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Op-Ed writer concerned about armed church-goers

An Op-Ed writer praises Jack Wilson in the recent Texas church shooting because he has the right credentials. But she’s also terrified of who else had a gun that day.

Earlier this week, a man entered a church in White Settlement, Texas and opened fire on its congregation. And like the 2017 church shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas, this shooting was stopped by an individual possessing a concealed weapon. Jack Wilson analyzed a threat, and within 6 seconds had neutralized the gunman threatening his fellow church-goers.

Rightly, Mr. Wilson has been treated as a hero and a damn fine example of how a good guy with a gun is a fantastic counter to those wishing to do evil. Because of his quick actions, many members of the church were spared.

Of course, his actions don’t sit well with gun control advocates who point out that Mr. Wilson is a firearms instructor, gun range owner, and a reserve sheriff’s deputy. No, Elvia Diaz of the Arizona Republic, writing an op-ed published in USAToday, believes that while it was appropriate for Mr. Wilson to act the way he did, it was more concerning what else she saw in the video of the shooting.

She is of course referring to the six other parishioners that were also drawing their own firearms. As she puts it:

We know nothing about the at least six other parishioners who also appeared to draw their handguns at West Freeway Church of Christ in White Settlement, Texas.

And that’s terrifying.    

Now, she does make a valid point later on regarding the shooter’s ability to obtain a firearm. Hopefully, Texas police departments are making inroads to that determination as the gunman was a prohibited possessor.

But to Ms. Diaz’s point, the fact remains that there were other individuals in that church who were also ready to defend others and themselves. Why should it matter what their backgrounds are?

Would she rather rely on the response of law enforcement to end this type of threat? If no one in that church had been armed, then the entire congregation may have been slaughtered in the time it took for police to arrive.

And what then? While statistics are spotty, police firearm accuracy is probably under 50%. Gun owners and concealed carriers are much more likely to be familiar with, and better with, the firearms that they possess. We may not ever know about the six others who were willing to take down a deranged gunman and that is okay. At least they were there. Thank God for that.

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