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The Woman Who Shot Liberty Valence

Well, the real facts are coming out about the Colorado church shootings, and as usual, the first draft of history got quite a few things wrong. This is not surprising, and certainly not anything worth condemning; it's the nature of the beast. Initial reports on anything that big, that chaotic, that insane are almost always unreliable, and ought to be taken with several handfuls of salt.

First up, the gunman was not killed by Jeanne Assam. He killed himself. She wounded him, but the fatal shot was when he put his shotgun to his own head. And Assam is now known not just as a former Minneapolis cop, but a disgraced one -- fired after lying during an investigation of her over official misconduct.

You know what? I'm glad these details are coming out. It just makes the story that much better.

One of the concerns I had about the whole thing is that Assam would have to live with the knowledge that she had killed another human being. That his death was not only justified, but almost absolutely necessary was irrelevant -- she had still taken a life, and for some people that's a very hard thing to live with. Now she won't have to live with it; the cowardly little shit did our job for us and blew himself straight to hell.

He would have most likely done so anyway once the killing frenzy was over, much like the shooters at the Omaha mall and at Virginia Tech, but thanks to her shooting and wounding him, his killing spree ended much sooner.

I'm also glad that she wasn't just simply an ex-cop, but a disgraced one who had been stripped of her badge. It removes any hint that she had some special authority or official sanction for her actions. She was an ordinary citizen, no more and no less, who chose to exercise her 2nd Amendment rights under the Constitution, and was in the right place at the right time with the right tools to save countless lives -- and did so. She had exactly as much right to carry that gun as, say, Mark Furhman or members of the Minuteman Project. (Yes, two examples chosen just to poke certain liberal types right in the eye.)

And (this one is purely for my dear friend Candy, the very devout Christian) this makes her story that much better. This woman is about to become a fracking saint to the Christian community. I mean, you can't make up a story like hers:

She's a Minneapolis cop, full of pride and rage, whose own actions lead her to disgrace and cost her not only her job, but her career -- she gets into a confrontation on a city bus, then lies about it to an official investigation -- but the whole thing is caught on videotape and she is fired for cause. She packs up her life and moves hundreds of miles away, then joins a church where she finds new meaning in her life. Then, after a shooting at a missionary training school sixty-five miles away, she has a premonition that her church might be the next target the very next day. She goes to her church officials, who actually listen to her and authorize her and other parishioners to be present as volunteer guards -- some armed, some not.

Then it goes down just as she foresaw. And she's not even the first armed guard on the scene -- a man is, but he's in too much shock to respond. But there is Jeanne, the disgraced former cop, stripped of her badge and career, armed with a pistol against an armored psycho with rifle and shotgun and who knows what else.

She warns him to surrender, but he doesn't. Instead, he turns on her and fires. She shoots back. Miraculously (there really isn't another word for it), he misses -- but she doesn't. He's wounded several times. But he's still alive and conscious enough to kill one last time -- he puts the gun to his own head and pulls the trigger. In the most critical time in her life, this woman who had cracked under stress in Minneapolis (first losing her temper on the bus, then lying and trying to cover it up) is calm, cool, and collected and does what needs to be done -- in God's house, protecting God's flock.

And in the end, the bad guy isn't even killed by the hero. Instead, like a bad movie or comic book (I'm reminded of how the villains tend to die in comic-book movies -- beaten by the hero, but killed at their own hands, like Jack Nicholson's Joker in "Batman" or Willem Dafoe's Green Goblin in "Spider-Man"), he takes the coward's way out and ends his own life. The hero's hands are kept clean even of the blood of the clearly guilty.

I'm an agnostic, but I'm not a hard-core religion-hating athiest, and even I have to admit that the argument here for "the hand of God" is a tough one to refute in this case. The story of Jeanne Assam is the kind of schlock I'm used to hearing from the incredibly-annoying hard-ass born-again Jesus freak evangelicals -- but it's all one-hundred-percent grade-A real. The only thing it's missing is a history of alcoholism or drug abuse that pushed her into her fall in Minneapolis, an addiction that God helped her overcome prior to her absolutely incredible heroism this last Sunday.

I can't imagine a police department in the country that would not want her on their force now. She's more than redeemed herself for her past sins, and she's shown that she is now precisely the kind of person we need as a cop. But I see three far more likely futures for her:

1) Motivational speaker, especially to Christian groups. As I said, she has one hell of an inspirational life story, and there is a real demand for people like her telling how she got to the point she was at last Sunday.

2) Church leader. She firmly believes it was the hand of God that guided her last weekend, and a lot of her fellow church members are in no mood to argue. The idea of following and associating with someone who was so personally and publicly touched by God certainly must have occurred to some of them.

