AP Photo/ Evan Vucci
Speaking before a crowd of at least 5,000 people at a Miami megachurch on Friday evening, President Donald Trump publicly praised Jack Wilson, the church member and deacon of security at West Freeway Church of Christ who shot and killed an attacker in the Texas church last Sunday.
As you can imagine, some members of the national media were somewhat distraught that the president would actually dare to praise a man who saved the lives of others while exercising his constitutional rights. Aaron Rupar of Vox, for example, also seemed disgusted with the audience for applauding the armed citizen who acted to defend his fellow parishioners.
Trump turns the latest mass shooting at a church into a commercial for guns — and his evangelical audience responds with a standing ovation pic.twitter.com/hXV7lYvpXO
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) January 3, 2020
Aaron Rupar and his anti-gun buddies in the media may not have enjoyed what President Trump had to say, but it sounds like the crowd sure did.
Trump speaking about the shooting at West Freeway Church of Christ in Texas.
“As long as I’m here, and that’s going to be a long time.. your Second Amendment is protected” pic.twitter.com/dNVF074nSf
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) January 3, 2020
“A few days ago, a murderer opened fire during service at a church near Fort Worth, Texas,” the president somberly addressed the crowd.
“Our prayers are with the families of the victims and the congregation,” he continued. “We’re grateful that the shooting was over in six seconds. And do you know why? Because we had someone who had a gun going in the other direction.”
At that, the president had to pause his remarks to wait for the applause of the crowd to die down.
“You had 242 people, worshippers, they were praying, and this maniac walked in and started shooting. But you had a man who had a gun, who knew how to use it, and in a very short period of time that was the end.
But two people died. But you had 242 people that would have perhaps all been dead, every one of them. And then these people talk about guns and gun safety and gun rights and honestly they don’t really know what they’re talking about. But many lives were saved by these heroes and Texas laws allowing them to exercise their Second Amendment right to bear arms.”
Another roar from the crowd interrupted the president, but what he said next brought down the house.
“And your Second Amendment is under siege, but I guess this is why they don’t love me, look there are so many reasons, this is one of many. But as long as I’m here, and I’m going to be here for a long time, your Second Amendment is protected.”
Compare President Trump’s comments to those of Michael Bloomberg, who said that “average Americans” can’t be trusted to carry around firearms in crowded areas. I’ve been critical of the president in the past when it looked like he was getting ready to embrace at least some portions of the gun control agenda, but Friday evening he offered a full-throated defense of the right to keep and bear arms.
As for Jack Wilson, while he hasn’t yet met President Trump, he did shake hands with Texas Governor Greg Abbott on Friday.
This is the good guy with a gun who stopped a bad guy with a gun at the church in White Settlement.
It took 6 seconds.
He saved countless lives.
He is Jack Wilson and a true Texas hero. pic.twitter.com/kfAv79xcoT
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) January 3, 2020
President Trump and Governor Abbott’s praise of Wilson is such a stark contrast to the anti-gun messaging from virtually every Democratic candidate, none of whom could simply express their gratitude that an armed citizen was present to stop the attack within seconds. It’s also stark reminder of what’s at stake in the 2020 elections; your very right of self-defense.