God’s House is His Castle

Colorado has played host to several newsworthy murderous rampages by young people and breaches of trust and security at community centers where people are meant to feel safe such as schools and places of worship; the Columbine High School massacre being the most memorable, and the dual church shootings being the most recent.

Both gunmen in the Columbine massacre, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, were the same age as me (now 27), and the lion’s share of their victims were my age and a bit younger; the Church gunman, Matthew Murray, was only 3 years younger and would have been a freshmen at the time of the Columbine massacre. His first two victims were also our age.

Matthew Murray apparently modeled himself after one of the Columbine shooters:

The online threats appear to include whole passages lifted from a manifesto written by Eric Harris, one of the teens who carried out the 1999 massacre at Columbine High School — 13 miles from Murray’s hometown.

But the makings of these mass murderers is not what interests me. What it takes to take them down is a much more relevant question. There will be years’ worth of debate and thousands of “experts” who will psychoanalyze these deviants after the fact, books and theories and cover ups, and words-words-words that will try and guess how we can avoid creating these psychopaths.

But the most pressing issue in the short term is not how we avoid the creation of rampage killers, but how to stop them dead in their tracks when we encounter them. Not creating any more would require both a sure fire method and universal compliance by all humanity. Stopping them dead only requires one armed individual that is prepared to save their own life.

The way in which trained, prepared, and skilled gun-toting security personnel responded to these two events is the reason we will remember Columbine as an abysmal and embarrassing failure on multiple levels and the response to the New Life Church shooter a certified success.

Columbine was a total failure because the actions of a trained, prepared, paid, on-duty, skilled, and gun-toting police officer, Neil Gardner, did NOTHING to slow or prevent further bloodshed and loss of life. The one officer on campus was harassing the smokers when the incident in the school started, drove to the front of the building, fired 3 shots over the hood of his car at the doorway(and he admits he aimed over his target’s head on purpose, too!), and then fled to a safer distance. He’s the only one who responded with any kind of force, and he was a stupid coward. His bullets were later found in the Library, which isn’t even in the direction the Officer claimed he was shooting, and on the second floor, not the ground level.

Dale Todd [a former Jeffco deputy whose son, Evan, was wounded in the school library] says he discussed Gardner’s shots into the library months ago with Kate Battan, the Jeffco investigator heading up the Columbine probe. Battan told him she’d questioned Gardner about it. “She expressly told me that he aimed above [the gunmen’s] heads, which drove them away from the windows and back to killing kids inside,” he says.

But no police interviews with Gardner other than the one that included his original statement have been released by the sheriff’s office, despite court orders to produce all such materials. “There were evidently subsequent interviews that were not produced,” Todd says. “We’re not getting everything.”

If you’re going to shoot, you shoot to kill. And the officer didn’t even empty his magazine. It also appears he didn’t even aim at the shooters, instead firing at the library. This echoes the actions of the SWAT teams who also fired indiscriminately at windows in the school. Klebold and Harris were not shot or wounded or apparently even the targets of any of the 141 bullets that were fired by law enforcement at the school. Is it too much to ask highly trained professional shooters to actually hit their targets?

A total of 141 shots were fired by law enforcement officers at Columbine High School on April 20, 1999. No individual was hit or injured by “friendly fire.”

The majority of the shots were fired from the parking lot on the southwest side of the school and the grass and sidewalk areas outside the west entrance.

There were also shots fired from the junior parking lot, a lower classroom hallway and the bottom of the stairs outside the cafeteria.

In reviewing the ballistic evidence and the interviews with the officers, it was determined that the majority of the shots were fired toward the west entrance and the library windows. This was done when shots were exchanged with the gunmen, and when law enforcement and medical personnel were evacuating students.

There were no injuries or deaths as a result of shots fired by law enforcement officers.

No injuries and no deaths after 141 shots? How many shots does it take for SWAT to hit a target? Apparently more than 141.