3) Going back to her prior life and trying to slip back into obscurity. She gives every bit of credit for her heroism to God, not herself, and she might feel self-conscious in building on what she sees as God's will and God's hand and God's actions for her own personal benefit and advancement.

As I said, I am agnostic. I simply lack any elements of religious faith. I do not ascribe to any religious tenets or beliefs; to me, I take "agnostic" absolutely literally. I literally "do not know" whether or not there is a God. It is an utterly meaningless concept to me; I do not know, and by the tenets of most faiths there is no rational way I can know -- God's existence must be taken as a matter of faith, not proof, and I find myself mentally incapable of taking that leap of faith without some concrete evidence -- and every major faith agrees that God doesn't do that sort of thing nowadays.

But when incidents like Jeanne Assam's story (and it should be called her story -- the name of the worthless shitbag who she stopped should be wiped from our collective memory, to deny him the fame and celebrity he so desperately craved) happen, it gives a healthy kick to my non-belief. At some point, the coincidences just seem to overwhelm simple random chance.

I'm not ready to renounce my agnosticism just yet, Candy -- my lack of faith is very strong. But it's taken a major blow.


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Comments (64)

We know the negative detail... (Below threshold)
jpm100:

We know the negative details of her past life a little too quickly. To me, that is shades of the politics of personal destruction. Because she is an anti-gun control hero (a Christian one at that), seems like she is now fair game for attack.

I mean I now know less about the gunmen that day than I do her.

This act of protection may ruin the rest of her life and there will be those who want/cause that to happen.

That does indeed make the s... (Below threshold)

That does indeed make the story a lot more interesting. But it doesn't detract from her bravery in the least. She's redeemed herself a hundredfold. I'm not saying I could ever show that kind of heroism as I've never been in a circumstance like that. But I'm the kind of person that would want to slip back into obscurity.

JT, as a christian, I am en... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

JT, as a christian, I am encouraged by your little step. ww

I agree with wildwillie. on... (Below threshold)
tj:

I agree with wildwillie. one step at a time JT :)

Jay,I suspect that... (Below threshold)
Candy:

Jay,

I suspect that being well-read, you probably have heard that Jesus is the Potter, and we are the Clay. You bein' molded, my friend ;)

Merry, Merry Christmas to all!

I read your blog everyday.T... (Below threshold)
mymy:

I read your blog everyday.This is my first comment ever.Please know there is a God .He sends his son to help.I have no idea why certain people are chosen to be touched by God,but they are.I assume you can get my e-mail .I would be happy to tell you my sons story.Thanks for taking time to read this

JT, the Holy Spirit may be ... (Below threshold)
Rovin Author Profile Page:

JT, the Holy Spirit may be workin' on ya right now. Don't get nervous or apprehensive. It's a good thing. Your writing skills are not the only thing that is blessed.

Rov

"I mean I now know less abo... (Below threshold)
El Kabong:

"I mean I now know less about the gunmen that day than I do her."

Isn't that great, though? As J was sayin', at VT and Columbine and all the others, the fame mostly rested with the perps. In this case, his name will be lost to obscurity, whited out by the heroine's 15 minutes in the spotlight.

Score one for the good guys (and gals).

Whatever caused her to do t... (Below threshold)
Jer:

Whatever caused her to do this is past my analysis, but asking for Devine guidance and walking into gunfire to save lives reminds me of John 15:13. Past issues notwithstanding, I have no problem with what she did.

Obviously, she would no lon... (Below threshold)
wright:

Obviously, she would no longer fit in with the Minneapolis Police Department.

Baby steps Jay, baby steps.... (Below threshold)
Jeff Blogworthy:

Baby steps Jay, baby steps... Heh.

I first read the details of this story here. I hadn't heard any of this stuff (been busy). Thanks for keeping me up to date. What a fascinating story.

This wonderful story only r... (Below threshold)
LaMedusa:

This wonderful story only reinforces that it's impossible for me not to believe in God. Everyone in their own time, Jay. No hurries, no worries.

What a great essay on this ... (Below threshold)

What a great essay on this story. I'd honestly never thought about the beauty of the killer dying at his own hand and leaving Jeanne, hero, standing without blood on her hands. Simply wonderful. Thanks, JT.

If this story converts you ... (Below threshold)
Mark:

If this story converts you will the next story of seemingly random evil cause a retraction?

Changed human lives; science and history have plenty of evidence for belief in God.

Miracles are gifts from God. But to look to them for proof is childish.

Faith in God when life sucks is what counts in the end.

