The Second Amendment Saves Lives

Status

The New York Post posted a story yesterday about a shooting in a restaurant in Oklahoma City. A man walked into the restaurant and began shooting, injuring two people. A person in the restaurant who had a gun shot the gunman, killing him. The two people shot by the gunman are in the hospital recovering.

How long would it have taken for the police to respond to the incident? Would anyone have had a chance to call the police before being shot? How many people would have been shot before the police got there?

This is an example of the basic fact that the quickest way to stop an evil person with a gun is to have a good person with a gun at the scene. I am not supporting creating ‘the wild west,’ but there have been a few shootings recently where having an armed person at the scene saved lives.

We have the resources to put trained people in our schools with guns. There are a number of ways this can be done without breaking the budgets of the schools. One suggestion I have heard is to ask retired policemen or retired military personnel to stand guard a few days a week in return for tax breaks on their local taxes. There are other ways to do this, but that is one suggestion.

The bottom line is simple–having a well-trained, armed person at the scene of a shooting saves lives.

Symbolism Over Substance?

There is a conflict in America right now as to the exact meaning of the First Amendment as regards to religious freedom. One of the questions being asked is whether or not Christians who choose to enter the business world still have the right to act according to their Christian beliefs. Does a Christian businessman have the right to choose who he does business with? In January I posted a story about a couple who is required to do re-education training because they refused to host a homosexual wedding. I had never considered re-education training as an American concept.

The latest chapter in the war against Christian ideas in the marketplace has occurred in Oklahoma. Eagle Rising posted a story on February 27th about a law proposed by an Oklahoma Democrat in the state legislature.

The article reports:

Democrat state Rep. Emily Virgin believes that Christian businesses should be forced to post a public notice that they will be discriminating against homosexuals, if those businesses are to be allowed to claim the right to refuse service based on religious beliefs.

That’s right, if you’re a Christian businessman in Oklahoma and you don’t believe that you should be forced to participate in a gay wedding, Democrats want to force your business to post a public scarlet letter detailing your “bigoted” beliefs!

This is the text of the law:

“Any person not wanting to participate in any of the activities set forth in subsection A of this section based on sexual orientation, gender identity or race of either party to the marriage shall post notice of such refusal in a manner clearly visible to the public in all places of business, including websites. The notice may refer to the person’s religious beliefs, but shall state specifically which couples the business does not serve by referring to a refusal based upon sexual orientation, gender identity or race.”

The law was suggested in response to a Republican bill that would allow Christian businessmen to operate their businesses in accordance with Biblical principles.

The article further notes:

The right to practice your faith as you see fit (as long as you aren’t infringing on the rights of others) is the cornerstone of our nation’s stability and health. Along with that, the right to choose who we do business with and when we do business is the very foundation of free market capitalism. The moment we allow the government (or some fascist group of rabid socialists) to force us to act against our religious beliefs, or force us to work as indentured servants at the beck and call of others… that is the moment that we have LOST our nation.

Something to consider as we approach this election season.

What Happens Next?

On Thursday, CNS News reported the following:

U.S. District Judge Ronald White concluded Tuesday that the IRS rule altering the Obamacare law and providing billions in subsidies is “arbitrary, capricious and abuse of discretion“:

“The court holds that the IRS rule is arbitrary, capricious, and abuse of discretion or otherwise not in accordance with law, pursuant to 5 U.S.C.706(2)(A), in excess of summary jurisdiction, authority or limitation, or short of statutory right, pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 706(2)(C), or otherwise is an invalidation of the ACA [Affordable Care Act], and is hereby vacated. The court’s order of vacatur is stayed, however, pending resolution of any appeal from this order.”

The subsidies were a major part of ObamaCare. I am sure this case will be making its way up to the Supreme Court. Meanwhile, there will be more uncertainty about ObamaCare, and people and businesses will be waiting to see what happens before wanting to spend any extra money they may currently have.

The article concludes:

Oklahoma Sen. Jim Inhofe (R) also praised Judge White’s decision, saying that the Obama Administration is trying to fix a legally-dubious law using waivers and exemptions:

“Today’s decision is a reminder that the President’s broken promises of affordable, accessible health care are the result of broken policy. The Obama Administration has tried to make the law work with waivers and exemptions, but the courts continue to confront the legality of this legislation that was rushed through a Democrat-controlled Congress.”

