Opinion: I Cried Watching Texas Shooting — For Victims and Our Lost Gun Rights
If you've seen the actual footage of the shooting at church near Ft. Worth, Texas, on Sunday, you know how horrifying it is.
(The video is here. Warning: It's graphic and not appropriate for all audiences)
My daughter, who lives near there, has been by that church many times and has friends in that section of town. The footage is graphic and beyond disturbing, but it could have been far worse. I cried when I saw that video, not only for the poor souls who needlessly lost their lives, or for the horrified parishioners who were there to faithfully worship in peace this past Sunday. I cried for us here in New Jersey and any other of states that won't allow innocent, law-abiding people to protect themselves.
When my daughter moved in with a roommate a little over a year ago, her roommate showed Marissa her gun. The roommate is from West Texas and grew up hunting and shooting. She took my daughter out to her dad's property last Thanksgiving and let her shoot some guns and watch them hunt.
For a Jersey girl, it was a bit of a culture shock, but she understood it's what they do.
And it's what they do with great caution and respect. Just about half the people I've met when I travel quite often to Texas carry guns, yet I've never seen them. They don't show it off, but they know what to do if they need to protect themselves.
When the governor of Texas signed a new law back in September, allowing licensed gun owners to carry their legally owned firearms in houses of worship, many on the left mocked the law. Former Vice President and current Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden was one of them.
Another Democratic Presidential candidate, Julian Castro, called it "fiction", that a good guy with a gun can stop a bad guy with a gun. He said it just doesn't happen that way. Well, it did happen that way on Sunday. Within 6 seconds, the unlicensed murderer was brought down by a trained, licensed parishioner who prevented further death and mayhem.
That happen just hours after a machete-wielding nut stabbed five people at a Hanukkah party at the home of a rabbi in Moncey, New York, according to authorities. It points out just how vulnerable we are in states like New Jersey, New York, Connecticut and others, where politicians have stripped us of our right to adequately and legally protect ourselves.
With the rise of anti-Semitic attacks recently, many in the Jewish community have thought about the need to perhaps carry a firearm. But they can't. Almost none of us can in New Jersey, unless you're a retired cop or a security agent. Even those security agencies have been adamantly complaining about the even stricter gun laws going into effect in New Jersey that prohibit their magazine limit. They say this will seriously limit their ability to protect those of us who have to pay people like them to provide security.
What we've allowed our politicians to do in the name of public safety is a travesty. Most people in our state don't own guns, and we don't live in a 'gun culture' state. But we do live in a state where criminals, who don't follow gun laws, can do us deadly harm and will if given the chance. It's doubtful that laws allowing us to adequately and rightfully protect ourselves will ever be passed in this state. That's a crying shame.
That's one of the reasons I cried when I watched that video of Sunday's shooting. Not only for the lives lost, but for the freedom lost here in our own state.