Thats my sermon.

Keep your agosticism Jay it makes your blogging more interesting. (Sarcasm)

Very interesting and intrig... (Below threshold)
epador:

Very interesting and intriguing essay. I'm not so sure you don't believe, though. Consider me an agnostic skeptic.

If the path were smooth, ge... (Below threshold)

If the path were smooth, getting there would hardly be worth it.

Not to mention - she's also... (Below threshold)

Not to mention - she's also a hottie.

whether or not you believe ... (Below threshold)
thecomputerguy:

whether or not you believe in God, this story illustrates that there is good and evil in this world - something that seems beyond the comprehension of many of our liberal friends.

"It removes any hint that s... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

"It removes any hint that she had some special authority or official sanction for her actions. She was an ordinary citizen, no more and no less, who chose to exercise her 2nd Amendment rights under the Constitution, and was in the right place at the right time with the right tools to save countless lives -- and did so."

Jay, she had special authority and was officially sanctioned by the church. She was a volunteer security guard licensed (by the state) to carry a firearm. She was not an ordinary citizen out for a stroll with her trusted 44:

Boyd said there are 15 to 20 security people at the church. All are volunteers but the only ones armed are those who are licensed to carry weapons.

The security guards are members of the church who are screened and not "mercenaries that we hire to walk around our campus to provide security," Boyd said.
http://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/14817480/detail.html

The 2nd amendment states: "well regulated". That means the government can limit what weapons can be owned by whom and under what situations.

Lastly, I guess gods' hands were a little shaky when the two daughters got blow away?

Gotta say, the dismissal fr... (Below threshold)

Gotta say, the dismissal from the PD seems like it was BS. I wonder if they had a problem with the existence of women cops and this was just a way to lose one.

Just to be clear, the news reports on the gunman all state that she put him down, and then he killed himself. Regardless of his actions, she stopped his killing spree.

Even though the efforts of ... (Below threshold)

Even though the efforts of Jeanne Assam were indeed to be admired, as she had steely nerves in a time of real crisis and certainly saved many lives, the press desperately wanted to report a hero story and ran ahead of all the facts once again.

Yeah, they ran ahead with t... (Below threshold)

Yeah, they ran ahead with the hero story and then picked up steam by running even faster with the disgraced hero story.

As someone or other said... it's hard to complain much when it means that most of us don't even know the killer's name.

As it should be.

As a former Marine, all I c... (Below threshold)
freetime:

As a former Marine, all I can say is that this woman is my hero. She advanced into the attack laying down an effective and accurate fire. How many others could do the same.

The only caution I could add is that it's not safe to attend a gunfight with a caliber that does not begin with a .4. The MSM didn't say what she was using but I suspect something smaller. Still, you do the best with what you have and she certainly did. I am in awe of her courage whatever its source.

What facts did they run wit... (Below threshold)
Howcome:

What facts did they run with. She stopped the killer whether she killed him or not. In police lingo you shoot until the threat is gone you do not shoot to kill. What I see going on is a civilian, using a gun, stopped a killer and this is a threat to people saying armed citizens can't be trusted to have guns.

I can't imagine a police... (Below threshold)
david:

I can't imagine a police department in the country that would not want her on their force now.

I have a great deal of admiration and gratitude for what Ms. Assam did. Nonetheless, I'm not sure I'd jump to this conclusion.

While it certainly is possible that she was the victim of a vindictive male-chauvinist police bureaucracy, she went thru a police union grievance procedure and didn't get just a reprimand, but was thrown off the force. It's hard for me to believe that a cop would be booted just for cussing. While you can't believe everything you read on the internet, there are a couple of websites (naturally, they are pretty short on details) which indicate that she had a history of brutality towards the public as a police officer, which might explain why she was punished so severely for what appears to be a minor transgression.

I don't know what the full story is on Ms. Assam's police career, and she deserves nothing but contgratulations and gratitude for her actions Sunday. That said, I can easily imagine why a police department would not want her on their force.

As much as I hate to disarm... (Below threshold)
El Kabong:

As much as I hate to disarm an unarmed opponenet -

"Boyd said there are 15 to 20 security people at the church. All are volunteers but the only ones armed are those who are licensed to carry weapons."

Yes, well, only those with permits to carry weapons can legally carry in the church, and I'm sure the church and the volunteers wanted to stay within the law. That is what responsible citizens do - they stay within the law. And a responsible citizen with a concealed weapon ended a killing spree.

You can contend that "the government can limit what weapons can be owned by whom and under what situations", but that is not the meaning of the 2nd Amendment and not the intent of conceal-and-carry laws, which are a means of ensuring that responsible citizens can (rightfully) bear their arms without inducing panic.

