Concealed Carry Works 7   Leave a comment

From 2015


Image result for image of concealed carryFirefighters said they may have stopped a massacre after a gunman surprised them at their station Tuesday.

The Aiken County Sheriff’s Office said deputies responded to the New Holland Fire Department’s Station 2 around 6:30 p.m. for a report of shots fired.

Firefighters said Chad Barker pulled up to the crowded fire station parking lot full of children and firefighters, got out of his car, and began firing in the air and at his vehicle. They say he also pointed the firearm at individual firefighters for lengthy periods of time.

“I came out of the office, saw the man with the gun, told everybody to leave out the back quickly that there was a man in the parking lot with a gun, and I was not kidding,” said Gary Knoll, a firefighter for New Holland.

Knoll said he and another firefighter who have concealed weapons permits pulled their guns on the gunman.

Knoll said Barker returned to his vehicle and firefighters carefully followed him with their weapons still drawn. After encouraging Barker to put the gun down, Knoll said Barker ultimately complied and Knoll grabbed the gun.

He said the group of firefighters detained Barker, who then began beating his head on the ground, until deputies arrived and locked him up. Barker has been charged with two counts of Pointing and Presenting a Firearm.

Knoll, meanwhile, hopes for additional charges and says he’s more disappointed with the $20,000 bond granted to Barker. Knoll was hoping for a larger amount.

“He’s a hazard to everyone here,” Knoll said. “We can’t possibly think about going to a fire call without having to worry about whether this guy’s standing in a tree stand somewhere with a high power rifle.”

Ultimately, though, Knoll is relieved no one was hurt and he is relieved he and other firefighters carry concealed weapons.

“It saved a life, if not multiple,” Knoll said.

The firefighter, who has been with New Holland for a little more than two years, says his hope is that Barker will get any help he needs.

Deputies are still investigating the incident and say the firefighter involved did not know Barker. They say additional charges are a possibility.


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A Great & Frustrating Read   4 comments

December 4, 2017 – Review a book you’ve recently read.
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So, I read a lot, but lately, the only fiction books I’ve been reading are the yet-to-be-published manuscripts of friends who are fellow authors. I don’t want to review their books before they’ve even published.

One of the most exciting, and frustrating, books I’ve read in 2017 is James Scott’s Against the Grain: A Deep History of the Earliest States (Yale 2017). In prehistoric times, how did human beings discover how to feed themselves? How did we decide to become settled in one spot rather than move around as hunters and gatherers? Which leads to the biggest question (for me at least), where did the state come and why?

Scott’s fascinating argument is a fundamental challenge to the conventional theory of life on earth circa 15,000 to a half million years ago. Civilization is normally thought to have come into existence with the appearance of agriculture, sedentary living, and stable states. Scott, however, draws attention to the downside of states — taxes, the cruelty of classes, institutionalized castes of elites, merchants, tradesmen and serfs, disease, war, slavery, and so on — and argues that they might have diminished the quality of life as compared to what came before. What if life was better before the coming of what we call “civilization”?

Scott is a borderline left-anarchist and he shows this trait when he argues that there is no real relationship between settled living and “civilization”. Humankind resisted living in one place for many thousands of years precisely to avoid being trapped by states. We just wanted to be free. Scott also suggests that hunter-gatherers had it pretty easy: a good diet, plenty of exercise, and leisure. By comparison, agricultural life was pretty terrible overall and human health declined.

It’s easy to assume that Scott is advancing a Rousseauian fantasy about the blissful state of nature, but he really is trying to come to terms with the evidence as it stands, and assess the impact of state creation on human life. I think he’d find agreement with some Hayek fans — life was better when humans resisted organizing themselves and declined once they permitted themselves to be rounded up and regimented by a ruling class.

Unfortunately, I sense a whiff of primitive socialism in Scott’s premise when he suggests we should be living off the land, moving around a lot, and avoiding property ownership. I could be wrong about my assessment, because in an interview with Vox, Scott asserted that life is much better today than 10,000 years ago. It’s just that he seems to have a problem with the division of labor.

Modern industrial life has forced almost all of us to specialize in something, often in mundane, repetitive tasks. Specialization is good for economic productivity but not so good for individual self-fulfillment. Moving from hunting and gathering to working on an assembly line has made us more machine-like and less attuned to the world around us because we only have to be skilled at one thing.

