Stephen Willeford did what many of us would like to think we would do. While living across from the site of the deadly Sutherland Springs massacre, Willeford didn’t cower and hide. He grabbed his AR-15 and responded, firing at the killer and giving chase, probably saving numerous other lives.
Now, he’ll be a guest at the State of the Union address.
Congressman Henry Cuellar’s office announced on Wednesday that he will host Sutherland Springs hero Stephen Willeford at President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address on January 30.
“I speak on behalf of the entire Sutherland Springs community when I say that we are grateful to have such an incredible citizen visit,” Congressman Cuellar said in a statement. “It is amazing that this man, who almost became a victim himself, managed to face the assailant and ultimately prevented further tragedy from unfolding.”
Willeford definitely deserves such recognition, as well as a lot of other things.
The internet is filled with tough guys, people who talk a big game over how they’ll draw their guns and take on the barbarian hordes singlehandedly. Most of them are full of it, of course. It seems to be a general rule of thumb that people who talk about being bada**es rarely are in truth.
Well, Stephen Willeford did what internet tough guys always talk about. He stepped up and acted. In the process, he saved a lot of lives. We don’t know where the killer was going next, but it seems unlikely he was planning on stopping. Especially with the fact that his estranged mother-in-law was a member of the church, but wasn’t there that day. I can’t help but think that the rampage would have continued.
But it didn’t.
Stephen Willeford met the attacker with equal force, and the attacker did what “men” like him do best. He ran.
When Willeford flagged down a vehicle and then gave chase, the attacker knew there was no way out. He couldn’t complete whatever his deadly plan was, and no more innocent blood was shed at his hands.
Since then, Willeford has been fairly quiet, mostly keeping out of the spotlight. After all, he probably believes he did what needed to be done, nothing more. Well, it was something more.
Frankly, attending the State of the Union is small potatoes. The man deserves so much more for what he did, but I get the feeling he wouldn’t want it.
Just remember Stephen Willeford, though. Remember his name for the next time someone claims good guys with guns don’t stop mass shootings. Remember him the next time someone tries to argue that you owning a firearm makes you a danger to anyone but the criminals. Remember him the next time anyone claims that we need “common sense gun control” and “a ban on military-style rifles.”
After all, he met the criminal with one of those military-style rifles. Kind of proves they have uses for personal defense, now doesn’t it?
Well, Stephen Willeford and the rest of us already knew that. He’s just the personification of the proof we were right.