Quit being such a phallus, Barney.

The story is what it is and... (Below threshold)
Baron Von Ottomatic:

The story is what it is and will continue to develop. And people on both sides of the 2nd Amendment argument - as well as the religious "implications" angle - will try to use it to their rhetorical advantage.

Luckily they were prepared and someone was capable of and willing to make the attempt to bring the situation to an end before it became much worse.

I don't find it any more compelling as a "Come to Jesus" moment than the athlete who claims God guided them to victory. Like Jules and Vincent, some people see Divine Intervention where others see coincidence.

Barney, as is usual your ig... (Below threshold)
SPQR:

Barney, as is usual your ignorance is astonishing. Armed security guards in Colorado have licensing requirements no more strict than that of citizens with concealed weapon permits.

It is astonishing the reliability of your comments - each time you make one, you are wrong.

El K and SP, how were my st... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

El K and SP, how were my statements wrong? The "hero" was there in an official capacity ordered by the church. As an ex police officer she had, and so did the other security guards, training to deal with the situation, as was implied by the statement "who are screened".

Jay was incorrect when he wrote that she had no authority or official standing at the church.

Barney, you're such a putz.... (Below threshold)

Barney, you're such a putz. First you argue that she did have special authority. Well, this is indeed true. She had the authority of the church to act as security. But only a putz would nit-pick that point ignoring the larger issue; she was a PRIVATE citizen who VOLUNTEERED to act as security.

Then you push it even further, smugly saying:

Jay was incorrect when he wrote that she had no authority or official standing at the church.

First you nit-pick, then you obsess over it as if it's the single, most important thing we should all be focusing on. Jay's point, which you missed because you're so hell bent on being in disagreement that you can't wait to once again reveal the boner you've got for Jay, is that she wasn't a government or city cop.

How many times did you read his post looking for that pitiful angle?

Someone get a mop. Barney has peed on the floor again.

SP, Colorado has NO licensi... (Below threshold)
The Listkeeper:

SP, Colorado has NO licensing requirement for either armed or unarmed security guards. Therefore the requirements for a handgun carry permit are actually MORE stringent than required to be a security guard.

BarneyG is caught in a lie ... (Below threshold)
The Listkeeper:

BarneyG is caught in a lie of misrepresentation when he says that she and the other "security guards"(I was a manager in private security for some years and so know better than to call volunteers actual security guards)had any kind of special training. The only training that there can be any certainty of in this case is that required to receive a handgun carry permit in the state of Colorado... Which anyone in the state can apply for and receive since Colorado is a shall issue state.

Hey, Maggie, you gonna bust... (Below threshold)
George:

Hey, Maggie, you gonna bust El K for calling BG a dick? How about SPQR for calling him stupid? No? Didn't think so. That's the bias I'm talking about. Oh look, there's Oyster piling on. I'll bet you don't have a problem with that.
Believe it or not, I respect the idea of civil discourse. I just think the rules should be applied evenly and if Maggie can't do it then find someone who can.

BarneyG is caught in a lie ... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

BarneyG is caught in a lie of misrepresentation...

No, I was not. I only provided the quote attributed to Pastor Boyd: "The security guards are members of the church who are screened and not "mercenaries that we hire to walk around our campus to provide security," Boyd said."

Some are licensed to carry arms and others are not but all were screened and at least one that we know about was an ex cop.

Jay, and others, have implied that if all persons in good standing with the law should be able to carry loaded firearms, and then any citizen could have prevented this or other shootings.

Her training had more to do with the outcome then did god.

Barney, I'm getting very ti... (Below threshold)

Barney, I'm getting very tired of your willful ignorance. But I'm gonna give it one more shot (pardon the expression):

Ms. Assam is NOT a professional security guard. She works full-time for Messenger International, a Christian ministry.

The Church does NOT have the authority to license or otherwise give any sort of official, GOVERNMENT sanction to security guards.

Members of the church, as private individuals, CHOSE to form a "church militia" after seeking and receiving permission from the church to operate on their property. The church did nothing more than give its consent; each of the members provided their own weapons (those that had them), all (I presume) duly licensed by the state to each individual for their own use, their own purposes.

To sum up, Barney, this was not a "well-regulated militia" that the anti-gun nuts like to talk about; it was essentially a highly specialized, highly localized version of groups like the Minuteman Project or those "gun nuts" who form their own militias, usually somewhere in the Northwest, that tends to drive said anti-gun nuts crazy. The government offered no sanction, license, or regulation to the church militia in question, and it's highly likely that the government even knew they existed. It was simply private citizens with a common bond (the church in question) getting together and pooling their resources to protect that common bond.