“While it will undoubtedly take time for Oklahoma’s case to play out in the federal court system, I am confident in Attorney General Scott Pruitt and that our state’s argument will prevail.”

Tuesday’s decision is the latest in a wave of court losses for Obamacare.

Currently, over a hundred lawsuits have been filed against Obamacare – and Obamacare has lost 91% of the cases decided to-date, (71 losses out of 78 decisions), according to the latest tally by The Beckett Fund.

Stay tuned and get out the popcorn.

Have We Lost The Tenth Amendment?

The Tenth Amendment to the U. S. Constitution states:

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

In today’s language that simply means that if a power is not specifically stated in the Constitution as belonging to the federal government, that power is to be exercised by the states. So how in the world did we ever get a Department of Education? We did, and now we are beginning to see the dangers of the fact that we did.

The State of Oklahoma has chosen to opt out of the Common Core education program. Because of that decision, the U.S. Department of Education has rescinded Oklahoma’s waiver from No Child Left Behind (NCLB). So what does this mean?

On Thursday, Breitbart.com posted an article explaining what is going on:

The loss of the waiver means that 100 percent of Oklahoma students must be performing math and reading at grade level at most schools by this school year. The USED expects the state to use student test results from last school year to determine which schools are meeting the requirement. Those schools that fall short will have to take steps toward improvement, which could include a total reconfiguration of the staff or a private or state takeover of the school.

Oklahoma will also have to set aside about $29 million in federal Title I dollars to pay for tutoring, school choice, and professional development.

I don’t have a problem with setting high standards for students. I do have a problem with the government strong arming a state to allow the federal government to take over the state’s educational system.

The article reminds us:

The fact that Oklahoma’s waiver was denied while Indiana was granted an extension makes it clear that, despite the protests of Common Core supporters that the standards are “voluntary” and “state-led,” the federal government is, in fact, determining which states will receive reprieves from federal restrictions based on their choices of academic standards.

The Oklahoma congressional delegation released the following statement regarding the issue:

“The Obama Administration doesn’t like when Oklahomans buck big government regulations, and today the Administration responded by penalizing our children with failing to grant the one-year extension of the ESEA flexibility,” said Sen. Jim Inhofe (R).

“Oklahomans want education reform that sets standards created and certified by Oklahoma’s institutions, community leaders, and parents,” Inhofe added. “Instead of supporting these values, the Obama Administration has chosen to make it more expensive and difficult to achieve the state’s education goals that, once met, will exceed the requirements set by the U.S. Department of Education.”

“As seen with ObamaCare taxes or the Endangered Species Act rulings, today’s decision continues the trend of this Administration punishing Oklahoma for making decisions that represent the goals and interests of its constituents,” the senator said.

“Our state stood firm against further federal intrusion into the education of our children by rejecting the Common Core curriculum and determining that local educational leaders could best develop the appropriate curriculum for Oklahoma students,” said Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R). “Instead of applauding this constitutional decision and leadership, the Obama Administration decided today to reject the requested one year extension of flexibility previously granted to Oklahoma under ESEA.”

“This politically motivated decision is the perfect example of how the unconstitutional federalization of education has effectively taken away the power reserved for the states and the people by our founders,” Bridenstine continued. “It’s time to abolish the federal Department of Education and return power to the states consistent with the 10th Amendment.”

Pay attention. This is coming to your state in the very near future.

How Far Do States’ Rights Go?

KWKT,com posted a story yesterday (updated today) about the federal government’s latest land grab. Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott has written a letter to Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Director Neil Kornze about a BLM potential seizure of land that rightfully belongs to Texas landowners.

This is the letter:

April 22, 2014
The Honorable Neil Kornze
Director
Bureau of Land Management
U.S. Department of the Interior
1849 C Street NW, Rm. 5665
Washington, DC 20240
Dear Director Kornze:
Respect for property rights and the rule of law are fundamental principles in the State of Texas and the United States. When governments simply ignore those principles, it threatens the foundation of our free and prosperous society. That is why I am deeply concerned about reports that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is considering taking property in the State of Texas and that it now claims belongs to the federal government. Given the seriousness of this situation, I feel compelled to seek answers regarding the BLM’s intentions and legal authority with respect to Texas territory adjacent to the Red River.

