A Moneychanger Book Review

Shooting Back: The Right and Duty of Self Defence

by Charl van Wyk

A friend sent me a copy of Charl van Wyk’s Shooting Back: The Right and Duty of Self Defence. This is a story you hope you’ll never have to re-live. 

On July 25, 1993 Charl van Wyk was worshipping in the evening service at St. James Church in Cape Town, South Africa. Two terrorists entered the rear of the large sanctuary and began shooting and lobbing grenades into the congregation. Charl van Wyk was armed. “Instinctively, I knelt down behind the bench in front of me and pulled out my .38 Special snub-nosed revolver, which I always carried with me. I would have felt undressed without it. Many people could not understand why I would carry a firearm into a church service, but I argued that this was a particularly dangerous time in South Africa.”

Charl van Wyk shot back. He manoeuvred his way out of the church trying to get behind the attackers, but outside found a man standing next to the getaway car. Firing at the attackers, he wounded one. (That’s a miracle itself, considering the pistol he was using.) Later that wound led to the attacker’s arrest. The attackers had murdered eleven people and wounded 53 more.

Afterwards the firestorm burst, as you can imagine. On the one side were those who fiercely denounced van Wyk for his “violence.” On the other, those who gratefully praised him. Shooting Back recounts the events of the attack, but offers something much more valuable than that. It offers mature Christian answers to the questions we have to ask ourselves:

  • Should we carry arms?
  • When are we justified to defend our families and ourselves with force?

The attack on St. James Church was not an isolated event in southern Africa, but part of a pattern of terrorist activity. Is it possible in the increasingly violent United States? You bet. In fact, two days after I wrote this Moslem terrorists attacked a church service in Pakistan and killed several worshippers.

Get this book and read it. After you have, I think you’ll agree with me that the only proper gun control is hitting the bull’s eye consistently.

You can order Shooting Back directly from the author.