And remember, Barney, according to the anti-gun nuts, the "well-regulated militia" referred to in the 2nd Amendment means the National Guard. NOT the all-volunteer security force at the New Life Church. They are private citizens choosing to collectively exercise their individual right to keep and bear arms.

And thank heavens they did.

Hmm... here's a thought. A lot of malls welcome in "striders clubs" of people to walk around and get their exercise, usually before the stores open. By Barney's logic, does this mean that malls (such as, say, the one in Omaha) could deputize these walkers to bring in their own guns and try to prevent another mall massacre?

Likewise, could a college like Virginia Tech permit the formation of a Gun Club among students, and permit them to walk around campus packing heat in case another nutjob cuts loose? If I'm grasping Barney's logic (THERE'S a bit of an oxymoron, with accent on the "moron"), then sure -- that would clearly fall under the 2nd Amendment, as they would constitute a "well-regulated militia" as authorized by the property owner.

This is pretty much why I put up with Barney. His comments are so amazingly stupid, it inspires me to new examples, new analogies, new comparisons to further reinforce my point.

J.

Odd, Jay, I got tired of Ba... (Below threshold)
SPQR:

Odd, Jay, I got tired of Barney's complete clueless act long ago.

Barney, you specifically claimed that as security guards, those at the church had some form of expertise not enjoyed by ordinary civilians CCW holders. Specifically you said:

She was a volunteer security guard licensed (by the state) to carry a firearm. She was not an ordinary citizen out for a stroll with her trusted 44

In Colorado, "ordinary citizens" can obtain a concealed weapon permit by demonstrating proficiency with training courses, or experience in firearms such as target shooting competitions. Security guards are not actually licensed by the state but by county and municipalities and are not required to demonstrate any more proficiency.

So the "ordinary citizen out for a stroll" is no less qualified.

Once again, and not for the last time I'm sure, you have demonstrated your utter incompetence and lack of ability to make a coherent comment on any and all topics. You need to seriously consider why you actually bother to hold any opinions, given their universal tendency to be flat wrong.

"Hey, Maggie, you gonna bus... (Below threshold)
El Kabong:

"Hey, Maggie, you gonna bust El K for calling BG a dick?"

Yeah, maybe the phallus thing was a little much. I apologize for lowering the level of discourse. W would not have said that face-to-face, and the anonymity of the internet is no excuse for for acting like a phallus myself.

Barney, you are so wrong, so often. I have a CCW permit, and have been through the classroom and range training that is required for certification. I was a member of the Board (an Elder, if you like) for 8 years. I would volunteer at my church to be an informal, armed security guard at those times I am in attendance. As a matter of fact, I will talk to our associate pastor, who is a former M1 tank commander in the National Guard, to find out if we have an official policy on people attending while legally carrying their firearm.

You know, we screen people and do background checks before permitting them to work with children in our church. It pays to make sure you put responsible people in positions of responsibility. We don't have mercenaries that we hire to walk around our campus and work with children. We have an orderly, or "well-regulated", children's program.

Ms. Assam is NOT a professi... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

Ms. Assam is NOT a professional security guard. She works full-time for Messenger International, a Christian ministry........Never said she was.

The Church does NOT have the authority to license or otherwise give any sort of official, GOVERNMENT sanction to security guards.........Never said they did.

Members of the church, as private individuals, CHOSE to form a "church militia" after seeking and receiving permission from the church to operate on their property. The church did nothing more than give its consent; each of the members provided their own weapons (those that had them), all (I presume) duly licensed by the state to each individual for their own use, their own purposes..........As I indicated in my first post

To sum up, Barney, this was not a "well-regulated militia" that the anti-gun nuts like to talk about; it was essentially a highly specialized, highly localized version of groups like the Minuteman Project or those "gun nuts" who form their own militias, usually somewhere in the Northwest, that tends to drive said anti-gun nuts crazy. The government offered no sanction, license, or regulation to the church militia in question, and it's highly likely that the government even knew they existed. It was simply private citizens with a common bond (the church in question) getting together and pooling their resources to protect that common bond.........Never said they were a militia.

And remember, Barney, according to the anti-gun nuts, the "well-regulated militia" referred to in the 2nd Amendment means the National Guard. NOT the all-volunteer security force at the New Life Church. They are private citizens choosing to collectively exercise their individual right to keep and bear arms...........If true, then all limits on gun ownership would be illegal (un-constitutional) but that is not the case is it?

