Memes have a way of making the rounds very quickly on social media, and with the disturbingly horrific mass murder in Sutherland Springs, Texas days ago, it’s no surprise this meme is being shared on social media.
Yes, many liberals are blaming the NRA as well as the lack of gun control for what happened. However, the facts aren’t backing up that claim.
A Thumbnail History Lesson
Sutherland Springs First Baptist church was the oldest operating church in the community. Dr. John Sutherland brought his medical knowledge to the area during the Battle of Alamo, and four years later, the area where he and his family lived became known as Sutherland Springs. He was also the postmaster.
Who was Devin Patrick Kelley?
He married his first wife in 2011, two years after graduating from high school and a year after enlisting in the military where he was responsible for moving passengers, cargo, and personal property in military transportation, or what is called Logistics Readiness.
A year later in 2012, he sneaked firearms onto Holloman Air Force Base, and allegedly threatened his commanders. That same year, he was accused of assaulting his then-wife and stepson. He was accused of pointing a loaded firearm as well as an unloaded firearm at his then-wife (the charges were subsequently withdrawn and dismissed with prejudice). He was court martialed, and found guilty of the charges against him. He received a reduction to the lowest possible rank, and served a year in military prison with his final duty title being “prisoner.”
The Air Force chief prosecutor stated to the media that the shooter had violently shaken his stepson which resulted in fractures in the child’s skull and bleeding between the skull and the brain. The shooter could have gotten as much as five years in a military prison even though there was no doubt of the shooter’s guilt.
While the shooter was in jail, his first wife filed for divorce (the divorce was granted and finalized in October 2012).
He was investigated for sexual assault and rape in 2013 in Comal County but was not charged in the case.
In February 2014 (the year he received a bad conduct discharge from the military), a disturbance at an address where he and his then-girlfriend (who became his second ex-wife) lived was called in to the police and law enforcement responded. No one was charged as he told the police the situation was nothing more than teenage drama and a misunderstanding between the two.
SIDE NOTE 1: The two married two months after this incident.
That same year, he was arrested in El Paso County (CO) on animal cruelty charges. At the mobile home park where he lived in Colorado Springs (CO), neighbors reported him for beating his puppy with a closed fist. The sheriff’s department arrested and charged him. The shooter was given a deferred probationary sentence and ordered to pay restitution, and a protection order was issued against him on behalf of the local Humane Society.
He was investigated on two separate occasions by local authorities in Comal County on allegations of abuse against women.
There were accounts by former girlfriends of the shooter stalking and harassing them long after they stopped dating. Two of his former girlfriends who dated him years earlier stated that his behavior was disturbing and violent after they broke up with him. One former girlfriend said that when he was 18 and she was 13, she broke up with him and he continued to harass her long after the relationship ended.
And he had a number of minor traffic offenses.
His second ex-wife (with whom he had a child) was previously a teacher at the Sutherland Springs First Baptist Church.
He had a record of violence, and he had a history of texting threats to his second ex-wife’s mother-in-law.
He worked for 5 1/2 weeks as a licensed, unarmed seasonal security guard, having passed a criminal background check. His employment was terminated mid-season in July with a spokesperson for the employer stating the shooter was not a good fit with the business.
He posted anti-God statements, was vocally anti-Christian, and claimed to be an atheist. He was a member of a number of atheist groups according to his Facebook page (which has since been deleted).
Who Went After The Shooter?
The man who chased after the shooter is local plumber Stephen Willeford, a former NRA instructor and fourth-generation resident of Sutherland Springs (TX). When he ran out of his house with his shotgun, he ran outside barefoot. As the shooter ran off, Willeford got off two shots, hitting the shooter: One struck him in the leg, and the other struck him in the torso.
SIDE NOTE 2: The shooter died of a self-inflicted gun shot wound to the head.
