is a great divide in this country. The left says that’s true. The right says that’s true. I strongly agree that’s true. Activists on the left say that those of us that dream of a return to what our country once was are in reality dreaming of a time that never really existed, rather that those times were a time of racist, sexist, white European male supremacy and wealth created at the expense of and on the backs of downtrodden minorities. They even coined a name for us, “Deplorable’s”.

    Consider Mr. Willeford, his life story, his philosophy of life, his love of God, his faith in God, his history with firearms, and his relationship with his family and neighbors. The epitome of “Deplorable” as defined by Hillary Clinton and the left’s propagandists, the media. Yes, contrast Mr. Willeford with, say, Trayvon Martin’s or Micheal Brown’s father, both portrayed as “victims” of that “Deplorable” culture, not the author of their children’s fate.

    I guess I’m one of those irredeemable deplorables. My brain is incapable of seeing Mr. Willeford’s path leading up to his being thrust into the spotlight, reluctantly, as being inferior to the left’s blueprint for our future.

  8. I saw the following dialogue in a cartoon today:

    “What should we do to prevent another mass shooting?”

    “SHOOT BACK!!!!!”

    That’s the best answer I’ve heard yet to the question of what action we Americans need to take to put a stop to these mass murders. The answer is not to pass more laws, it’s to SHOOT BACK!!!!! Remember it & pass it on every chance you get.

  9. Well, I spent 11 years in the US Navy, from Korea, to the Gulf of Tonkin, going where ever the current President wanted a show of US Navy Force, or had a “Brush Fire”, that he needed put out, so I hate to think that our Public Schooled, Commie Brainwashed, Sheeple are trying so hard to “Flush all that time, and effort” down the drain now-a-days!!

  10. Those who read my post in the previous thread know my admiration for the actions of both of these “reluctant” heroes. Not “reluctant” to come to the defense of innocent lives, rather, “reluctant” to accept the label of hero.

    I hesitate to critique the actions of those doing good and brave things when others may be hiding in fear, but I agree with Buster Crabbe, one of the advantages of a magazine fed weapon is keeping loaded magazines ready to immediately make the weapon ready. Time is precious when deadly force must be employed.

    Everyone in my family are educated in the use, care, and deployment of weapons. It is a shame that every man, woman, and child is not educated the same. It should be required in our public schools. Keeping defensive weapons under lock and key, unloaded, thus slow to deploy, should be unnecessary.

    Again, please don’t interpret this as criticism of Mr. Willeford, rather, as a criticism of our present society. I was raised in a household that had very few rooms without a loaded gun standing in a corner. We never had an “accidental” or negligent” discharge because everyone in our family and those visiting, were educated with and respected guns. Every child was taught to respect guns, much the same as they were (and are) taught that stoves and heaters will burn you, so do not touch. It’s called being a parent and raising your child properly, not leaving them unsupervised, and taking corrective action if they stray. Too many parents now relegate their parenting to the “professionals”, freeing up time for themselves. Procreation is not synonymous with being a parent.

    Alas, now society teaches hatred of the object (gun) and accommodates the evil that, more and more, permeates our culture. If you feel as if keeping your “go to” weapon unloaded is necessary, at least keep your magazines loaded for quick deployment. The longest minutes of your life will be those spent inserting cartridges into an empty magazine when you need that weapon right now.

  11. As a septuagenarian who has missed fewer than a few dozen Sundays in a Baptist church since my mother brought me home from the hospital at the end of WW2, and a deacon for more than a half century I know I should be praying for people like the Texas shooter and the NYC terrorist, and forgiving them, and I do. As an NRA life member since 1964 who spent most of the rest of the ’60’s in the military and an evangelical and political far right conservative who is “never” unarmed, I say “Praise The Lord and pass the ammunition”

  12. Trump and Pence should give Johnny and Stephen
    The Medal of Freedom.
    They deserve it on many levels.

    BTW Patriots…….keep some mags always loaded.

  13. The Mssrs Willeford and Langendorff exemplify the often forgotten part of that Second Article of Ammendment. “The security of a free state” (civio society) falls squarely upon the shoulders of WE THE PEOPLE. NOT upon government, hirelings, “special” people. In those days, everyone understood the militia to be the common man, armed and skilled (well regulated) with HIS OWN weapons of his choosing, able and ready to stand in defence of his family, friends, neighbours, sojourners, felow citizens in that state. These two men saw a threat to “the security of a free state” and did what was needed, that they were able, to end that threat.

    The saddest part of this entire debacle is that the stinking usual suspects in the lying press villify and deomonise these two MEN for not letting government, hired police, law enforcement,military, etc, play god and protect us. The obvious flaw in THAT system is that THEYWERE NOT THERE WHEN NEEDED. The above named gentlemen WERE. And DID.

    And THAT is precisely the intention of our Founders who saw to it, in theory, that WE THE PEOPLE not only bear the responsibility for our own security, but necessarily MUST always have the means to see to that task.

    I’d like to see a TeeVee spot, nationwide, showing two ordinary looking men, each having a rifle/carbine exactly like the two that were in use that day. First one holds up one like the shooter used, voiceover tells briefly this model rifle was used to kill dozens. Second man holds up the other one, like our Citizen’s, voice over describes how THIS one was used by a common man to STOP further evil at the hands of the first.

    Voiceover continues, asking “now, WHAT is the difference between these two rifles, lying here on this table? Simple.. the HEART of the one holding it. The one with the evil heart was prohibited by law from having one. He had it anyway. Do we RELLY want laws prohibiting the man who stood against that evil having his? Restrictive gun laws ONLY hurt honest, good hearted, law abiding citizens and do nothing to prevent the evil ones from getting and using guns for evil.

  14. Rich Lowery of the National Review penned a relevant and timely op-ed about Texans Stephen Willeford and Johnnie Langendorff, the two aptly named “Heroes of Sutherland Springs.”

    https://www.google.com/amp/nypost.com/2017/11/06/the-heroes-of-sutherland-springs/amp/

    May Mr. Willeford’s and Mr. Langendorff’s courageous actions in the wake of the Sutherland Springs church shooting serve to inspire all of us to follow their example by stepping up
    swiftly to confront evil and to protect innocents “in extremis”, should the need ever arise.

    Happy Veterans Day to all of my fellow veterans and to all Americans who steadfastly support our armed forces.

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