The two gunmen had all the time in the world to plant 50 some bombs around the school and hold a torture and kill fest in the library, all while thousands of SWAT and other tactical response personnel gathered outside and… you guessed it, did nothing except put their red beams of death onto crippled students dangling from broken windows and sip coffee and eat dough nuts as the “1 bleeding to death” sign beckoned their help from a second story window. They waited until it was safe for officers to enter the school.

WHAT? Since when did the job description of a SWAT officer guarantee their safety at the expense of any usefulness they might have?

The fact the subsequent lawsuits against the State and the Police Departments have all been dropped giving officers immunity for their actions and inaction just signals that the “serve and protect” mission statement of law enforcement is just a slogan, not an obligation. Fat ass coward cops can sit on their ass all day while your sons and daughters are being executed and you have no recourse and they will face no punishment.

Columbine was a total and complete failure for two reasons: One, there was no one with a gun inside the school except the crazed gunmen. Two, the people outside the school with lots of guns didn’t enter the school until the gunmen were dead by their own hands. When they did have a chance to shoot the gunmen from the safety of their cars 60-100+ yards away, they didn’t even aim for them or were really poor shots.

That was not the case in the recent Church shooting. And it’s the very reason thousands of potential victims at the Mega Church never moved from the POTENTIAL victim column to the ACTUAL victim column.

Again, Matthew Murray is just younger than I am, and was (high school) freshman-age when the two Columbine wack-jobs made history just down the street a few miles from where we live despite the fact that Murray was home schooled because he was a “nightmare child” and his parents belong to a wack-job “charismatic” religion and according to his rants on a religious bulletin board, fancied their son as a prophet (read: $$$ in book deals and public speaking gigs). He writes all about being denied access to popular culture, movies, games, and anything else that might corrupt his soul.

Perhaps this “isolate him to save him” mentality is exactly what created a poorly adjusted youth who couldn’t cope with and even fetishized the marginally off color material he was denied, just like putting a kid in a bubble might save him from the allergens and viruses in the world but will leave him defenseless against them when the bubble bursts.

But the creation of murderous rampagers is not what is interesting. The vast majority of us are much more likely to be victimized by one than to give birth to one.

Murray was obviously a student of the Columbine killers, and also the Virgina Tech killer. His M.O. mirrors the later, gaining confidence with two killings in a more private residential setting before returning to a computer to brag about his small deed, give an unusable warning about a future rampage, and then jet off to a more public, higher body count area for the grand finale.

Except unlike the VT killer, Matthew Murray met with armed resistance and was killed moments after entering the building. No teachers had to martyr themselves to give their students a few extra seconds to escape, no one had to bleed out from a survivable wound for four hours, and the killer didn’t even have time to reload, let alone drop 50 bombs, shoot at police in the parking lot, torture and kill people, ask if they believed in God before he shot them in the face, or anything other than listen as a trained ex-policewoman private security guard yelled “surrender” and then dropped him in his tracks.

Now, given that this was a Godly organization, you’ll hear a lot about the Holy Spirit and God’s presence, and people outside praying for the gunman instead of calling police, fleeing, or engaging him; but prayer didn’t stop the shooter, a magazine full of slugs in his chest did.

God might very well have steadied Jeanne Assam’s hand as she downed Murray, but it was the fact that her hand held a gun, a gun she was trained to use, that made the difference. The other hands clasped in prayer in that room didn’t bring down Murray, Jeanne Assam’s trained and gun enhanced hands did.

And it should be noted that her gun wasn’t the only one in the room. There was at least one more volunteer guard / parishioner who was packing heat and who could have downed Murray given the chance. While the early reports are that the second guard remained in cover even after another fellow demanded to use his gun and made himself a target (supposedly hoping someone else would shoot the gunman at the key moment), I’m sure the initial reports of cowardice are overblown and sensational.

Both guards were brought on within hours of Murray’s first killings as part of a quick and wise move to beef up security. The private sector clearly does not wait and can act very quickly to threats.