Yup, that sounds lot like Karl Marx, who fantasized of a communist society where people would be free to move from task to task, able to sample all sorts of jobs, without concern for feeding themselves or keeping a roof over their heads. Of course, we all should know that actual communism (as opposed to Marx’ theory) didn’t quite work that way.

This is where I got frustrated with reading this otherwise challenging and enjoyable book. Scott does not seem to have a sense practical economic considerations, particularly as they pertain to the greatest invention of all, private property. His oversight here simply cannot be deliberate because it is so pervasive. Scott appears to be uninterested in private property as a technology of production. He actually goes out of his way to almost deny the historical importance of the emergence of private property norms. He seems to overlook a basic fact. Even if there was a time when nature provided enough for our needs without having to create additional wealth, humanity came to a point where it needed to find a way to overcome the scarcity of resources. We had to learn how to add to the store of available wealth to house, feed, and clothe ourselves. Scott omits resource scarcity as significant factor in human evolution.

I found that oversight frustrating because he has such insight into human history. Consider his moving observation on the discovery of fire:

Fire [first controlled by hominids 400,000 years ago] was the key to humankind’s growing sway over the natural world–a species monopoly and trump card worldwide…. Fire powerfully concentrates people in yet another way: cooking. It is virtually impossible to exaggerate the importance of cooking in human evolution. The application of fire to raw food externalizes the digestive process; it gelatinizes starch and denatures protein. The chemical disassembly of raw food, which in a chimpanzee requires a gut roughly three times the size of ours, allows Homo sapiens to eat far less food and expend far fewer calories extracting nutrition from it. The effects are enormous. It allowed early man to gather and eat a far wider range of foods than before: plants with thorns, thick skins, and bark could be opened, peeled, and detoxified by cooking; hard seeds and fibrous foods that would not have repaid the caloric costs of digesting them became palatable; the flesh and guts of small birds and rodents could be sterilized.

Who did the fire belong to? How did these early humans divide up the cooked food. What were the rules and who established them? These are all property ownership issues. Without rules governing them, there would be nonstop conflict, which a dictator or tribal leader might resolve with some informal rules, but would be really hard to enforce in a spread-out and mobile tribe.

Because I’m mainly reading books like this to improve my apocalyptic series, I was curious about how private property came into play, but Scott pretty much ignored the question.


He writes with passion and vigor about the 4,000-year gap between the domestication of grains and animals and the eventual settling down of humans into organized and sedentary communities. But nowhere does he discuss what innovations in the rules of property claims made this change possible.

In all honesty, looking at reality, at some point, people had to stop stealing each other’s stuff, get smart, and come to agreement. As people, we have to trade our stuff for their stuff, which gives rise to the division of labor. Economic complexity grew from that. Despite what anarcho-communists might wish, that’s how the real world we live in works. I don’t steal your stuff, you don’t steal my stuff — if we want to get each other’s stuff, we have to trade for it. Welcome to civilization!

I’m going to hazard to guess that Scott’s personal ideology blocked him from consider these issues very seriously, which is too bad, because his book would be great if he’d been willing to look at scarcity and how it might drive a mobile tribe of hunters and gatherers into becoming creative and inventing the norm of mine and yours and applying it to land and the products of production.

Scott’s empirical account does not contradict this thought, but his premise seems to identify statism with ownership, trade, the division of labor and the rise of civilization.

Except for that flaw, I’d love to have Scott for a history professor and to delight in his discussion of all the stuff that matters, but he fumbled the ball by avoiding the problem of scarcity and property. Scott claims to be an anarchist — or at least advocates for looking at history through an anarchist lens, which made this book a delight, but his failure to grasp a fundamental economic principle makes me wonder if he truly understands what anarchism is all about.



Confidence Rightly Placed   Leave a comment

When Paul wrote 1 Corinthians, he delivered some heavy criticism for the way that the Corinthian Christians were conducting themselves as Christians. He promised he would come to visit them. He set out on the journey and got waylaid by sickness, which delayed his arrival. Upon hearing that the Corinthians were complaining that he hadn’t shown up, Paul wrote 2 Corinthians in advance of his arrival. In response to their complaints, he professed his own and his fellow-labourers’ integrity and explained why he hadn’t traveled there more quickly.

