Cause and effect. Words and deeds. Ideas and Consequences.
Most would readily acknowledge that for every deed or action there is a corresponding force, idea or motivator behind it. But all too often biases and subjectivity cloud the facts and the understanding of them, even when the clues are abundantly clear. This week was a case study of these truths.
On Wednesday, a 66 year old political activist picked up a rifle and handgun, with deliberate premediatated intent, and hatred in his heart, and drove to a baseball field where Republican Congressmen were preparing for the annual baseball charity benefit game. These Congressmen hailed from the party that pushes grannies over cliffs. They were men whose mission in life was to steal money from the poor and give to their rich friends. They were polluters whose chief aim was to destroy the globe they lived on. They were men who were racists, bigots, and homophobes. These men, in baseball cleats and uniforms, were the worst of the worst America has to offer, or so news reports, media, pundits, late night show hosts, Hollywood elites, millions of Americans, and particularly their Democratic colleagues across the aisle, would have you believe all these obvious lies and slander.
And so Mr. Hodgkinson, a staunch Bernie Sanders supporter, and avowed left-wing activist, following months and years of hearing his ideological leaders malign and defame Republicans and conservatives, made the horrific decision to do what seemed the logical thing to do, given the “crimes” of these Republicans. He would grab his weapons and descend upon these “vile” GOP Congressmen, becoming their judge, jury, and executioner. He would do what others could only bring themselves to verbalize, whether through innuendo, jest, theatrical drama, or outright threats. He would carry through. He would extinguish their lives, and in so doing, he would finally mete out the only justice these “immoral” Republicans were worthy of… destruction and death.
Thankfully, Hodgkinson’s murderous plan was foiled due primarily to the grace of God, and secondly to the heroic actions of the Capitol Police, who just “happened to be there” because Rep. Steve Scalise, Republican House Majority Whip, had his assigned security detail with him. Rather than a mass shooting with numbers of lives lost, there were a handful of Republicans (including Scalise) and Capitol police who were shot up, but are expected to recover. In a move of swift justice, the would be executioner met his Maker that very day, receiving the ultimate judgment reserved for unrepentant murderers.
But, is that the end of the story? Are there others, beyond Mr. Hodgkinson, who played a role in the tragic events of this week? If for every effect there is a cause; and if words drive actions; and if movement is preceded by force; and if ideas have consequences, then there is a mountain full of blame to spread behind the left-wing ideological lines, as I wrote about a couple months ago in this post.
Recent Calls for Political Assassinations
Whether it’s Kathy Griffin’s recent graphic beheading stunt of President Trump, or the Julius Caesar play in New York this week that depicted the main character, a Donald Trump look-alike, being assassinated, these are just two whose ideological DNA are at the scene of the crime. To call for or fantasize about the death of anyone, but particularly a member of an opposing party because you find him objectionable, or even reprehensible, should be intolerable and be met with the swiftest condemnation. Those participating in such despicable behavior should pay a heavy price. Tragically, when those toying with such hideous fantasies are nationally recognized, they water a soil that is already sown with seeds of hatred and thoughts of violence. To be clear, Mr. Hodgkinson was completely responsible for his actions. But before his fateful day, those calling for Trump’s assassination lent credence to such crimes and played a part in fanning into flames the embers of Hodgkinson’s hate.
The Media & Entertainment
It’s long been established that the overwhelming slant of ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, MSNBC, nearly every major newspaper, and the vast majority of entertainment (Hollywood elite and musicians) in our nation participate in the unholy alliance that seeks to portray those on the right side of the political spectrum as all that is wrong with America. Every kind of disparaging remark is hurled at those of us whose “guilt” is simply embracing an ideology that, while at odds with their alliance, is most in tune with the philosophy of our founders and our Constitution. If it’s any consolation for conservatives, were our founders alive today, they would undoubtedly be targets of the left’s smears, vilification and even assassination attempts by their most radical elements.
Since Trump’s election, the barrage from the left has only increased and intensified. And so Hodgkinson’s mission to “Destroy Trump & Co.” as posted on his Facebook page, was affirmed time and time again by Hillary, Obama, Pelosi, Schumer and their partners across this nation with their latest message of RESISTANCE and disruption. This article from American Thinker identifies a partial list of the threats against the GOP and Trump by Hollywood celebrities.
Purveyors of Hate
One cannot discuss this subject without highlighting the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), an organization that speaks in unison with the agenda of the progressive left. Like a rabid animal, SPLC’s fangs can be extremely destructive and even potentially lethal. SPLC targets many of the leaders in the Republican and conservative mainstream, listing them either as “hate groups” or affiliating with the “hate groups” they singularly pronounce. So was the case with Rep. Scalise, the Republican Congressman shot this week by Mr. Hodgkinson. SPLC had asserted that Scalise had associated with groups it deemed hate groups. And it should be noted that Hodgkinson had “Liked” SPLC’s Facebook Page.
