The shooting in a church in White Settlement, Texas, should have been a wakeup call for anti-gunners all over this country. No, I didn’t think it would change them into pro-gunners overnight or anything, but I did figure it would be damn hard to say good guys with guns weren’t good things anymore.
I really shouldn’t overestimate the intelligence of the average gun-grabber.
Not only do some of them prefer dead people over armed citizens, but others are going to take issue with the fact that it wasn’t completely perfect in every single way, apparently.
You see, because the gunman still shot people, it’s really a failure, at least according to one columnist at AL.com.
Certainly, Wilson’s courage and skill in response to the shooting are praiseworthy. And all the news stories praise the “hero” Wilson for – within only six seconds – preventing [the killer] from killing many more of the over 200 church members present for that Sunday service. However, the question not addressed in all the media “coverage” is why a supposedly well-trained security team didn’t intervene long before any shooting started.
I don’t know. Probably because there were no grounds to intervene before the shooting started?
Wilson is quoted as saying he spotted [the shooter] as a potentially serious threat as soon as he walked into the church, wearing a long overcoat, a fake beard “which he kept adjusting,” and a wig, topped with a toboggan. Wilson alerted other members of the security team, went to the audio-visual room to make sure a camera was trained on [the shooter] , and positioned himself so as to have a good view of the “bad guy.” He says [the killer] at one point got up and went to the restroom, came back to his seat, but then went to speak with the minister briefly before sitting down again. In all this time, why didn’t Wilson or some other member of the security team confront [him]? Sit down beside him? Talk with him? Maybe even try to discern what his problem was, and how to help him?
See, all of this Monday morning quarterbacking is fine and good from a progressive opinion writer in Alabama–yeah, I was shocked they had those there too–but at the time, they just had suspicion.
At this point, we have perfect vision. We know for a fact that the shooter was a shooter.
But Wilson and his team didn’t know that. They saw a suspicious character but they’re also a church. They get suspicious characters who aren’t a threat at all. In fact, I suspect they get a fair number from time to time.
Intervening like this writer suggests sounds great in hindsight, but at the time it could do a whole lot more to hurt in the long run. How many people would end up freaked out and never return to church–any church–if they got singled out like that?
Of course, this expert continued by adding this:
The answer clearly is that this church security team was prepared and ready only for a gunfight, and not prepared to try to keep the peace, to head off violence before it starts, or to reach out to help someone perceived to be a “bad guy.” And because they were “good guys,” not going to start any trouble, they had to wait until [the shooter] drew his weapon before they could use the only tool in their toolbox.
It’s important for everyone to remember what church security teams are there for. They’re not police officers or social workers. They’re volunteers who have opted to put their lives on the line for their church. They don’t have the training or obligation to intervene with troubled people and make them feel all warm and fuzzy.
You see, what this writer has completely failed to acknowledge is that the killer came in that church with a shotgun. He’d made up his mind what he wanted to do and he was going to kill people. It’s highly likely that any attempt to intervene would have simply triggered the rampage earlier, potentially costing more lives. After all, if Wilson and his people were trying to help the guy–and this wasn’t a cry for help, despite what people tell themselves–they wouldn’t have been as ready to protect human life.
The truth of the matter is that people identify threats semi-regularly who turn out to be nothing of the sort. At least, they’re not threats to them. Regardless, though, no one wants to step on their own junk by making someone feel awkward because you’ve misidentified them as a threat. Yet that’s precisely what this writer who apparently has no relevant experience or expertise on the topic wanted them to do.
With the value of hindsight, it’s damn easy to criticize the heroic actions of Jack Wilson and the rest of the church security team, but that maniac walked in that church with the intention to kill. Nothing was going to stop that, and it’s past time we come to recognize that fact.