For our reason for confidence is this: the testimony of our consciencethat with pure motives and sincerity which are from God – not by human wisdom but by the grace of God – we conducted ourselves in the worldand all the more toward youFor we do not write you anything other than what you can read and also understand. But I hope that you will understand completely just as also you have partly understood us, that we are your source of pride just as you also are ours in the day of the Lord Jesus. 2 Corinthians 1:12-14

Image result for image of 2 corinthians 1:12-22Despite having been sick, worried and persecuted in recent months, Paul still trusted God to guide him on his journeys. Conscience witnesses concerning the steady course and tenor of his life and work. We, like Paul, are not judged by singular acts, but by the general course of our lives. We may confidently leave our characters in Jesus’ hands, and when questioned, rely on the gospel to measure our efforts.

Paul had no hidden messages in his letter. His meaning was clear. He meant what he wrote. Paul assured the Corinthian Christians that he really told the truth and he didn’t communicate with manipulative hidden meanings.

And with this confidence I intended to come to you first so that you would get a second opportunity to see us, and through your help to go on into Macedonia and then from Macedonia to come back to you and be helped on our way into Judea by you. Therefore when I was planning to do thisI did not do so without thinking about what I was doingdid I? Or do I make my plans according to mere human standards so that I would be saying both “Yesyes” and “Nono” at the same time? But as God is faithfulour message to you is not “Yes” and “No.”  2Corinthians 1:15-18

Why would Paul feel the need to justify his behavior? He was under attack by some of the Corinthian Christians. Remember 1 Corinthians? Some of them were stung by Paul’s rebukes and guidances. Rather than reform their own behavior, they attacked the messenger. They claimed Paul was unreliable because he’d not arrived when he said he would. Paul defended himself from the charge of levity and inconstancy. Christians should strive to keep a reputation for sincerity and constancy. They should not make promises that aren’t well-thought-out, and they shouldn’t change their plans without good reason, but there are times when we should listen to the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Paul had been prevented from traveling to Corinth as he had planned, giving him time to learn their reaction to his previous letter. If he’d arrived on time, his presence might have interfered with the necessary soul-searching the Corinthians needed to do. They might have become so engrossed in confronting Paul that they might have avoided confronting the ideas Paul had put forth.

For the Son of GodJesus Christthe one who was proclaimed among you by us – by me and Silvanus and Timothy – was not “Yes” and “No,” but it has always been “Yes” in him. For every one of God’s promises are “Yes” in him; therefore also through him the “Amen” is spoken, to the glory   we give to God. But it is God who establishes us together with you in Christ and who anointed us, who also sealed us and gave us the Spirit in our hearts as a down payment. 2 Corinthians 1:19-22

Paul knew their accusations were wrong for spiritual reasons. Paul had preached Jesus as reliable and trustworthy. It wasn’t right for an apostle of such a faithful Savior to be so quickly considered unreliable and untrustworthy. Can we imagine God the Father ever saying “no” to God the Son? God the Father will always say Yes to the Son and will always affirm what the Son says (Amen).

“We might never have had this precious verse if Paul had not been so ill-treated by these men of Corinth. They did him great wrong, and caused him much sorrow of heart . . . yet you see how the evil was overruled by God for good, and through their unsavoury gossip and slander this sweet sentence was pressed out of Paul.” (Charles Spurgeon)

According to my Bible study guides, the only other place where the New Testament speaks about anointing is in 1 John 2:20 and 2:27. Every use speaks of an anointing that is common to all believers, not a special anointing for a few Christian superstars. The idea behind anointed is that we are prepared and empowered for service. The fact that we are anointed means that we share something with the Old Testament prophets, priests, and kings who were also anointed ones.

In the ancient world, a seal was used to identify and to protect. If something was sealed, everyone knew who it belonged to (the seal had an insignia), and the seal prevented anyone else from tampering with the item. The Holy Spirit is upon us to identify us and to protect us.

The word guarantee is the word for a down payment. We have been given the Holy Spirit as a down payment for the fullness of what God will do. The Holy Spirit is a pledge of greater things to come. As Christians, God has purchased us on the lay-away plan and has given us an impressive down payment. He won’t walk away from the final payment because He has so much invested already.

Posted December 3, 2017 by aurorawatcherak in Christianity, Uncategorized

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Concealed Carry Works 6   Leave a comment

From 2015

CONYERS — A customer who fired back at the suspect who killed two people in a Ga. Highway 20 liquor store Sunday afternoon is being hailed as a hero.

Rockdale County Sheriff Eric Levett said at a press conference Monday that Todd C. Scott, 44, a resident of Covington, very likely prevented other customers in the store from losing their lives.


Image result for image of concealed carryLevett said store video from Magnet Bottle Shop showed that the suspect, Jeffrey Scott Pitts, 36, came in the store Sunday afternoon firing a handgun.

