A young home invader ended both his career as a burglar and his life when he failed to choose wisely. What he probably thought were easy pickings — the home of a preacher — turned out to be also the home of a strong Second Amendment supporter.
A pastor at a northwest Oklahoma City church who has been a vocal proponent of gun rights has been cleared of wrongdoing in the fatal shooting of a 14-year-old boy at the pastor’s home.
Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater said Tuesday that Windsor Hills Baptist Church Pastor Tom Vineyard, 48, was justified in using deadly force in the shooting Saturday afternoon of Keontre Reese.
“It was completely legitimate,” Prater said. “It was legitimate as could be.”
Vineyard’s alarm company notified him that his home was being invaded Saturday while he was out Christmas shopping. When he returned home, he was attacked by Reese who’d been hiding in a closet. Vineyard, who has a concealed carry permit, responded by drawing his weapon and shooting Reese.
The Oklahoma City Police Department released this statement of the incident:
The resident, Tom Vineyard, came home and interrupted the burglary while it was still in progress. Mr. Vineyard became involved in a physical altercation with Reese, inside of the residence. While defending himself during the altercation, Mr. Vineyard shot and killed Reese.
Vineyard wrote a scathing open letter criticizing the Oklahoma City police chief’s proposal for stricter gun control legislation.
After reminding the chief of his duty to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, including the Second Amendment, Vineyard wrote, “As a Christian and a pastor, I feel it my duty to also respectfully remind you that it is the God-given right and responsibility of every individual to protect themselves, their family, and their property.”
He then described an incident that more-than-likely led to him becoming such a strong supporter of the Second Amendment:
In just a few days, sir, will be the sixth anniversary of my family being robbed in our home while we were missionaries in Africa. Every day since then, when I look in the mirror to brush my teeth, wash my face, shave, or comb my hair, I see what I call my trophy from Africa, a scar on my forehead where I suffered a skull fracture from a rifle that was used on me while I was fighting to defend my family against five armed men who broke into our home. I nearly lost my hearing and my ear in the attack, and still have daily headaches to remind me of it.
Please understand that when they entered our home, we were unarmed. The law there in that country prohibited citizens from possessing firearms of any kind.
We cooperated with the thieves and even went so far as to show them where things were so that they could take what they wanted and then be on their way. For reasons we still do not know, they were unsatisfied with what we had and proceeded to tell us that they would kill our children if we did not give them more money. Chief, all that I had left that I could do to protect the lives of my children was to fight with my hands. It was not enough. To borrow your expression, I was “outgunned.”
In addition to his pastoral duties, Vineyard teaches safe firearm handling to his parishioners, including children.
Do guns and religion appear to be contradictory? Consider the old Frank Loesser World War II song, “Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition.” Not enough? Then I would direct you to Luke 22:36. “He who has no sword sell your garment and buy one.”
(h/t: The Truth About Guns)