I understand that your office is in the early stages of developing a plan—known as a Resource Management Plan/Environmental Impact Statement (RMP/EIS)—to regulate the use of federal lands along a 116-mile stretch of the Red River. As Attorney General of Texas, I am deeply troubled by reports from BLM field hearings that the federal government may claim—for the first time—that 90,000 acres of territory along the Red River now belong to the federal government.

Private landowners in Texas have owned, maintained, and cultivated this land for generations. Despite the long-settled expectations of these hard-working Texans along the Red River, the BLM appears to be threatening their private property rights by claiming ownership over this territory. Yet, the BLM has failed to disclose either its full intentions or the legal justification for its proposed actions. Decisions of this magnitude must not be made inside a bureaucratic black box.

Nearly a century ago, the U.S. Supreme Court determined that the gradient line of the south bank of the Red River—subject to the doctrines of accretion and avulsion—was the boundary between Texas and Oklahoma. Oklahoma v. Texas, 260 U.S. 606 (1923). More recently, in 1994, the BLM stated that the Red River area was “[a] unique situation” and stated that “[t]he area itself cannot be defined until action by the U.S. Congress establishes the permanent state boundary between Oklahoma and Texas.” Further, the BLM determined that one possible scenario was legislation that established the “south geologic cut bank as the boundary,” which could have resulted “in up to 90,000 acres” of newly delineated federal land. But no such legislation was ever enacted.

Instead, in 2000, the U.S. Congress enacted legislation ratifying an interstate boundary compact agreed to by the State of Texas and the State of Oklahoma. With Congress’ ratification of the Red River Boundary Compact, federal law now provides that the boundary between Texas and Oklahoma is “the vegetation on the south bank of the Red River . . .”—not the “south geologic cut bank.” Given this significant legal development, it is not at all clear what legal basis supports the BLM’s claim of federal ownership over private property that abuts the Red River in the State of Texas.

This issue is of significant importance to the State of Texas and its private property owners. As Attorney General of Texas, I am deeply concerned about the notion that the BLM believes the federal government has the authority to swoop in and take land that has been owned and cultivated by Texas landowners for generations. Accordingly, I hereby request that you or your staff respond in writing to this letter by providing the following information as soon as possible:
1. Please delineate with specificity each of the steps for the RMP/EIS process for property along the Red River.

2. Please describe the procedural due process the BLM will afford to Texans whose property may be claimed by the federal government.

3. Please confirm whether the BLM agrees that, from 1923 until the ratification of the Red River Boundary Compact, the boundary between Texas and Oklahoma was the gradient line of the south bank of the Red River. To the extent the BLM does not agree, please provide legal analysis supporting the BLM’s position.

4. Please confirm whether the BLM still considers Congress’ ratification of the Red River Boundary Compact as determinative of its interest in land along the Red River? To the extent the BLM does not agree, please provide legal analysis supporting the BLM’s new position.

5. Please delineate with specificity the amount of Texas territory that would be impacted by the BLM’s decision to claim this private land as the property of the federal government.
In short, the BLM’s newly asserted claims to land along the Red River threaten to upset long-settled private property rights and undermine fundamental principles—including the rule of law—that form the foundation of our democracy. It is incumbent on BLM to promptly disclose both the process it intends to follow and the legal justification for its position.
Sincerely,
Greg Abbott
Attorney General of Texas

At least Texas has an Attorney General that is willing to stand up for the rights of its citizens.

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If You Can’t Beat It, Charge For It

The quest for individual energy independence has increased as utility rates have risen due to the environmental policies of the Obama Administration. If the Obama Administration continues its war on coal, we can expect electricity rates to go even higher. As that happen, people are looking for ways to generate their own electricity and cut their utility bills. Well, not so fast.

Think Progress, a progressive organization, posted an article yesterday reporting that Oklahoma will be charging consumers who provide their own energy through solar panels or windmills an additional fee (read “tax”).

