Sun. May 15th, 2022

My wife, Gena, and I were shocked this past week when we heard that 59-year-old Scott Harkness was gunned down in cold blood on Feb. 6. He was a member of the special needs community in Scottsdale, Arizona, an active participant in the city’s Adaptive Recreation Program, and a star athlete with the Scottsdale Special Olympics Team, the Bobcats.

ABC15 (Arizona) reported, “Scott was well known and well loved. Friends would meet up with him at Zipps Sports Grill in Scottsdale almost every weekend. That is also where friends say he was last seen before being shot and killed.”

Anna Ellis, one of Scott’s former coaches for the Bobcats, explained about him: “How happy he was. I mean, he made you happy. He excelled in everything that he did. You will never, you’re not going to find a better athlete than what we had in Scottie.”

Jim Curry, recreation leader II, City of Scottsdale, said about Scott: “There were people that would come in here and bring him cookies on a regular basis, a couple of times a week. ‘Give these to Scottie; give these to Scottie.’ That’s the type of impact he had on these people.”

Scott was also an honorary assistant coach, helping mentor younger athletes and making sure they were prepared for upcoming competition.

“This man loved the organization of the equipment. He would tell us what we needed to order; he would tell us what we needed to do to improve,” said Ellis.

Scott enjoyed setting up for kickboxing classes, even moving giant heavy bags on his own.

Curry said, “They’re not easy, and he would throw them around like rag dolls.”

With Scott’s love of kickboxing, I heard he was also a big fan of mine, as is shown in this other news broadcast where he’s wearing a few Chuck Norris T-shirts.

Well, I must say that Scott was not half the fan of mine that he is now to Gena and me!

Scott, like your beloved family, though we greatly mourn your passing, we will fight to keep your spirit, life and legacy living for decades to come. You and your labors will not be in vain!

Scott was a great American and a model citizen. This senseless crime should have never happened, just like so many similar murders every day across our country.

I was watching the news the other day, and the broadcast reported that President Biden’s solution to reduce the all-time-high increases in violent crime is to increase gun regulation in hope of preventing bad guys from getting guns. But he simply doesn’t realize that the great majority of bad guys don’t get guns legally, so no amount of increased regulation is going to prevent them from obtaining one.

Richard Schoeberl, program chair at the School of Social Sciences, Criminal Justice and Homeland Security at The Justice Center in Tennessee, said the “majority of the guns used in criminal acts were either stolen or obtained from an underground market on the street.”

“The remainder obtained it from a family member or friend,” he continued. “There is also rise across the country with the theft of guns from vehicles, and those guns are thus in turn used in crimes. Because the handgun will never be registered by the person who stole it, it will make it difficult for law enforcement to track until it is ultimately used in a crime.”

Liberals and progressives want you to believe that more gun regulations and restrictions will reduce violent crimes, but the truth is that they only cripple law-abiding citizens from their rights and abilities to defend themselves. There’s global evidence to prove it. And to boot, gun-free zones further enable criminals to know where innocent Americans abide for indefensible open-warfare.

Dana Loesch, who has researched the issue of guns and violent crimes around the world and documented it in her outstanding book, “Hands Off My Gun: Defeating the Plot to Disarm America,” explained two critical facts:

  1. Fewer guns don’t equate to fewer violent crimes. Loesch explained: “Honduras has 21 times the gun murders that we do and 14 times fewer guns.” End of argument.
  2. Stricter gun laws don’t equate to fewer violent crimes. Proof for that is found in the 2015 Charleston AME Church shooting. Loesch again elaborated: “In South Carolina, all you have to do is be charged with a felony to be declared illegitimate to carry [a firearm], which [the shooter] was in February of 2015. He was charged with a felony for drug possession. It was methamphetamines and cocaine. His father purchased a firearm for him for his 21st birthday, April 4, 2015. That could have been a straw man purchase, which is also a felony. He reportedly told someone that he stole the gun that he used in these murders. That’s also a felony. Felony, felony, felony.” No increase of gun regulation or laws stopped him from obtaining a gun, just as in the case of Sandy Hook tragedy or the Santa Fe high school shooting.

And I need to repeat some stats I gave in last week’s column.

John Lott, the president of the Crime Prevention Research Center , former senior adviser for research and statistics at the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Policy, and most recently the author of “Gun Control Myths,” rightly pointed out this last week: “But [Biden’s] ‘guns first’ approach ignores a basic fact – over 92% of violent crimes in America do not involve firearms. And while Biden blames guns for the increase in violent crime, the latest data show that gun crimes fell dramatically.”

Lott backed up his claims with the following evidence:

The U.S. Department of Justice’s National Crime Victimization Survey, in the latest year available (2020), shows that there were 4,558,150 rapes, robberies, and aggravated assaults, and the FBI reports 21,570 murders. Of those, 350,460 rapes, robberies, and aggravated assaults (see Table 8) and 13,620 murders involved firearms. Adding those numbers up, 7.9% of violent crimes involved use of guns.

Relying on public health researchers, Democrats blame increasing gun sales as the cause. But while violent crime reported to police rose 5% in 2020, you can’t blame that increase on guns because gun crimes actually fell by 27%. The National Crime Victimization Survey also finds a similar 27% drop.

It’s often been said and is true: The only thing that can stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun, as was shown years ago through the heroic and courageous deeds of a Texas neighbor of the Sutherland Church massacre.

The answer to reduce the massive increase in violent crime in America’s cities is twofold: 1. Immediately rescind any and all formal decisions to defund police departments across the nation, and then refund and bolster their needs and resources in every community. 2. Remind, teach and train all good Americans that they have a right to self-defense as clearly stated in the U.S. Constitution’s Second Amendment.

Do law-abiding good Americans have recourse for protection against bad guys? Absolutely! It’s called the Second Amendment. It’s 27 words are clear and concise, needing no further commentary or regulation: “A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” Could it get any clearer? The right of the people!

To cite an even higher source, I turn to the Good Book – the Bible. With the season of Lent, the 40-day period before Easter, coming up in a few weeks, I recently reread what I consider one of the most fascinating verses in the Bible – words Jesus gave His followers right before His death and departure from earth: “But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one.”

It fascinates but doesn’t surprise me that Jesus said that, and that He did so just before leaving earth. It’s because He knew this fallen world was a dangerous place. And while He promised to protect us and provide for us, He knew we would play a part too, just as participation plays a role in every other area of life from work to parenting. As I’ve said before, faith is not an excuse to ignore self-defense. They both exist to protect us, and Jesus agreed.

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