Thank the Lord that the parishioners of West Freeway Church of Christ in White Settlement, Texas, didn’t listen to Joe Biden.
On Sunday, an evil and likely mentally ill man armed with a shotgun stood up during the church’s service and opened fire. He killed two people, while most of the congregants scrambled chaotically. Not Jack Wilson, head of the church’s volunteer security team. He pulled his Sig Sauer handgun and waited for an unobstructed view of the shooter. As the murderer walked to the front of the church, Wilson saw an opening. He fired a single shot and killed the gunman. If Wilson had missed, other church members were ready. At least six other attendees had pulled out firearms, The New York Times reported.
What happened was a horrible tragedy, especially for the family and friends of the two men who were murdered. It could have been much worse. After reviewing video with the FBI, Wilson said the entire event took less than six seconds. Wilson’s bravery, training and his firearm likely saved dozens of lives.
Wilson praised a Texas law that went into effect in September that allowed the law-abiding gun owners to carry weapons at places of worship. The day before the law changed, Texas suffered mass shootings in Midland and Odessa. Former Vice President Biden took the opportunity to mock the state.
“It is irrational, with all due respect to the governor of Texas, irrational what they are doing,” Biden said. “On the very day you see a mass shooting … and we’re talking about loosening access to have guns, to be able to take them into places of worship. It’s just absolutely irrational.”
Don’t expect the national mainstream media to spend much time hounding Biden on the campaign trail about the embarrassing irrationality of his comments.
The mistake in Biden’s argument is assuming that another law would have stopped the murderer from taking a gun to church. Everyone wants to prevent people such as that killer from having a gun on church property. But people bent on mass murder aren’t going to be stopped by a “gun-free zone” sign.
This killer was a frequent lawbreaker, too. In 2016, police in New Jersey arrested this particular individual for unlawful possession of a weapon. He also had a criminal record in several other states.
It would have been a grave mistake for the law to require that Wilson leave his gun behind. He’s a former reserve sheriff’s deputy. Wilson has extensive firearms experience, even training church security volunteers at his gun range.
This is the problem with laws restricting where people may legally carry firearms. They have the greatest effect on those who pose the least danger.
Even worse, they take away the tools of self-defense that individuals such as Wilson can and do use to defend the innocent.
Communities — and churches — are safer when men and women, such as Wilson, carry firearms.
Victor Joecks’ column appears in the Opinion section each Sunday, Wednesday and Friday. Listen to him discuss his columns each Monday at 10 a.m. with Kevin Wall on 790 Talk Now. Contact him at email@example.com or 702-383-4698. Follow @victorjoecks on Twitter.