SPLC’s ties to violence were furthered portrayed when they labeled Family Research Council as a hate group several years ago. Note that FRC is a mainstream political and policy organization that affirms both conservative and biblical values. In 2012 another left-wing gunman attacked FRC, seeking to kill dozens. Thankfully the security officer at FRC was armed and neutralized the would be murderer. Later, when interviewed by the police, the gunman acknowledged that he had gone to the SPLC “hate group” website to gain info on FRC before his attack. Shamefully, while SPLC boasts that it calls out those who hate, they have become purveyors of hate and violence themselves, and share some part in the climate that led to Hodkinson attack yesterday.
Are all liberals to blame?
It’s tempting to use a broad brush when opining about political matters but to do so would be wrong. Many Americans who voted for Hillary were appalled by the Griffin stunt and other such vile deeds. But while hatred doesn’t drive all liberals, many of them are certainly influenced unduly by the biases of their deceptive sources. And so the mouthpieces of the left, too numerous to list, carry a high level of responsibility for sowing the seeds that eventually sprout into full blown violence by some against their fellow Americans, whose sole “crime” is believing differently.
At the end of the day, this whole matter reminds me of a couple of truths from God Himself. In Matthew 5:21-22, Jesus stated, “You have heard that our ancestors were told, ‘You must not murder. If you commit murder, you are subject to judgment.’ But I say, if you are even angry with someone, you are subject to judgment! If you call someone an idiot, you are in danger of being brought before the court. And if you curse someone, you are in danger of the fires of hell.”
And in 1 John 3:15, we see that hatred is merely murder in one’s heart: “Anyone who hates another brother or sister is really a murderer at heart. And you know that murderers don’t have eternal life within them.”
These are weighty thoughts and should cause all of us to look inside to test our own attitudes. If hate is equal to murder, it’s no light matter.
The question many ask themselves today is whether America can be saved from herself? Is she too far gone? Is the tenor and level of our disagreement in America between the predominant political and spiritual ideologies too far split to see a patching of our nation together again? Time will tell. But if the machine of the left continues on its unrelenting agenda to vilify and slander all views contrary to theirs, then what we witnessed this week at a baseball field in our nation’s capitol, will spill over into your city and mine next.
Plant a thought and reap a word;
Plant a word and reap an action;
Plant an action and reap a habit;
Plant a habit and reap a character;
Plant a character and reap a destiny.
Do you know how to protect yourself in the event of an attack at your home or office?
Are your home and office hard or soft targets?
If an attacker grabbed you or your loved one, what is your fastest and most effective response?
If you were caught in a surprise attack at close range, are you confident that you can protect yourself and disable your attacker?
In the event of a natural disaster, how do you help yourself or those in need?
Earlier this year, my wife, Lori, and I, teamed up with Executive Operations Group, to build a private shooting range at Liberty Ridge Ranch, our 125 acre property just a few miles outside Chattanooga in Bradley County, TN (Cleveland).
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EOG will be holding the following two courses at Liberty Ridge Ranch in the next few weeks:
Pistol Training Program: October 28-29
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Perhaps one of the greatest areas of division in our nation today is the debate over guns. For the last several decades we have seen politicians, celebrities, corporations and even religious groups come out against the idea that Americans should be able to own guns, and carry them on their person. Firearms known as “assault rifles” — in particular AR-15’s — have been heavily targeted by activists and politicians.
Despite our national debate, our Constitution, through the Bill of Rights, codifies this fundamental right with these words:
A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.
“To keep and bear arms…” Can there be any clearer wording? But for what purpose was that right codified?
Of course, the phrase just before those five words, provides some insights: “the security of a free state.”
Whenever there is a discussion of the right to bear arms, people generally cite one or more of these three reasons for owning guns:
- For hunting
- For self defense and personal protection
- To maintain a free state (and stave off tyranny).
It should be clearly noted that the 2nd Amendment is NOT about hunting. Rather, when the 2nd Amendment affirms that “a well regulated militia [is] necessary to the security of a free state” it is clearly inferring that without arms, a state is more likely to descend into tyranny. Armed citizens pose a tangible threat to political leaders whose intents are less than pure.
But there is a deeper value than simply staving off tyranny.
At the heart of preserving a free state is the idea of self-defense. One does not seek to preserve a free state simply for the value of the state, but ultimately for the benefit that flows to the individual. Thus, it is the epitome of self-preservation to maintain a free state. As such, the foundational value to the 2nd Amendment is self-defense.