Hmm... here's a thought. A lot of malls welcome in "striders clubs" of people to walk around and get their exercise, usually before the stores open. By Barney's logic, does this mean that malls (such as, say, the one in Omaha) could deputize these walkers to bring in their own guns and try to prevent another mall massacre?
Likewise, could a college like Virginia Tech permit the formation of a Gun Club among students, and permit them to walk around campus packing heat in case another nutjob cuts loose? If I'm grasping Barney's logic (THERE'S a bit of an oxymoron, with accent on the "moron"), then sure -- that would clearly fall under the 2nd Amendment, as they would constitute a "well-regulated militia" as authorized by the property owner..........I have no idea what your point is, but the reasons private entities do not sanction bringing guns to their facilities have more to do with safety and liability than gun laws.

Thanks, Jay, for proving my... (Below threshold)
George:

Thanks, Jay, for proving my point. And BTW, deep in your heart you know the truth. There is no god.

George, it would help a lot... (Below threshold)
SPQR:

George, it would help a lot if you did not misquote others. I did not call Barney "stupid".

I called him ignorant, incompetent and clueless.

Adjectives that I backed up with concrete examples.

I wrote that she was licens... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

I wrote that she was licensed by the state to carry a gun, and not that she was a licensed security guard. My "ordinary citizen" comment was to distinguish between someone that is trained as a policy officer that has a C&C permit and was responsible for security at the church as opposed to someone out for a walk with their gun.

As "El" and "SQ" have pointed out, to get a C&C you have to go through training and get certified. Gun nuts think everyone has the right to carry a loaded gun (in good standing with the law).

She succeeded because she was trained for the situation and she "hired" by the church to provide security.

Barney, go back to your #19... (Below threshold)

Barney, go back to your #19 comment. EVERYONE ELSE picked up that I meant that Ms. Assam did not have any special government authority as an armed individual than any other citizen with a license. You are the one who decided to bring up the idea that she had some sort of special status because the church had accepted her offer of assistance. Are you backing down from that, now that it's been shredded?

Barney's denseness cannot be natural. It can only be the product of years of training and education and practice.

J.

Barney, that is in fact not... (Below threshold)
SPQR:

Barney, that is in fact not what you wrote and both what you wrote before and what you now wish you wrote are both false statements of the laws involved.

Just further incompetence on your part.

Thanks, J, for a nice summa... (Below threshold)
El Kabong:

Thanks, J, for a nice summary of what a well-regulated, or orderly, militia is.

It drives me crazy when people forget that, in this country, the government IS the people, rather than a means to regulate the people. When folks start to think of the government as a third party that has authority of its own, then they have ceded their liberty and given permission to others to run their lives. Count me out of this cancerous collectivism! The revolutionaries in this country used to say "Don't tread on me!" In today-speak, I would say "Don't regulate me!"

Live free or die, baby. Death is not the worst of evils.

Jay, you implied that her p... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

Jay, you implied that her precense was a coincident.
"She was an ordinary citizen, no more and no less, who chose to exercise her 2nd Amendment rights under the Constitution, and was in the right place at the right time with the right tools to save countless lives"

That was not the case at all. She had attended services earlier in the morning. She was at the "right place at the right time" because she was providing security for the Church. As the pastor said, she was screen and approved to provide security.

I do not know but I would guess that A) she does not normally take her revolver to attend services B) guns are not allowed on the Church campus, but maybe some else knows the answers to those questions.

So, yes she was in an official church capacity when she shot the shooter.

There is one amusing part o... (Below threshold)
SPQR:

There is one amusing part of Barney, and that is to watch him confuse himself trying to wander away from his discredited statements without admitting that he was discredited.

Sad but amusing.

El Kabong, you speak the tr... (Below threshold)
George:

El Kabong, you speak the truth. We may not agree entirely on what we want the govt. to do, but I think we would both agree that one of the biggest problems in this country is not enough people taking responsibility for their govt.

"Live free or die, baby. Death is not the worst of evils."

Amen, brother.

Once again we learn that yo... (Below threshold)
El Kabong:

Once again we learn that you can lead a blind horse to water, but you can't make him drink...and he will still be blind.

