Five years before Devin Patrick Kelley entered the First Baptist Church of Sutherland, Texas, on Sunday and opened fire on the 50 or so worshippers there, he had been court-martialed for “bad behavior.” That behavior consisted of at least two beatings of his wife and child, which resulted in him being confined for a year and demoted. He left the U.S. Air Force in 2014 with a dishonorable discharge. According to federal law, someone who receives a dishonorable discharge is not supposed to be able to purchase a gun, but Kelley had recently done just that, after filling out the federal paperwork as he was supposed to do. Kelley was an angry atheist, whom school acquaintances had been unfriending from Facebook because of his angry diatribes.
Kelley, clad in black and wearing a ballistic vest, entered the church around 11 a.m. on Sunday and opened fire with a semi-automatic rifle, killing 26 parishioners and wounding 20 more. A neighbor, identified as 55-year-old Stephen Willeford, reportedly was phoned and told that someone was shooting up the church, and so he grabbed his rifle and ran barefoot to the church to confront the shooter. Willeford apparently then quickly shot Kelley in a crease in his body armor, causing Kelley to drop his weapon and flee in his vehicle. Willeford flagged down another local resident, Johnnie Langendorff, and gave chase. After a chase reaching speeds up to 95 miles per hour, which went approximately 12 miles, Kelley lost control and crashed. His body was in the front seat, dead from a gunshot wound.
President Trump, during a news conference in Tokyo, said, “Mental health is your problem here,” adding that Kelley was a “very deranged individual.”
Seizing the opportunity, anti-gun Democrats leaped at the chance to promote their totalitarian agenda. Far-left Senator Bob Casey (D-Pa.) chirped, “I … believe Congress must take action on gun violence,” while liberal Senator Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) added, “America is in the grips of a gun violence crisis. Congress must act.” Casey’s Freedom Index rating (illustrating how far they have strayed from the bounds of the Constitution in their voting records) is 10 while Durbin’s is 11 (out of 100).
Senator Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) chimed in: “Senseless gun violence has torn apart another community — this time in a house of worship. When do we say enough is enough?” Harris’ FI score is 10. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) was right behind proclaiming, “Horror, heartbreak, shame. Prayers are important but insufficient. After another unspeakable tragedy, Congress must act — or be complicit.” Blumenthal’s FI is 11.
California Democrat Senator Dianne Feinstein joined the chorus: “When will it end? When will we decide that we can’t accept massacres in our places of worship, schools, or at concerts? When will we actually do something about it?” Her FI rating is also a dismal 11 out of 100, reflecting her unchanging position against the Second Amendment. She is the one, it will be remembered, who told 60 Minutes back in 1995: “If I could have gotten 51 votes in the Senate of the United States, for an outright gun ban, picking up every one of them — Mr. and Mrs. America, turn ‘em all in I would have done it.”
Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) couldn’t resist the opportunity, either, exclaiming, “Thoughts and prayers are not enough, GOP. We must end this violence. We must stop these tragedies. People are dying while you wait.” Appropriately enough, Warren’s FI is 12 out of 100.
Senator Mike Thompson (D-Calif.), who chairs the House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, tweeted: “Sickened by yet another mass shooting leaving people dead & injured. Congress must muster the courage to help prevent gun violence.” His FI is 19.
But it was Connecticut Democrat Chris Murphy — his FI is 13 — who was most audacious, saying to Congress: "Ask yourself: how can you claim that you respect human life while choosing fealty to weapons-makers over support for measures favored by the vast majority of your constituents?"
Where were these worthies following the truck attack in New York City last week, calling for “truck control”? Moreover, why aren't they calling for the elimination of pencils, blaming them for misspelled words, or banning steel-toed work boots when someone wearing them kicks a dog?
Also, why aren't they celebrating the remarkable decline in gun violence the country has experienced as gun ownership has increased among law-abiding citizens?
Surely they must know that punishing innocents for the behavior of a mental case is not only a waste of time but illustrates mental instability on their own. Surely they must know that existing gun laws didn’t prevent Sunday’s massacre and more of them wouldn't make any difference. Surely they must know that ownership of a firearm ended the Texas killing spree, but they failed to mention that. Surely most know that, if their agenda is fulfilled, a la Feinstein, all America would be disarmed and unable to defend itself against an out-of-control federal government. Surely they must know that if they accomplish their mission only criminals and government (a noxious but necessary repetition) will have firearms. Surely they know that other totalitarians have had their way with their subjects when those subjects were disarmed (Mao Tse-tung: “The communist party must command all the guns. That way, no guns can ever be used to command the party”; Adolph Hitler: “The most foolish mistake we could possibly make would be to allow the subject races to possess arms.”).
Surely they must know all these things and yet they persist in turning tragedies such as this one into a speakers’ platform for their totalitarian ideology.
Are they insane?
UPDATE: Business Insider is reporting that Kelley did not receive a dishonorable discharge, but a "bad conduct" discharge from the military, but because he had domestic abuse violations and was imprisoned for a year, he should still have not been able to purchase guns.
Image of First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs: Screenshot of YouTube video taken shortly after the shooting