"Except the Lord build the house they labour in vain that build it." --Psalm 127:1

Church Massacre Shows How Wrong Martin Sheen Was To Oppose Constitutional Right To Self-Defense

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When I first heard about the recent horrible slaughter of seven innocent people during a church service in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, I thought about the Hollywood movie actor Martin Sheen and an anti-gun ad he made for Handgun Control, Inc.

In this TV commercial, about five years ago, a grim-faced Sheen, with an American flag behind him, attacked the idea of legislation that would allow individuals to carry "hidden handguns" in, among other places, churches. But, the truth is --- as the Milwaukee church massacre demonstrates --- that making it legal to carry concealed weapons in churches is not as crazy as Sheen and his anti-Second Amendment, anti-self-defense friends at Handgun Control, Inc. would like us to believe.

In recent years, many other innocent people in churches have been murdered by an individual who was the only one who was armed:

In September of 1999, Larry Gene Ashbrook walked into the Wedgewood Baptist Church in Ft. Worth, Texas, with two guns. He murdered seven people, injured seven others and then killed himself. Two video tapes showed Ashbrook calmly firing his guns. The Acting Police Chief of Ft. Worth, Ralph Mendoza, says these tapes show this cold-blooded murderer committing his massacre in a "methodical manner," standing there where he "fired shot after shot after shot," pacing back and forth.

But, of course, Ashbrook was able to carry out his slaughter at a leisurely pace. Why? Because none of his victims, or anybody else in the church at that time, were armed. Thus, they were sitting ducks and never had a chance.

In March of 1999, in Gonzales, Louisiana, Shon Miller, Jr. entered the New St. John Fellowship Church, fired two rounds into the ceiling, and 17 more shots, murdering his son, his wife, a deacon and injuring four others. You guessed it. None of Miller's victims or anyone around them were armed.

In Columbia, Tennessee, on New Year's Eve of 1999, two men were shot in the parking lot of the First Freewill Baptist Church. One died, one did not. Jamie Edward Thompson was charged in these shootings. Again, no victim was armed.

Would it have saved lives in that Milwaukee church if one or more members of the congregation had been armed? Most likely the answer is yes. A "Washington Post" story (7/15/2000) reports how in 1993 the Rev. Michael R. Duesterhaus, a Roman Catholic priest at Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Annandale, Virginia, woke up at 3 a.m. to the sound of someone breaking into his study. The priest took out a 9mm pistol, flipped on a light and ordered the intruder to freeze and lie on the floor. The intruder stopped and then reached for his belt. Deusterhaus fired. The man paused, apparently wounded, then ran into the hall.

The priest pursued him and fired again, at his feet. The priest then fired a third time, deliberately wide of his target. The man ran out the side door escaping with a small amount of cash. The "Post" noted that this incident "contrasts sharply" with the June, 2000, "brutal slaying" of Monsignor Thomas Wells at the Mother Seaton Catholic Church in Germantown, Maryland, who died after being repeatedly stabbed. The difference between these two events is that Monsignor Wells was unarmed.

Would it have actually saved lives for some members of that Milwaukee congregation to have been armed? Maybe, maybe not. But --- whether Martin Sheen likes it or not --- those folks had and have the God-given, Second Amendment-protected right to keep and bear arms for self-defense.

Would it have saved lives in that Milwaukee church if one or more members of the congregation had been armed? Most likely the answer is yes.