Jeanne Assam was in an "official" church capacity the way children's workers are in "official" capacities; and they also attend multiple worship services in order to fulfill their volunteer duties. I'm speculating like Barney, but it seems like if a church wants to provide security, one way would be to ask for volunteers, and find out who is legally permitted to carry a concealed weapon; they are, after all, proven to be proficient with their firearm, they are readily available, and they could be organized, or "regulated", on short notice. I doubt if the church is a posted gun-free zone; at least in Ohio, you cannot carry your concealed weapon in an establishment that has its sign posted, even at the invitation of the owner. Strictly verboten, no exceptions, zero tolerance, etc - you risk jail time and everything. I know one business owner who changed churches when his posted such a sign; their loss, not his. Anyway, my assumption is that there were several members licensed to conceal and carry, who may have already been carrying to church; after all, they were ready that morning when the call went out, and believe me, to be proficient at concealment, each of those volunteers already had their own system devised before that tragic day. They then became part of a volunteer organization within the church to serve its security needs. As the pastor said, they didn't need no stinking hired mercenaries, thank you. This sounds like a classic example of a well-regulated militia: an extra-governmental organization of individuals collectively expressing their individual rights, not some posse deputized and blessed by a government body (or the National Guard, which, as J was getiing at, is what anti-gun nuts consider to be the only legitimate "well-regulated militia"). I can imagine just such an organization in colonial times, especially on the frontier...except with no need to conceal.

Now that's a thought: If gun-wusses like Barney would get some therapy to get over their irrational fear of law-abiding citizens, so that we wouldn't induce panic at the sight of firearms, we could just open-carry and forget these cumbersome and inefficient concealment regulations.

Barney, how the hell is it ... (Below threshold)

Barney, how the hell is it that everyone else understands that I meant "Assam was not there as a certified, on-duty security professional, but as a private citizen," but you read it as "she was there utterly as a wild coincidence?" That my pointing out that she was not an employee of the church, not a professional security officer, is not refuted in the least by your saying she "was there in an official capacity ordered by the church."

Which, of course, is utterly wrong. She was a volunteer, she was NOT ordered around.

You said "Jay was incorrect when he wrote that she had no authority or official standing at the church." You argue that she had official authority and standing FROM the church, which is utterly irrelevant. My point was that in the eyes of the LAW, she was an ordinary citizen exercising her individual Constitutional right to keep and bear arms. Whatever the church said or did in the matter was utterly irrelevant to that question.

Man, trying to have a sensible discussion with Barney reminds me of the old advice about wrestling with pigs...

J.

Except pigs have more of a ... (Below threshold)
SPQR:

Except pigs have more of a clue what they are doing.

Jay, you are just plain wro... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

Jay, you are just plain wrong. First off I am not against gun ownership. I am for it. Assam just did not show up with her gun as a volunteer to stand guard. She was part of a organized security plan at the church, and that is the difference. Here are some summarized quotes from the pastor. You can read the full text here: http://www.newlifechurch.org/db_images2/12-10-9am.pdf

-She is highly trained
-Her role was to provide security
-That morning they called for extra security because of the shooting the night before
-She was purposely stationed in the rotunda
-Their security and evacuation plans have been place and practiced for several years
-They have 15 to 20 volunteer security guards available.

So again, there is a big difference between someone that is highly trained to provide security and deal with the situation and someone just with a gun at the right place at the right time.

George: "We may not agree e... (Below threshold)
El Kabong:

George: "We may not agree entirely on what we want the govt. to do, but I think we would both agree that one of the biggest problems in this country is not enough people taking responsibility for their govt."

Ain't that the truth. You gotta watch that govt like a hawk. Or a dove. Whatever, just watch it.

George and El Kabong: Raising the level of civil discourse, one comment at a time.

Barney once again illustrat... (Below threshold)
SCSIwuzzy:

Barney once again illustrates what happens when you store your cranium in your rectum, then procede to put "me" back into sodomy.

Barney, thanks for the link... (Below threshold)
El Kabong:

Barney, thanks for the link. It does clear up some misconceptions. It also proves the point that the church had a orderly, "well-regulated", volunteer, extragovernmental militia. Thank God for the Second Amendment and folks that take their own security seriously! I believe they are called "sheepdogs", and that curch was depending on just such individuals for a day like this.

But your nitpicking is driving everyone crazy. There's word for people like that...but I'm not gonna say it.

I should say, it clears up ... (Below threshold)
El Kabong:

I should say, it clears up some of my misconceptions.

Barney,I have no des... (Below threshold)
SPQR:

Barney,
I have no desire to criticize Assam, but wee don't know how much training Assam had in MN, so you have no basis for your "highly trained" claim. It is just now your claim because your silliness about licensed security guards blew up in your face.

In general, and no insult to Assam is meant, but the public exaggerates the amount of firearms training that law enforcement officers in general receive. Civilians have access to high quality firearms training in both shooting skills and tactics at good shooting schools like Gunsite, Front Sight and others. I've worked as a range officer in competitive pistol since the late '80's and in my experience, the skills of law enforcement vary no less than do the non-LEO shooter.

