Once again we see it demonstrated in real life that the most effective response to a bad guy with a gun is a good guy — or multiple good guys — ready and willing to fire back. The sooner an armed attack is met with an armed response, the sooner the attack will be over.
Sunday morning in White Settlement, Texas, a Christian worship service was plunged into horror as a man armed with a shotgun walked into a church, walked up to someone serving communion, and fired before being shot by an armed churchgoer named Jack Wilson.
Some may try to explain away the facts of the matter by pointing out that the armed response came from volunteers on the church’s security team, and therefore this doesn’t fit in with the usual narrative of the “good guy with a gun.” Such arguments ignore the fact that, prior security arrangement or not, we’re still talking about church members responding with their own guns. He was a good guy, he had a gun, he used it to save lives.
The reality is that this is another bad story for the gun control crowd. The assailant was carrying a shotgun, rather than a scary-looking semi-automatic rifle, and he was ultimately stopped by someone exercising his right to defend himself and others with deadly force. And while this is national news and a topic of debate, in context, it’s one of the estimated millions of defensive gun uses that take place every year. Plus, this all comes a couple months after a Texas law went into effect relaxing restrictions on concealed carrying in the state’s places of worship, a law that presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden criticized as “totally irrational” at the time of its enactment.
Yet no matter how many examples of this reality we’re given, some people in the gun debate still manage to convince themselves that we need to disarm the law-abiding and continue to advocate for that, no matter how many lives are spared from evil intentions by privately owned firearms in the right hands.
But to get a fuller sense of what happens when law-abiding people are restricted in their ability to defend themselves, we need only look at the struggles of of another religious community in the United States currently living under far more restrictive gun laws than those in the Lone Star State.
The most glaring contrast to what happened on Sunday in Texas was the stabbing attack the night before in the Monsey suburb of New York City. At the end of a week marked by a shameful increase in anti-Semitic violence in the area, an assailant armed with a machete wounded five people in a rabbi’s home. One witness says he lured the attacker away from more potential victims by throwing a coffee table at him and running.
Indeed, if there is any group of people who clearly ought to defend themselves with carried firearms at this moment in time, it’s the Jewish community in the New York metropolitan area. Yet this violence is has been going on in a “may-issue” concealed carry permit state, where American citizens are forced to beg their government to return to them their fundamental right to adequately defend themselves — and can be denied. On top of its concealed carry limitations, the state also has some of America’s strictest gun laws to begin with.
Self-defense is a fundamental human right. Gun control policies and draconian regulatory requirements don’t make that right go away; they merely render law-abiding people’s exercise of it far less effective against violent, lawbreaking aggressors.
We live in a world where previously unthinkable acts of murderous violence against innocents have become recurring subjects of national news headlines. And while we do desperately need to address the root causes of the deep, underlying societal sickness our country faces, law-abiding people need to be able to adequately defend themselves from its immediate symptoms in the meantime, whether they live in Texas, New York, or any other state in the union.
Editor’s note: This article has been updated to include information about Texas’ September law relaxing restrictions on carrying guns in places of worship as well as Joe Biden’s criticism of the law.