Swift intervention by a legally-armed parishioner abruptly stopped Sunday’s tragic church shooting in White Settlement, Texas, not gun control by any of its pseudonyms, and one of the nation’s leading gun rights advocates says the incident exposed a myth perpetuated by the gun prohibition lobby about armed citizens.
The unidentified killer fatally shot two parishioners, including one man who drew a pistol when he recognized the threat, but was quickly neutralized within seconds by a volunteer member of the church’s security team. That “good guy with a gun” has identified himself on social media as Jack Wilson, president of On Target LTC, LLC, who is also a candidate for public office. Wilson fired one shot that put the gunman down.
Alan Gottlieb, founder and executive vice president of the Second Amendment Foundation, released a statement Monday noting, “This horrible shooting was live streamed, and shows how the killer was taken down within a few seconds of firing the first shot. It appears that at least six and possibly seven members of the congregation drew sidearms to defend their fellow church members, and at least one member identified in published reports as part of the church security team fired a shot that took the gunman down.”
But anti-gun former presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke sent a message on Twitter, “Clearly what we are doing in Texas, what we are doing in this country, when it comes to guns is not working.”
Fox News also quoted Democrat Julian Castro, who tweeted, “We can take steps to reduce these horrific attacks right now—we just need our elected leaders to have the courage to act.”
And earlier this year, when the Texas law was changed to allow more armed citizens to attend church, Democrat presidential candidate Joe Biden ridiculed the law as “irrational.”
However, major gun prohibition organizations remained silent, which is typical following an incident in which armed citizens successfully intervene.
Video of the incident quickly spread across the Internet. The 51-second video shows the church sanctuary during a service. At about 10 seconds into the video clip, a figure in what appears to be a hooded coat stands up in a rear pew, approaches a member of the congregation, who then points toward the far end of the sanctuary. The hooded figure immediately pulls what appears to be a pump-action shotgun from under his coat, swings it toward another parishioner who has stood up and is visibly trying to draw a concealed handgun and fires. That armed man immediately falls, and then the gunman swings his gun back to the man he spoke to initially, and shoots him at point blank range.
At the same time, a third man at the rear of the church—identified as Wilson—draws his sidearm and fires one shot at the gunman, who by now has moved along the wall, heading toward the altar. He is visibly struck and immediately drops to the floor.
During the next several seconds, at least six other armed parishioners visibly emerge from the crowd, guns drawn, moving toward the downed killer. One of them appears to be a woman. There are three audible gunshots on the video, all fired within three seconds of one another. The threat is neutralized.
“The fact that so many other church members were also armed, and did not open fire, demonstrates how responsibly armed citizens can perform in an emergency,” Gottlieb observed. “The video belies the oft-repeated myth that armed citizens are irresponsible and even dangerous to one another.”
Gottlieb is co-author, with Dave Workman, of “Good Guys with Guns” and “America Fights Back” two books dealing with armed self-defense by private citizens. “Good Guys with Guns” was released in September.