Evil exists in the world. That’s just a fact everyone must deal with. We cannot change that but neither do we fatalistically surrender to it. We fight it everywhere we find it. But it has been with us since the Fall and will be here until the Return. It’s not going away.

Thus, it is our response to it that matters. That response varies from person to person. No one wants to be confronted with evil. But when evil comes a callin’, men fight back while cowards run and hide. For those removed from the battlefield, you can tell which sort they are by which side they choose to empower. One makes it easier for those confronting evil to fight. The other makes it easier for evil to prevail by compromising the first man’s ability to fight.

This truth plays out nationally in places like Aurora, CO. Fools, believing appeasement is a sound strategy, call for gun control and retreat. Safe in their armchairs, never fighting or having fought, theirs are theoretical observations. With nothing on the line personally, they presume to speak of events on the front lines as if they know something of their reality.

They believe what is in a person’s hand determines his actions. Only the evil have guns. Take the gun and evil vanishes. But, gun or not, men will be men and cowards and quislings will reveal themselves as well.

Aurora, CO has some pretty strict gun laws already. Had anyone in the theater had a weapon and discharged it – even in self defense – he would have been in violation of the law. Just as the shooter was. Colorado, too, has some pretty strict laws – all of which the shooter violated. Those laws did not save lives or keep anyone in that theater safe.

Not. A. Single. Person.

However, faced with one man with an armful of weapons and evil in his heart, at least three men did. Three men shielded their girlfriends with their own bodies to keep them safe because it was the only weapon they had. They made it enough …

It’s not what is in your hands that matter. It’s what is in your heart.

One of these men was a US Navy vet who wanted to re-enlist to become a Navy SEAL. One, from appearances, was very different – with piercings and a career in retail. But where it mattered – when it mattered – the man in each met the evil in front of him like the man he was; Protector – Provider – Man. He shoved his woman to the ground, covered her body with his and died that she might live.

How on earth could I fear allowing such men to be armed? Unarmed, they did the right thing; choosing life, honor and manhood. They would do the same if armed. The difference being that had they been armed perhaps they would have lived for us to shake their hand and say “Thank you!” to them personally.

My “Thank You!” must be posthumous. Thank you, Jon! Thank you, Matt! Thank you, Alex! I’m sorry I never met you. But I am a richer man for knowing your story. You ran the race and fought the fight well. You did everything expected of you and more. I pray you find Life and Peace. I pray, too, my daughters choose men like you.

Not special heroes. Just ordinary men who do the right thing because that’s who and what they are.