I have discussed and debated this topic over the years with friends on both sides of the issue. Some opponents have occasionally cited scriptural passages to assert their belief that guns should be banned, or at the very minimum, greatly restricted.
But one would have to be completely illiterate of dozens of Biblical passages to suggest that God opposes the concept of people possessing and using weapons. Today, I’d like to highlight just a few such passages that not only establish clear examples of the concept of self-defense, but more importantly, they teach a principle any responsible person should incorporate into their own lives.
The stories of Esther and Nehemiah both highlight the principle of self-defense and how these two individuals, greatly used by God, would not have prevailed, but for the role of weapons, and the personal ownership and use of arms by ordinary citizens.
In Esther, we read the story about the attempted annihilation of the Jews by Haman, an evil government official who was second in command to King Xerxes. Through deception, Haman convinced King Xerxes to issue a mortal decree which we read of in Esther 3:
The decree was written in the name of King Xerxes and sealed with the king’s signet ring. Dispatches were sent by swift messengers into all the provinces of the empire, giving the order that all Jews—young and old, including women and children—must be killed, slaughtered, and annihilated on a single day. This was scheduled to happen on March 7 of the next year. The property of the Jews would be given to those who killed them. (Esther 3:12-13)
When Haman’s malicious plot was uncovered and he ultimately lost his life over it, King Xerxes issued another decree that granted the Jews the authority to defend themselves (their version of the 2nd Amendment):
The king’s decree gave the Jews in every city authority to unite to defend their lives. They were allowed to kill, slaughter, and annihilate anyone of any nationality or province who might attack them or their children and wives, and to take the property of their enemies. (Esther 8:11)
And we see a few verses later how the Jews exercised their right to self-defense:
On that day, the enemies of the Jews had hoped to overpower them, but quite the opposite happened. It was the Jews who overpowered their enemies. The Jews gathered in their cities throughout all the king’s provinces to attack anyone who tried to harm them. But no one could make a stand against them, for everyone was afraid of them. So the Jews went ahead on the appointed day and struck down their enemies with the sword. (Esther 9:1-2, 5)
Did you note the reference to a sword? (I wonder if that sword might have been an Assault Sword, perhaps referred to as an AS-15?)
If there’s one thing that should be learned from this story, it is that the Jews were held up as an example of what to do when threatened by an enemy. Passive submission was not the default. Rather, these ordinary citizens picked up their arms and actively sought to defend their families and property. It should also be noted that as the enemies who sought the Jews harm realized the Jews were armed and prepared to defend themselves, many of the enemies backed away from the fight, illustrating that strength acts as a deterrent.
In the story of Nehemiah, the setting is in Jerusalem as the Jews are seeking to rebuild the wall around the city. As they are working day and night to complete their task, we again find the Jews threatened by an enemy that seeks to harm and kill them. Nehemiah, their governor, is a wise man whose walk with God is exemplary. Upon seeing the threat posed by the enemies of the Jews, the governor encourages his citizens to fight:
The Jews who lived near the enemy came and told us again and again, “They will come from all directions and attack us!” So I placed armed guards behind the lowest parts of the wall in the exposed areas. I stationed the people to stand guard by families, armed with swords, spears, and bows. Then as I looked over the situation, I called together the nobles and the rest of the people and said to them, “Don’t be afraid of the enemy! Remember the Lord, who is great and glorious, and fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your homes!” (Nehemiah 4:12-14)
Because the threat was imminent and ongoing, Nehemiah and his fellow citizens even found it necessary to remain armed at all times as we see here:
During this time, none of us—not I, nor my relatives, nor my servants, nor the guards who were with me—ever took off our clothes. We carried our weapons with us at all times, even when we went for water. (Nehemiah 4:23)
So in just these two biblical examples, we see support for the underlying principle in the Second Amendment, self-defense. If the time allowed, we could cite dozens more.
But here’s where the rubber meets the road for you.
Pressure will no doubt intensify in the coming months to restrict and control gun ownership, with the ultimate goal of subverting our Second Amendment and disarming you. If you allow this to happen, or if you ultimately acquiesce to any unlawful “decree” by Washington, you will be ignoring the preponderance of history that reveals that a disarmed citizenry leads to an oppressed people. But more importantly, you will be violating a fundamental biblical principle, the value of self-defense, which is not only your right, but your obligation to stand for your family, and others who are threatened by thugs, criminals… and politicians.
If you are a gun owner and want to learn how to better handle your weapon, we will be hosting a Basic Self-Defense Course at our private shooting range at Liberty Ridge Ranch October 28-29. The course, led by elite instructors from the US Army Special Forces, will be a day and a half event and will provide you with the rock-solid foundation for protecting yourself, and your loved ones. Spots are very limited. For more info, please email me at email@example.com or click reply, if you received this as an email.