Gun control only affects the law-abiding because criminals (by definition) do not obey the law.

Why, therefore, control the guns of the law-abiding while criminals continue heavily armed?

At the top of our nation’s newspapers and on prime-time TV news was the case of 21-year-old Dylann Storm Roof of Charleston, South Carolina, a high-school dropout after ninth grade.

Roof is a white man with a bowl haircut. He entered a historic black Charleston church and reportedly sat down next to the church’s pastor, the Rev. and Honorable Clementa Pinckney, who was also a state senator.

After about one hour of this Bible study, according to police reports, Roof pulled out a gun and killed nine people.

Roof, who was arrested Thursday, now likely faces capital murder charges in one of this nation’s most conservative states.

President Obama, who personally knew the slain pastor, called the killings “senseless” and used the attack to renew his call for gun control.

That led Erich Pratt, spokesman for Gun Owners of America, to note with obvious regret that the Rev. Pinckney was “an anti-gun activist who had voted against concealed-carry legislation.

“One of the biggest problems … is that the potential victims were disarmed by law. But the president completely misses all of this. He ignores the fact that this was yet another example where a massacre took place in a gun-free zone.”

Eight years ago, another gunman named Matthew Murray never got as far as Dylann Roof.

Murray had already shot and killed two people in the parking lot when he entered the New Life Church in Colorado Springs. But before he could pull the trigger again, this 24-year-old shooter was gunned down by Jeanne Assam, a volunteer security guard, who had a concealed-carry permit.

Even though Ms. Assam was credited with saving as many as 100 lives that day, a dozen states continue to restrict the carrying of concealed firearms in churches.

Would you be prepared to defend yourself and other innocents in a surprise attack? Find out what one courageous churchgoer did to protect others in the film and book “Shooting Back: The Right and Duty of Self-Defense”

The Emanuel AME Church shooting that left nine dead Wednesday prompted not just a surge in calls from the left for tighter gun-control laws, but also pleas from the right for churches to protect themselves by allowing their parishioners to pack heat.

Kenneth Blackwell, a Second Amendment advocate and former Ohio secretary of state, said houses of worship could take themselves out of the line of fire by taking down the “gun-free zone” signs and letting it be known that law-abiding concealed-carry permit holders – and their guns – are welcome.

Churches have become the targets of opportunity for deranged people, Mr. Blackwell said, “particularly if they assume that folks are not armed.”

Dylann Roof, by this year under pressure from his parents to get a job, was hanging around a local mall, asking shopkeepers what time their stores opened and closed.

That drew the attention of police. Then, a few months ago, Roof was arrested on drug charges.

That he should have been held by police is seen in the fact that so shortly after that arrest, Roof opened fire, murdering six women and three men.

South Carolina Republican Gov. Nikki Haley declared:

“The heart and soul of South Carolina is broken.”

A Washington Post editorial noted that Charleston’s mayor, Democrat Joseph Riley, was “visibly angry in talking about the lack of a major national effort to tighten gun laws.”

But how much of an effect would such a major national tightening of gun laws have upon the criminals who have lots of guns – and no respect for the law?

Media wishing to interview Les Kinsolving, please contact [email protected].

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