Johnnie Langendorff was the driver of the pick-up truck used to chase after the shooter. When the shooter took off in a truck, Willeford ran up to Langendorff, told him the driver of the truck had shot up people in the church, and jumped into his pick-up truck. Langendorff kept up as best he could, reaching speeds of up to 95 mph, when the shooter lost control of his vehicle, and flew off the road on a sharp curve near 307 and 539.
The Shooter Used An AR-15 In The Assault
According to CNN reporter Aaron Smith, mass shootings during the Obama administration years led to a surge in sales for AR-15s which is the type of gun the shooter used. He also reported that after Trump won the presidential election, gun sales for AR-15s dropped.
The reporter also stated a modern version of the AR-15 is what U.S. soldiers, and the AR-15 has been used by U.S. soldiers since the Vietnam War.
The Fifth Worst Mass Shooting in the U.S.
The worst mass shootings in the U.S. in the past 25 years are:
Las Vegas (NV) in 2017 when 58 people were killed
Orlando (FL) in 2016 when 49 people were killed
Virginia Tech (VA) in 2007 when 32 people were killed
Sandy Hook (CT) in 2012 when 27 were killed
Sutherland Springs (TX) in 2017 when 26 people were killed
In the end, the shooter in Sutherland Springs (TX) murdered 4% of the town’s population.
About The Meme
Compiling the information into an understandable overview of what happened, the meme is correct in stating the allegations made by liberals are little more than cognitive dissonance on the left’s part. Devin Patrick Kelley wasn’t a conservative Christian NRA member.
Devin Patrick Kelley was an atheist whose views were liberal.
His murderous rampage was stopped thanks to a law-abiding NRA member who was a conservative Christian who attended a different church in town, and thanks to another caring person who also gave chase after the shooter.
Who Should Be Blamed For This?
There’s more than enough blame to go around including whoever in the military did not forward the shooter’s criminal record to the proper civilian authorities, and whoever in law enforcement may be responsible for making the animal cruelty and domestic violence and other important information available to those entitled to know about these incidents. Someone with the history the shooter had should not have been able to pass a criminal records check.
But rest assured what happened has nothing to do with the NRA or with gun control laws or those who hold conservative views. It doesn’t even have to do with Christianity or atheism, believe it or not.
It has to do with a severely disturbed individual who believed he had the right to harm others for reasons that will only ever be known to him.
ADDITIONAL SUGGESTED READING
ABOUT 4% OF TEXAS TOWN’S POPULATION KILLED IN CHURCH SHOOTING
DAVID KELLEY WAS AN OUTCAST WHO PREACHED HIS ATHEISM
FBI SEEKING ACCESS TO THE SUTHERLAND SPRINGS SHOOTER’S iPHONE
HERO EXCHANGED FIRE WITH GUNMAN, THEN HELPED CHASE HIM DOWN
HISTORY OF VIOLENCE, THREATS PRECEDED SUTHERLAND SPRINGS CHURCH SHOOTING
IN 2012 ASSAULT, TEXAS GUNMAN BROKE SKULL OF INFANT STEPSON
MAN WHO SHOT TEXAS CHURCH GUNMAN SHARES HIS STORY
MASS SHOOTERS OFTEN HAVE DOMESTIC VIOLENCE TRAIT
MENACING TEXAS CHURCH GUNMAN LEFT SERIES OF RED FLAGS
TEXAS CHURCH GUNMAN ESCAPED MENTAL HEALTH FACILITY IN 2012
TEXAS CHURCH SHOOTER DEVIN PATRICK KELLEY’S TROUBLE PAST EMERGES
TEXAS CHURCH SHOOTER WAS A MILITANT ATHEIST
TEXAS HERO’S DAUGHTER SHARES STORY
VIOLENCE FOLLOWED TEXAS CHURCH GUNMAN AFTER HIGH SCHOOL
WHAT WE KNOW ABOUT THE RIFLE USED IN THE TEXAS CHURCH MASSACRE
WHO WAS TEXAS CHURCH GUNMAN DEVIN PATRICK KELLEY?