Gun Control failed again. Despite our twenty-three-thousand firearms regulations, a murderer entered a Texas church and killed twenty-six people. Dozens more are injured. Gun control failed … until it didn’t.
The murderer had frequently sent threatening text messages to his mother-in-law. She attended the church. She was not inside during the attack, but the grandmother-in-law was. Grandma was killed during the attack. The murderer was an atheist and frequently criticized religion and people with religious beliefs.
The murderer had a long history of domestic problems. He beat his first wife and child while he was in the Air Force. He received a courts martial and spent a year in the stockade for that assault. His rank was reduced and he received a bad conduct discharge. Had he received a dishonorable discharge, he would have been a prohibited person and owning firearms would have been illegal. He should have been prohibited from buying firearms because of his domestic violence conviction. The Air Force didn’t enter his criminal conviction into the FBI’s National Instant Background Check System (NICS).
Many gun owners think that real gun control means having a gun ready and being proficient with it. This is where this second kind of gun control then saved lives. A neighbor who lives next to the church heard the gunfire. He grabbed his rifle, a gun similar to the gun the murderer used. The neighbor, Stephen Willeford, then shot the murderer several times. That return fire was enough to make the murderer break off the attack on the church. The murderer got in his car and drove away. Willeford and a passerby followed the attacker. They were in touch with police as they trailed the murderer. After the murderer crashed his car, the murderer took his own life.
The talking heads reacted in very predictable ways after this attack. The murderer used a semi-automatic rifle so the anti-gun groups said we need to ban assault rifles. They also called for more background checks and blamed the NRA.
Since the mainstream media won’t do it, I can point out the incontrovertible facts.
• The murderer bought his guns by passing an FBI background check.
• The murderer was refused when he tried to get his Texas concealed handgun license.
• Two ordinary citizens, one of them armed, stopped the attack long before the police arrived.
• Contrary to common belief, you can carry in a church or other house of worship in Texas unless you are given verbal or written notification to the contrary. The church does not appear to be posted as a gun free zone under Texas law. That means the congregation could have been armed for their own defense. They chose not to be. Fortunately, their neighbor was armed.
• The murderer was not an NRA member. The defender, Stephen Willeford, was an NRA firearms instructor.
After the attack, Ken Paxton, the Texas Attorney General, said this, There are laws against murder, and this guy violated the laws against murder. So, adding some other gun law would not, I don’t think, in any way change this guy’s behavior. I would rather arm law-abiding citizens and make sure that they can prevent this from happening as opposed to trying to pass laws that would prevent law-abiding citizens from having guns.
I agree. I’ve recently heard from many honest men and women who provide security for their churches. As you would expect, they are shocked. They are also fortified. Church security works very hard to protect their fellow parishioners, and to remain anonymous. They save lives. They save lives when gun control fails.
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