“I believe that if Mr. Scott did not return fire at the suspect then more of those customers would have hit by a gun,” said Levett. “It didn’t appear that he cared who he shot or where he was shooting until someone was shooting back at him. So in my opinion he saved other lives in that store.”


Pitts killed a store clerk and a customer before fleeing to his home in the 3500 block of Ebenezer Road where police said he wounded both his mother and father. When officers arrived at the house, Pitts reportedly fired at them and was shot and killed.


Authorities identified the two victims from the liquor store on Monday as Conyers resident Mun Hyuk Cha, 44, the store clerk, and Covington resident Otonicar Jimquez Aikens, 39, a customer at the store. Aikens died at the scene; Cha was transported to Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta where he later died.


At Monday’s press conference at RCSO headquarters, Levett outlined the sequence of events Sunday that sparked the shooting rampage. Pitts, a frequent customer, reportedly went to the package store sometime around noon where he became involved in an argument, possibly over money owed to the store. At some point the store clerk took Pitts’ ID and refused to return it until Pitts reportedly went out to his car, retrieved a handgun, returned inside the store and pointed it at the clerks. He then took his license and left the store.


The incident was reported to the Rockdale County Sheriff’s Office and deputies began to look for Pitts. At one point, Levett said a deputy went to the suspect’s house on Ebenezer Road, but Pitts was not there.

Several hours later, shortly before 5 p.m., Pitts returned to the store and immediately began firing. There were apparently two clerks and four customers in the store at the time.


Pitts then returned home where he wounded his 64-year-old mother and 63-year-old father. Levett said 911 received a “hysterical” call from a woman, apparently Pitts’ mother, and four deputies and one Conyers Police Department officer responded.

Authorities said multiple rounds of gunfire were exchanged between Pitts and Deputy Brad Lockridge before Pitts was fatally wounded. Lockridge was not injured in the incident. Pitts was reportedly armed with a .45-caliber handgun and an AR-15 with a 100-round capacity double drum magazine. Pitts was wearing a ballistics vest and had a weight plate inside the vest.


Georgia Bureau of Investigation spokeswoman Sherry Lang said an autopsy was performed on Pitts at the GBI crime lab on Monday. She said the medical examiner had not released the number of times Pitts was wounded, which wound proved fatal, nor whether he died of a self-inflicted gunshot.


Lang also said that the GBI had video footage of the shootout with authorities and she expected it to be released sometime Tuesday.

Concealed Carry Works 5   Leave a comment

Thomas McCary, 62, allegedly shot at four people, including a one-year-old boy.From 2015

A 62-year-old man with a gun in each hand fired at four people – including a 1-year-old boy – before a civilian with a concealed carry permit returned fire and wounded the shooter, cops told FOX19.

Thomas McCary is being held without bond on four counts of felonious assault.

McCary was arguing with a woman around 8 p.m. Sunday night and, when the woman’s brother, Patrick Ewing, approached, McCary pulled out a .38-caliber handgun and fired three shots at him, Cincinnati police said.

Ewing didn’t get hit, but he did get his own gun and returned fire, wounding McCary in the leg. Ewing had a permit to carry a concealed weapon.

Injured, McCary went into his house to get a second gun and, holding a weapon in each hand, he fired three shots in the direction of the woman, Jeaneta Walker, her 1-year-old son and a third man.

Ewing fired at McCary again to try to distract him as the victims fled indoors. McCary squeezed off a few more rounds, hitting no one, before withdrawing into his apartment, reported.

McCary was taken to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, where he was arrested at 2:30 a.m. He was treated, released and booked into the Hamilton County Jail by 3:42 a.m. McCary is scheduled to face a judge Monday morning.

Concealed Carry Works 4   Leave a comment

From May 2017

Before he was shot about 6:15 p.m., the gunman killed the manager of Zona Caliente in the 6500 block of South Cooper Street, police spokesman Christopher Cook said.

Police later identified the gunman as 48-year-old James Jones of Grand Prairie and the victim as 37-year-old Cesar Perez of Duncanville. The man who killed Jones has not been identified.

Authorities later found two loaded guns and two knives on Jones, Cook said Thursday.

“We do believe he had the capacity to do much greater harm,” Cook said.

One other person was hurt, though it wasn’t clear if it was a restaurant customer or employee. Police said that person was injured by glass while trying to get out.

Friends took to social media to honor Perez.

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