In the wake of the Sutherland Springs, Texas shooting churchgoers around the country are beginning to arm themselves for mass. Unfortunately, that led to some serious repercussions for an elderly man and two victims in Tennessee and just further proves some people shouldn’t have a gun.
First, to understand why the old man decided to arm himself in case he needed to be a “hero” let’s take you back to Texas. When Devin Patrick Kelley walked into the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas he killed 26 people and wounded 20 more. He escaped, only to be shot a couple of times by a neighbor of the church who heard what was going on and
bravely foolishly brought his own weapon to the fray, firing off a couple of shots in the general direction of the shooter.
When Kelley sped off in his vehicle, the
brave foolish neighbor grabbed another neighbor and they sped off in pursuit of a mass murderer. Fortunately for them, Kelley shot and killed himself while driving. When he crashed into a tree, the two brave foolish men jumped out of their vehicle and held a weapon on the already-dead Kelley until police arrived on the scene.
While the news has painted these two men as heroes, it is important to note that just because you have a gun doesn’t mean you are safe from a gunman who just doesn’t care about who or what he shoots. Police undergo hundreds of hours of training to train their reflexes to react in stressful situations. They spend countless hours at the gun range honing their shooting abilities. They are trained to spot the differences between a criminal with a gun and a civilian — but when the civilian also has a gun all bets are off.
Your chances of being gunned down by law enforcement increase exponentially when you whip out a firearm during a gun crime because you will be seen as a criminal. Police aren’t trained to watch out for “the good guy with a gun” because that is an impossible mission. If you have a gun, you become a bad guy (or gal) with a gun. And then there is training and appropriate places to have your firearm out for random viewing and that’s where the old man in Tennessee comes in.
Just last night in East Tennessee a
brave foolish man decided to show off his friendly little Ruger .380 pistol.
The parishioners at First United Methodist Church in Tellico Plains had just finished an early Thanksgiving feast and the elders were cleaning up. According to Tellico Plains Police Chief Russ Parks, the conversation shifted to the recent church shooting… and that’s where things got dicey.
An 80-year-old man pulled out his Ruger, claiming to carry it everywhere. When someone asked to see it, he diligently dropped the magazine and cleared the chamber. When they finished looking, the man returned the magazine to its slot and then chambered a round before placing the weapon back in the holster. A new person walked up and asked to see the weapon. The man proudly pointed out:
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With this loaded indicator, I can tell that it’s not loaded.
As he was placing the weapon on the table, he grasped the trigger and BLAM! According to Chief Parks:
the bullet sliced the palm of the man’s upward-facing hand, then entered the left side of his wife’s abdomen and exited the right side.
Oopsie… looks like we forgot our basic gun safety — never touch the trigger unless you intend to fire your weapon. And then there is the whole “don’t ever hand a loaded weapon to someone.” And that is why people should leave the shooting to the people that are trained for that. Because even in an innocent situation, people forget the basics because they are not trained enough to develop reflex memory.
Both victims in the accidental shooting in Tennessee were flown to the University of Tennessee Medical Center and are expected to recover as their wounds did not appear to be life-threatening to law enforcement personnel at the scene.
But that man will spend the rest of his days knowing that he could have killed his own wife, in church, on a day they were being thankful for all that they had.
You like guns? Fine. They’re great for hunting. They’re great for target shooting. They’re great for security in your own home. But if you feel the need to carry a firearm with you to church, the supermarket, the daycare center, or wherever you happen to travel during your normal daily activities — you have a problem that your weapon will never be able to fix.
If you are so afraid of shadows that you cannot venture out of your home without a firearm, you need to take action and help to make this country a safer place for everyone. If you don’t feel “safe” without a firearm, you need therapy, not more bullets.