We've seen several instances where non-LEO armed civilians stopped shooting incidents such as the principal at Pearl High School and the students at Appalachia law school.

You just don't know what you are talking about, Barney.

"It is just now your claim ... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

"It is just now your claim because your silliness about licensed security guards blew up in your face."

SPQR, I wish you would stop lying about what I wrote. I never wrote that she was licensed security guard. I wrote this:

"Jay, she had special authority and was officially sanctioned by the church. She was a volunteer security guard licensed (by the state) to carry a firearm."

Also, the "highly trained" statement was not from me but from pastor Boyd. Are you calling the minister liar?

I wish you would stop deliberately lying about what I have written. It makes you far less credible.

Barney, you are the ONLY CO... (Below threshold)

Barney, you are the ONLY COMMENTER HERE who is hung up on the whole church planning thing -- as if it had a tinker's dam to do with the fact that, IN THE EYES OF THE LAW, Ms. Assam had no more legal right to bear arms than any other American.

I do not write to the lowest common denominator, Barney. In this case, as so often happens, that is you. If you can not grasp that while the church's planning was very laudable and tremendously prescient, it accorded its participants absolutely NO enhanced legal status. They were simply average Americans exercising their individual Constitutional right to keep and bear arms -- in direct contradiction with the legal theory that the 2nd Amendment is a "collective" right and does not apply to individuals, but only to a government-sanctioned and government-regulated body like the National Guard.

That this was my point did not elude anyone else but you, Barney. The fault, my dear Barney, lies not in the stars, but in you.

J.

Barney, actually it is clea... (Below threshold)
SPQR:

Barney, actually it is clear that I know what you wrote better than you do. My earlier comment is even more accurate now:

There is one amusing part of Barney, and that is to watch him confuse himself trying to wander away from his discredited statements without admitting that he was discredited.

You have beclowned yourself once again.

>Hey, Maggie, you ... (Below threshold)
Maggie:
>Hey, Maggie, you gonna bust El K for calling BG a dick? How about SPQR for calling him stupid? No? Didn't think so. That's the bias I'm talking about. Oh look, there's Oyster piling on. I'll bet you don't have a problem with that. Believe it or not, I respect the idea of civil discourse. I just think the rules should be applied evenly and if Maggie can't do it then find someone who can.
George, if you have a complaint take it up with Kevin. Do you need his email address? And, clearly you missed the whole message of why your post was disemvoweled. So, now are you monitoring all of the treads to see who is posting what? Should you consider changing your nic to "The Snitch"? Your post was obnoxious because you told EVERY reader or poster to STFU instead of the person you directed your question. So keep up the hard work George, it might make you worth about one gram of sea salt one day.
This reminded me of a quote... (Below threshold)
jdgjtr:

This reminded me of a quote from Lt. Colonel Dave Grossman's essay "On Sheep, Sheepdogs, and Wolves": "Then there are sheepdogs," he went on, "and I'm a sheepdog. I live to protect the flock and confront the wolf."...
Sheepdogs come in all shapes and sizes; the wolves better beware.

Here is an interesting tidb... (Below threshold)
Kevin:

Here is an interesting tidbit to stir the pot a little and scare Barney:

I have a CCW from Penna. It requires No training No testing just a background check to be permitted to exercise my inalienable right of self preservation.

Now Colorado has reciprocity with PA in that they honor my permit. That means that when I visit my cousin in CO, and if I am in good with the pastor at the church, I can also be a volunteer guard.
with no special training, no license from CO, no indication that CO even knows of my existence.

Stop trying to make her out to be something she is not! She is a hero because of the fact that she is a private citizen protecting her sheep - No different than I am when I carry in Penna, WV, KY and TN. You may have even walked past me and never knew how close you were to a loaded 1911. And That should make you feel safe, but somehow I get the impression that it will make you soil your pants!

I keep coming back to this ... (Below threshold)

I keep coming back to this post for more hilarity. And I am not disappointed in the least.

I'll tell you what, George. If you go and start a blog, I promise to stop by and say something offensive so you can ban me. Okay?

The woman was at the right ... (Below threshold)

The woman was at the right place at the right time. She is a heroine.

Her past is meaningless, except to those who have never sinned or screwed up. They want to say her past negates her deeds.

Yawn... She faced death and did not fail. She saved hundreds of lives. Don't penalize her for placing her faith in God ... those who don't believe in God can believe whatever they want.
Not believing in God does not make them better.

I hope this woman can make peace with herself and find a rewarding path.

God Bless her, and keep her.

Let me know when any of you naysayers accomplish anything like this.




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