The civilian disarmament crowd at the Brady Campaign promoted nationwide candlelight vigils last Sunday to “honor victims of gun violence” and call for more gun control laws.
They chose Sunday for the candle lighting campaign because it’s the one-year anniversary of the shooting inTucson,AZ, that left Rep. Gabrielle Giffords seriously wounded. Hey, if you’re going to exploit a tragedy for political gain, may as well get a two-fer, right?
Thankfully there will be no vigil at the Oklahoma home of Sarah McKinley, who on New Years Eve shot and killed a knife-wielding man who broke into her residence.
Sarah’s life was already filled with life’s greatest joys and sorrows. Just 18-years old, she was a new mom, a new wife and, on Christmas Day, widowed when her husband succumbed to cancer.
But her roller coaster ride was not over. Late on the night of her husband’s funeral, a man claiming to be a neighbor dropped by Sarah’s home to say hello.
“It was pitch black outside; you don’t introduce yourself that late at night,” Sarah told a local news reporter.
That man, Justin Martin, returned during the day on New Years Eve with another man, Dustin Stewart. Police later said the two men were looking for the deceased man’s prescription drugs.
When Sarah refused to let them in, the two tried to force their way inside.
“I walked over and got the 12 gauge, went in the bedroom and got the pistol, put the bottle in [the infant’s] mouth and called 911,” McKinley said. She was on the phone for more than twenty minutes with a 911 operator.
“I’ve got two guns in my hand. Is it ok to shoot him if he comes in this door?” McKinley asked the dispatcher as the men were beating down the door.
“Well, you have to do whatever you can do to protect yourself,” the dispatcher, Diane Graham, said. “I can’t tell you that you can do that, but you do what you have to do to protect your baby.”
Finally breaking in, and armed with a twelve inch knife, Justin Martin came at the scared mother. Sarah McKinley shot and killed the attacker with the shotgun.
The next day’s headlines read: “Teen Mom Shoot, Kills Intruder.” But don’t expect that to be acknowledged by the Brady Campaign; it’s a headline that doesn’t fit with their worldview. Why, a woman with a baby in the house shouldn’t even have a gun.
Or the gun should be locked away in a safe, with the ammunition locked up at the other end of the house.
No, the gutless leaders of Brady Bunch make no mention of Sarah McKinley–who was cleared of any wrongdoing–just as they ignore the more than 2 million successful uses of firearms in self-defense each year.
As is always the case with the gun control crowd, they look only at the misuse of firearms, while ignoring the tremendous, life-saving benefits of gun ownership.
If there are going to be vigils, how about holding them in the states that still do not have Castle Doctrine laws (giving homeowners legal protections against intruders)? How about vigils for the law-abiding citizens who became mandatory victims by strict gun control laws?
Of course, that won’t happen because the gun control crowd prefers to further their agenda by exploiting victims’ pain in annual candle-holding rituals.
No one is empowered, and no one is called to account for the crimes. The focus is only on the gun, the inanimate tool that, like any other object, could be used for either good or evil. May as well hold vigils at car dealerships and stores that sell knives.
The truth is a person under attack won’t be protected by a candle, and violent thugs won’t be disarmed if Congress passes yet one more gun control law. Lives are saved, however, when a woman can use a firearm to defend herself against attackers twice her size.
On Sunday, no candles needed to be lit for Sarah McKinley because this brave young woman had the means, the courage–and still the freedom–to protect herself and her child.
John Velleco is Director of Federal Affairs for Gun Owners of America, the “only no-compromise gun lobby in Washington.”