News broke late yesterday of another terrible school shooting in Colorado. One student was killed and eight were injured. I am curious as to why we haven't heard more or why we aren't hearing the usual demands for gun control that often follow these tragic events.
There's plenty of information coming from local press and other outlets, yet there is a virtual blackout by the "mainstream media."
According to the Denver Post, there were two shooters. One has been identified as 18 year-old Devon Erickson. The other suspect was initially identified as a juvenile boy, but after some confusion authorities now say that this suspect is in fact "female."
Erickson's social media posts are filled with anti-Christian, anti-Trump invective. A car seized from his home had "F*** SOCIETY" spray painted on it, along with "666" and a pentagram.
One of the suspects, according to a local media report, "was involved in legal and illegal drug use."
Several commentators noted that the school was close to Littleton, where the Columbine shootings took place. Of course, both of those shooters were also described as anti-Christian and into the "Goth" lifestyle.
I remember this well because the Columbine shootings happened the day before I announced my candidacy for the 2000 presidential primaries. I completely rewrote my announcement speech, which I delivered at the high school I attended in Newport, Kentucky.
We have spent decades telling impressionable young people, with increasing access to all kinds of drugs, that everything they see is a cosmic accident. They are told that it is foolish to believe in God, that it is a constitutional right to kill unborn children, that the country of their birth is evil.
And yet we are still shocked and surprised when this sort of thing happens. Sadly, there will be more such senseless violence, and it has virtually nothing to do with guns.
Amidst the evil in Highlands Ranch, Colorado, there was great heroism too. Brendan Bialy and two of his friends tackled one of the shooters. Bialy reportedly joined a Marine training program last summer. Thank God for Bialy and his friends. They undoubtedly saved many lives.
I also thank God for Riley Howell, who charged the gunman on the UNC Charlotte campus last week. Howell, an ROTC cadet, was shot three times before he knocked the gunman down.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Kerr Putney said, "But for [Howell's] work, the assailant might not have been disarmed. Unfortunately, he gave his life in the process, but his sacrifice saved lives." Howell was buried Sunday with full military honors. More than 1,000 people turned out to pay their respects.
So long as America continues to produce heroes like Riley Howell and Brendan Bialy, I remain hopeful that this good and decent land will remain a shining city upon a hill.
A Surprising Win
The Trump Administration won a surprising victory yesterday when the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the government can continue to hold asylum seekers in Mexico. The decision by a three-judge panel lifts an injunction against the policy that was imposed last month by Judge Richard Seeborg, an Obama appointee.
As we have reported before, the overwhelming majority of migrants claiming asylum don't qualify and will have their claims dismissed by immigration judges. But that's not the point. The problem is that many asylum seekers simply disappear into the interior of the country after they assert their claim at the border.
This is only a temporary victory. A challenge to the legal merits of the policy is still ongoing, and the case is likely to end up before the Supreme Court at some point. But at least the administration can continue to enforce this commonsense policy for now.
More Good News
I am pleased to report that Asia Bibi is free!
As you may recall, Bibi is a Pakistani Christian who was sentenced to death for blasphemy in 2010 based on false testimony. Her conviction was overturned by the Pakistani Supreme Court late last year, but she remained in protective custody ever since.
At some point yesterday, the Pakistani government allowed her to secretly leave the country, and she is now safely in Canada with other family members.
Wilson Chowdhry, of the British Pakistani Christian Association, told reporters that Bibi deserves the Nobel Peace Prize, saying:
"She was offered freedom on several occasions by officials and prison workers pressuring her to convert to Islam and if she did, she would immediately be released. . . She refused to capitulate, she is a testimony to us all."
Bibi's case was highlighted by the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom in a special report on blasphemy laws because it exposes just how unjust Sharia law is.
Happy Independence Day
Tonight, Israelis will begin celebrating their 71st Independence Day. And millions of Americans will celebrate with them.
In recognizing the modern state of Israel in 1948, President Harry Truman said, "I had faith in Israel before it was established, I have faith in it now."
Israel was promptly attacked by virtually all of its Arab neighbors. Yet Israel prevailed, only to be attacked again and again and again. To this day, many Muslim states refuse to officially recognize Israel. Iran's leaders repeatedly vow to annihilate the Jewish state.
But in the midst of this hatred, Israel has thrived. It has done so because of God's blessing, because of the determination of the Jewish people and with the strong support of the United States of America.