He was a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Judas Iscarot sitting among Jesus. There were nine of them that welcomed him into their circle at a bible study on Wednesday night in Charleston. While most of America was going about its business last Wednesday night, Dylann Roof read and studied scripture with them. Then, like Judas, he betrayed the people that he sat among.

Roof then went on to kill nine people that he had met earlier and then fled to Shelby, North Carolina. It didn’t take the autrhorities long to find him and he eventaually surrendered without incident. Shackled, handcuffed and wearing a bullet-proof vest, he was led out of the Cleveland County, North Carolina courthouse and taken back to Charleston by plane, waiving extraditon back.

Confessing to the crimes, Roof returned to South Carolina to face justice. Friday was his first chance to see a judge, which is a formality in many states. He didn’t see him face to face, instead seeing the judge via closed-circuit televison. A few of the family members of his victims spoke, telling the 21-year old Roof that they forgave him and to seek God. With that and given the seriousness of his crimes, bail was denied for the nine murders. For the use of a gun in the commission of a felony, his bail was set at $1 million. South Carolina law dictates that he would not be allowed out on bond.

Experts say that the case could last between six months if he were to plead guilty or up to three years if the death penalty — which is legal in South Carolina — is pursued. The jail’s protocol dictates that he will be placed on suicide watch immediately and given the high-profile nature of the crime and sensitivity about the crime itself, legal experts also said that Roof will not have contact with the general jail population for his own safety. Roof’s first hearing was done via CCTV link Friday afternoon, with his next hearing slated for October 23.

It would appear to some that Roof will probably not draw breath a free man and some are calling for him to die by lethal injection should he be found guilty of nine counts of murder. Even his own uncle, Carson Cowles, says he will “push the button myself” if his nephew receives the death penalty, which is legal in South Carolina. “I’ll be the one to push the button. If he’s found guilty, I’ll be the one to push the button myself,” Cowles said. “If what I am hearing is true, he needs to pay for it.”

On a website, Roof wrote “I have no choice I am not in the position to, alone, go into the ghetto and fight. I chose Charleston because it is most historic city in my state and at one time had the highest ratio of blacks to Whites in the country. We have no skinheads, no real KKK, no one doing anything but talking on the internet. Well someone has to have the bravery to take it to the real world and I guess that has to be me.” In one picture, Mr. Roof is shown posing with wax figures of slaves. In others, he posed with a handgun. He is alone in all the photos, which appear to have been taken at a slave plantation, Sullivan Island, South Carolina and at the Museum and Library of Confederate History.

The website links to several pages of long racist rants. Some describe Hispanics as enemies and say that “Negroes” have lower I.Q.s and low-impulse control. The writings are not signed. The domain site was registered in February under the name Dylann Roof. Roof hails from Columbia, South Carolina and is a high school dropout and unemployed landscaper.

If ever there was an argument for premeditation, Dylann Roof fits the bill. Dylann Roof is the poster child for the NRA and for politicians that are sucking at their teats. This is not to say that those gun owners that follow the rules, fill out the proper paperwork and have nothing in their background that would stop them from owning a weapon or ammunition. It’s not just that, it’s issues with mental health, race, gender, social standing and sexual preference. Dylan Roof had his differences with people of other races. That’s fine. That’s his right as a citizen. What he did not have was the right to go to Charleston to shoot and kill nine people that he didn’t know. When he pulled the trigger that Wednesday evening, he crossed a line that he had no right to cross. There has to be a dialouge among gun owners, clergy, teachers, doctors and those that have lost family and friends to gun violence. The NRA and those that support that group need to be at the table to listen to those family members that lost loved ones at Columbine, Sandy Hook and Charleston.

Dylan Roof sits in a jail cell in Charleston and waits his fate and in a ironic twist of luck and or fate, his cell is next to Michael Slager, the former police officer who shot Walter Scott in the back a few months ago, are jail neighbors. Roof is being held in cell 1141B and Slager is in 1140B. Slager was indicted on June 8 and if convicted, he could spend the rest of his life in prison.

When you own a gun, you are expected to use it with a great deal of responsibilty. When you purchase a gun, there is a form that you have to fill out for every weapon you purchase, whether you purchase that gun in a sporting good store or a department store and there are NO exceptions and it should be that way at the gun shows that dot our nation every weekend. It’s time to close the loopholes. It’s time to punish not just the people that purchase a gun without going through the proper channels but the sellers as well, with the only exception being if a gun is being passed on from one generation to another. Killers are almost getting away with murder and the NRA is acting as if they are Pilate and are washing the blood off their hands. Dylann Roof needs to be made an example.

Dylann Roof was a wolf in sheep’s clothing. While it may be insulting to wolves, it’s a truth that cannot and should not be ignored. Nine people were needlessly killed by a man that they took into their fold. Dylan Roof acted as a coward and took nine lives that he had no right to take. In time, he will be punished for his actions and possibly sentenced to death in the event that the state of South Carolina wants to pursue that route. There will be a trial, there will jury selection, witnesses and victim impact statement should a guilty verdict come. There could also be the fact that Roof could plead guilty and avoid a trial. In any case, Dylann Roof will draw his last breath on Earth behind bars in a prison in South Carolina. We need to understand that this process cannot and should not be rushed. After all, this isn’t TV, where the case is solved in one hour and the credits roll at the end of the show. Dylann Roof rightfully needs to have his feet held to the fire, so to speak. The process is not going to be easy and at times, it will look like it’s going slower than we want it to. It will make us angry and cuss like a drunken Marine on shore leave. Be patient. It is what it is.

The doors at New Emmanuel AME opened Sunday morning and there was a church service. Church bells tolled Sunday morning, nine times in nine minutes, one toll for each victim. There were nine less people there but they were and will not be forgotten. In time, their deaths will be avenged and their funerals will have taken place. If ever there was a time for a dialouge about gun control, now is the time. If we have learned nothing else from Columbine, Sandy Hook and Charleston, it’s that loopholes need to be closed and guns need to kept out of the hands that don’t need or deserve them, not the people that are playing by the rules. The dead cannot speak and we the living have to be their voice and advocate.

Dylann Roof is going to be held accountable for his actions, which he admitted. Dylann Roof will draw his final breath on this Earth behind bars. Dylann Roof sat among his victims, shook hands and even spoke to the people that he would eventually kill.

A wolf in sheep’s clothing sits caged, awaiting its fate. A wolf fed by hate now sits alone in a cage that he all but made for himself, in a hell that he chose to create.

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