The article reports:

On Monday, S.B. 1456 passed the state House 83-5 after no debate. The measure creates a new class of customers: those who install distributed power generation systems like solar panels or small wind turbines on their property and sell the excess energy back to the grid. While those with systems already installed won’t be affected, the new class of customers will now be charged a monthly fee — a shift that happened quickly and caught many in the state off guard.

“We knew nothing about it and all of a sudden it’s attached to some other bill,” Ctaci Gary, owner of Sun City Oklahoma, told ThinkProgress. “It just appeared out of nowhere.”

The article further reported:

The bill was staunchly opposed by renewable energy advocates, environmental groups and the conservative group TUSK, but had the support of Oklahoma’s major utilities. “Representatives of Oklahoma Gas and Electric Co. and Public Service Co. of Oklahoma said the surcharge is needed to recover some of the infrastructure costs to send excess electricity safely from distributed generation back to the grid,” the Oklahoman reported.

Adding the surcharge is not smart. The advantage of people adding individual solar panels or windmills to their homes is that the panels can generate electricity during peak use times and prevent utility companies from having problems meeting the demand at those times. Obviously, the surcharge will discourage people from adding either panels or windmills. I suspect that a single small windmill does not create some of the problems that a large wind farm causes.

Allowing people who choose to add alternative power to their homes should not be a political issue. If the addition conforms to community standards, the use of alternative energy should be welcomed. If the utility companies have become so powerful that they can prevent the individual from becoming energy independent, it is time to elect people to government that will stand up against those companies. I don’t want to deny anyone a profit, but I also don’t want to see people denied the opportunity to become energy independent.

Sometimes conservation measures are not welcomed by bureaucrats. In the small town we used to live in, residents were asked to conserve water. After we had done our best to do that, the residents were told that because we were using less water, the Water Department was forced to raise the water rate to cover expenses. Simply speaking, that is not fair.

 

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Oklahoma Moves To Ditch Common Core

Yesterday National Review Online posted an article announcing that Oklahoma is preparing to withdraw the state from the Common Core standards.

The article reports:

The bill to get the Sooner State (out) was hugely popular in both houses. House Bill 3399 was approved by the state house in a 78 to 12 vote before being sent to the state senate for amendments. On Tuesday, the state senate voted 37 to 10 in favor of the bill. The bill will now go to the House for another vote before being sent to the governor’s desk.

Oklahoma was one of the first states to adopt the Common Core standards in June of 2010, after a vote by the state board of education. However, the Sooner State later dropped out of the Common Core’s standardized testing consortium in the summer of 2013. Fallin then issued an executive order in December directing the Secretary of Education to make sure the federal government “does not intrude in Oklahoma’s development of academic curricula and teaching strategies.”

Evidently Governor Fallin took a closer look at the curricula and teaching strategies.

The problem with Common Core is not the idea of setting standards–we all want high educational standards for our children and grandchildren. The problem with Common Core is the curricula and teaching strategies–the method used to teach math to elementary children is so complex that people with advanced degrees struggle with it. Some of the reading material recommended in the curricula is not age-appropriate for any age. One textbook recommended to be used with Common Core for high school history describes America as the aggressor in World War II. Again, the problem is not the standards–it’s the curricula and teaching strategies.

I hope that more states will follow the example of Indiana (which has already opted out of Common Core) and Oklahoma.

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The Problem With Playing Politics With A Tragedy

In the current world of the Internet, it would behoove politicians to look into past statements regarding a tragedy before making total fools of themselves.

Yesterday’s Daily Caller posted a story about comments made by Rhode Island’s Democratic Senator Sheldon Whitehouse after the tornado outbreak in Oklahoma. Senator Whitehouse spent 15 minutes chastising GOP senators for denying the theory of anthropogenic global warming. The implication being, of course, that the tornadoes were the result of global warming and that if the Republicans would just acknowledge global warming, the tornadoes wouldn’t have happened. Right. He somehow forgot to mention that tornadoes in the middle of the country in the spring are more common that hurricanes on the east coast in the summer. But it gets better.