Sadly, schools like Virgina Tech didn’t learn the lesson of Columbine. Gun free zones don’t protect anyone, they just create blissful playgrounds for bloodthirsty loons who can take as long as they want to torture and kill people.

The coroner reports that Matthew Murray, like the three gunmen before him, took his own life in the end. And for that, I’m grateful. The heroic security guard who stopped him cold doesn’t have to deal with the burden of having killed someone, especially in a church.

“The death of Matthew Murray has been ruled a suicide. It should be noted that he was struck multiple times by the security officer which put him down. He then fired a single round killing himself.”

He certainly didn’t get to off himself in a self righteous ritual after gunning down as many people as his immense ammo cache would allow like the Columbine and Virgina Tech shooters. He had to put himself out of his misery because he was unable to do anything else.

Let it be said that prayers did not stop the gunman, bullets did.

And those bullets came from a private citizen, not a cop. A private citizen with police experience and training, a concealed weapons license, and a loaded weapon. She was as much a part of the community she protected as any other parishioner and her training, faith, and community spirit guided her hand and mind to stop the rampage before it got worse.

The cop at Columbine who wasn’t really a part of the community, who enjoyed harassing the smokers, and who can’t seem to recall if he shot at the gunmen in the doors downstairs or at the windows in the library upstairs, and who never entered the building even after he watched the gunmen turn and shoot down people in the hallways as they calmly left the front of the building and traveled deeper within, didn’t accomplish anything at all that day and as many people died as the two gunmen were capable of killing unopposed.

So too did the maximum number of people die in Virgina, where the gunman faced no armed resistance and never saw a police officer before he too ran out of steam on his own accord and offed himself.

Matthew Murray never got the chance to tire, to become bored or disillusioned. He was taken down right as he began to ramp up his killing spree.

Good for Jeanne Assam, good for private individuals with carry and conceal permits, and good for the Make My Day doctrine (known outside of Colorado as Castle Doctrine) being exercised so beautifully in God’s House. God’s House is his Castle and Jeanne Assam just made God’s Day, sending one more soul to hell for retribution and keeping a few more good souls on Earth for a while longer.

Jeanne Assam was fired from her police officer job for some comments she made to a bus driver. Perhaps it’s fitting that one “public service professional” lead to another’s dismissal, since Jeanne was much more effective in the private sector than she was as a “public servant.” The “public servants” sucked it up big time at Columbine and Virgina Tech, and I’ll bet that the bus driver still sucks at their job too. But Assam is a true hero and a shining example of why Make My Day works, why responsible gun ownership works, and why the private citizens need the right and the means to defend ourselves, because the fat ass porky pig cops certainly aren’t going to do it for us, at least not while they are suckling on the state’s tit with immunity for all action and inaction.

Fox New’s Shepherd Smith wondered what the hell a woman with a gun was doing in a church, and MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski said that it is “inane” to think that an armed citizen can make a difference in a crisis. Perhaps Smith and Brzezinski should eat a meal in Columbine’s cafeteria, or read a blood stained book on the Second Amendment in the Library. Perhaps they should take flight 93 from New York and make a stop at a Mall in Omaha, or take a class from a Holocaust survivor at Virgina Tech. What fools they are, having reported on all those incidents and more, yet blissfully unaware how simple it would have been to stop any one of them.

Buy a gun, learn how to use it, and the next time someone my age decides to go on a rampage, put two in his chest and one in his head.

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About Christopher

Christopher Landauer is a fifth generation Colorado native and second generation Border Collie enthusiast. Border Collies have been the Landauer family dogs since the 1960s and Christopher got his first one as a toddler. He began his own modest breeding program with the purchase of Dublin and Celeste in 2006 and currently shares his home with their children Mercury and Gemma as well. His interest in genetics began in AP Chemistry and AP Biology and was honed at Stanford University.