If you’re not a football fan, you probably don’t know who Ray Rice is. Or was. Rice was a running back for the Baltimore Ravens. In 2014, the NFL suspended Rice for two games after he was arrested and indicted for assaulting his then-fiancee.
That bit of news barely merited a mention on ESPN SportsCenter.
But then the muckrakers at TMZ paid $91,000 to get their hands on a security video that showed the actual assault.
No, it’s not pretty. Letting the public see exactly what Rice did set off a chain reaction that rocked the league and caused the Ravens to release Rice. He never played another down in the NFL.
That video — seeing the savagery with which Rice decked his fiancee and then dragged her unconscious body out of that elevator — shocked people more than any dry description of the event ever could.
That’s why Rice never played again and why the league was criticized so intensely (they claimed — implausibly — that they never saw the video) for initially handing out a piddling two-game suspension.
And that brings us to Sunday’s shooting at the West Freeway Church of Christ. As you no doubt know by now, the attack that resulted in two church security guards dead along with the shooter was caught on video.
That video confirmed something that regular readers here have always known: guns save lives — far more lives than they take. They’re used hundreds of thousands of times a year in defensive situations, preventing robberies, assaults, rapes and murders.
But our friends in the Civilian Disarmament Industrial Complex — both gun control advocacy operations and their compliant, complicit co-conspirators in the mainstream media — have claimed for years, all evidence and statistics to the contrary, that it’s just a sham. The whole “good guy with a gun” thing is nothing more than an NRA talking point used to instill fear and drum up more memberships.
As we pointed out yesterday, the West Freeway Church video won’t do a thing to change minds among the hard core hoplophobic disarmament community. They’re far too invested, philosophically and financially, in furthering the anti-gun narrative.
While it’s a relief the Texas church shooter was neutralized, does anyone want an America where there are gun battles in places of worship?
— Peter Daou (@peterdaou) December 30, 2019
They’re a lost cause, a waste of time, effort and breath. Once they watched that video, the gun control lobby caught its breath for about 30 seconds and got back to work diligently arguing that what happened in the West Freeway Church doesn’t really mean anything at all.
In fact, in their view, the armed self defense of that congregation was proof positive of our sick gun culture and the need for even more limitations on the right to keep and bear arms.
#JackWilson is a HERO! He stopped the #TexasChurchShooting, and yet Shannon Watts and her Moms Demand Action cultists think it’s a bad thing. These people are endangering us allhttps://t.co/feTaPclVhD#texasshooting #texaschurch @CamEdwards @guntruth @DLoesch @ChrisLoesch pic.twitter.com/TqsmtskrYD
— Elmer Non-Fudd (@Non_Fudd) December 30, 2019
What’s different now, though, what the West Freeway Church video provides in the most indelible way, is visual proof that defensive gun uses do happen. Know-nothing blowhards like Joe Biden may ridicule states that allow or encourage carrying a firearm in houses of worship, but the average American can see this for him- and herself. Proof of guns actually saving lives.
Just as the Ray Rice video shocked the people who saw it, the West Freeway Church video will be seen by hundreds of thousands of Americans who aren’t gun owners and it will have in impact with them as well. People who are in the middle, with neither a positive or negative view of guns. So-called “low-information” people who get most of their news from the mainstream media.
Some of those people — probably more than you think — will be swayed by seeing what happens when responsible, law-abiding citizens are armed. They have heard the constant drone about America’s violent society and the gun violence epidemic for years. But then they’ll mentally put themselves in one of those church pews.
Some of them will decide they want the right and the ability to defend themselves if, God forbid, a deranged drifter wacko in a fake beard decides to open fire in their church/school/neighborhood movie theater.
If any good will have come out of Sunday’s shooting, it will be that. It will be those persuadable, open-minded people in the middle who will see that video and, maybe for the first time, conclude that armed self defense isn’t just an abstract right written down by men in wigs 230 years ago.
Some of them will decide that keeping and bearing arms actually makes a lot of sense and that they want to ensure they’re able to do exactly that.