A blogger named Steven Goddard posted the following Newsweek article from April 1975:

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This is the link to the entire article.

The Senator does not need to play politics with this tragedy. What he does need to do is to figure out a way to get aid to the people affected by creating a bill that will help them that does not include tons of pork-barrel spending. I strongly suggest that he devote his time to crafting that bill rather than citing science that has already been proven to be faulty.

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A Concise, Honest Statement About The Fiscal Cliff

Yesterday Real Clear Politics posted a video and transcript of a statement made by Senator Tom Coburn on Face the Nation.

This is the statement:

SEN. TOM COBURN (R-OKLAHOMA): The characterization is no matter where we raise taxes, what’s going to happen wit the money? We’re going to grow the government with it. We’re not going to reduce the deficit, because we refused to solve the bigger problems like saving Medicare, insuring Social Security Disability (SSI). We’re not going to use that money to do anything except continue to grow the government.

So, the characterization is that we’re wanting to protect — what we’re wanting to do is to make sure we have a dynamic economy. And I have no problems, I’ve been out there for a long time with saying those who are making more ought to contribute more, but where does that money go? And what do you do with the money? Do you do something with the money that will actually get us further down the road and fix our ultimate long-term problem, which is we’re bankrupt? And we went off the cliff two years ago when we covered 90% of our debt-to-GDP? And by the way, if you actually look at it the way every other country [does], our debt-to-GDP right now is 120%. Not 90%, not 100%, it’s 120%.

So, if you look at that, what’s ultimately going to happen — one last fact, the average Greek citizen‘s debt, for their country, is $36,000; we’re at $51,000 per person in this country. We’re becoming Greece, and we have a government where we’re willing to pay the taxes for 65% of the cost of it. We need to change that. We need both, we need to do both.

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This Story Ended Well Because We Have The Second Amendment

A website called Newsok.com posted the following story on Friday. Kendra St. Clair, a twelve-year old, was home alone on Wednesday. Her mother is a single parent who works two jobs and had to work that day. Kendra’s brother attends a different school and did not have the day off.

This is the story:

Kendra, a sixth-grader at Calera Elementary, called her mother about 9:30 a.m. Wednesday to say a man was ringing the doorbell and banging on the door, St. Clair said.

“She said he was continuously ringing the doorbell and when no one answered he opened the screen door and started banging on the door,” St. Clair said. “She told me she didn’t know where he had gone after that.”

St. Clair told her daughter to get her .40-caliber Glock pistol and go into the bathroom closet, which has reinforced locks on the door.

“She heard him break into the back door,” St. Clair said. “He knew someone was in there because she was watching TV and had paused it.”

According to the 911 recording, the intruder was inside the house for about six minutes while Kendra was told by the dispatcher to stay on the phone and keep it on speaker.

“The bathroom light switch makes a noise when you turn it on and Kendra heard it,” St. Clair said.

As Kendra saw the door knob turn slowly, she fired the gun, her mother said.

Jones was hit in the chest, Undersheriff Ken Golden said.

Jones ran out of the house and was chased down by Bryan County officers, he said.

Without the Second Amendment, this story might have had a very different ending.Enhanced by Zemanta

Where Your Tax Dollars Went…

The Daily Caller posted an article yesterday featuring Oklahoma Republican Senator Tom Coburn‘s “Wastebook 2012.”

The highlights:

The annual list of 100 of the most wasteful projects and redundancies includes everything from a $300,000 initiative to market caviar, $516,000 to create a video game simulating a high school prom night, a government funded study to find out if golfers perform better when they imagine a bigger hole, $947,000 spent on studying what food people could eat on Mars, and part of a $325,000 grant spent on a robotic squirrel.

Coburn also points out tax loopholes for professional sports that list themselves as non-profit organizations, pointing out that that status affords the NFL, NHL, and PGA  receive $89.9 million in de facto government subsidies. The report also delves into the mismanagement of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program — or food stamps — which has resulted in $4.5 billion spent on things like Starbucks, alcohol, guns, and junk food.

After reading this, I wonder if we should be more concerned about taxing the NFL, NHL, and the PGA instead of all this talk about millionaires and billionaires. Guess what, even if all profession sports were taxed more, people would still pay outrageous prices for tickets.
Please follow the link above to the article. Based on this article, any Congressman responsible for these expenditures needs to be given a different job in November. I strongly recommend that those Congressmen should be asked to live in the private sector economy they have created.
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When The Media Manufactures A Story

There have been a number of incidents of data being altered by scientists claiming that global warming will kill us all yesterday. It is good to remember that these are many of the same scientists who in 1985 warned us of the coming Ice Age. Well, we are still here, and the weather warms and cools as it always has. Well, now some of the media people who support the theory of global warming have really gone over the edge.

On Thursday the Daily Caller posted a story about a blog called ThinkProgress that posted a picture of melting street lights in Oklahoma and claimed that the melting was due to global warming. It turns out that the melting was caused by a nearby dumpster fire–global warming had nothing to do with it, but the story didn’t end there. ThinkProgress corrected the story when they were informed of the truth. However, according to WattsUpWithThat Yahoo, which also ran the story, did not bother to correct it.

This is the related press release from Senator Inhofe of Oklahoma. The source is the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment & Public Works. The heading of the Press Release (dated August 2) is “Inhofe Exposes Another Epic Fail by Global Warming Alarmists.”

Washington, D.C. – Today the far-left blog Think Progress posted a photo (originally posted on KFOR‘s facebook page) of street lights in Oklahoma that had melted, they claimed, because of extreme heat. Global warming alarmist Bill McKibben took to Twitter immediately to publicize what he believed to be proof of global warming, tweeting to Senator James Inhofe (Okla.), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, “Senator Inhofe, God may be trying to get your attention. Check out this picture.”

Not long after the picture surfaced, Oklahomans posted comments on Think Progress’ blog saying that these lights had melted due to a fire – which makes sense considering that the two front lights were melted while the two back lights remained unscathed. Once this news came to light, Think Progress immediately removed the post and provided an update that reads: “After we published this piece, we saw reports from people on the ground in Stillwater that the melting streetlights were due to a nearby fire. The person who took the photo, Patrick Hunter, described the scene: ‘Being the person that actually took this photo, I’d say that this was due to a fire semi-close by coupled with the unbelievable heat we are experiencing.’ Still an amazing photo and not fake as many are saying on here. Enjoy!”

This afternoon, KFOR confirmed that the melted lights in the photo were not caused by hot temperatures but a nearby dumpster fire.

“Poor Bill McKibben – he’s been trying to get something to melt for ages but it keeps backfiring,” Senator Inhofe said. “These alarmists never learn their lesson. Remember Bill McKibben was the one who was going to melt a giant ice sculpture in the shape of the word ‘hoax’ on the national mall, but his group had to cancel because there wasn’t enough interest. Now, after proclaiming that street lights in Oklahoma are melting because of global warming, we have confirmation that a fire caused this scene.

“Amid the resurgence of hysteria from my friends on the left, I appreciated climatologist Dr. John Christy who testified this week before the Environment and Public Works committee saying that instead of proclaiming this summer is ‘what global warming looks like’ it is ‘scientifically more accurate to say that this is what Mother Nature looks like, since events even worse than these have happened in the past before greenhouse gases were increasing like they are today.’

“This isn’t the first time alarmists have tried these stunts and it certainly won’t be the last – when will they finally realize they’ve lost this debate?”

After a while, you being to wonder why those who support global warming are willing to go to such lengths to prove their case even after much of their research has been proven wrong.

 

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Why The Second Amendment Is Important

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Yesterday CBS News reported that Sarah McKinley, an 18-year-old widow, home alone with her 3-month-old son, shot and killed Justin Shane Martin, 24, when he broke down the door of her home and came after her with a knife in his hand. Sarah McKinley was on the phone for 21 minutes with the 911 Operator as the man (and an accomplice) were attempting to break into her house.

What story would we be reading if Mrs. McKinley did not own and know how to use a gun? What would be the future of the 3-month-old child if his mother was killed a week after his father had died of cancer? Twenty-one minutes is a very long time to wait for help after calling 911. Thank God that Mrs. McKinley was able to defend herself and protect her child.

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