I don’t want to talk about monsters.
I want to talk about heroes.
Unfortunately, heroes are usually only identified after the monsters show up.
On Sunday, when we were at the range qualifying CCW class 71… I got the alert on my IPhone. Scores dead in Texas church shooting.
My first thought, (a sad commentary to the world we live in) was that this must be a black church, and someone has again chosen to victimize African Americans at a house of worship.
Little did I know that the assailant was simply a misguided piece of human excrement that apparently also considered himself an atheist. Ironically, this is after he had taught bible study at that church? We also know he had domestic disputes with his wife, and her family. The family was entrenched in the church, so his rage apparently transmuted to the congregation as a whole.
Whatever… they guy was a piece of shit.
I am far more interested in talking about heroes; Stephen Willeford and Johnnie Langendorff.
These two individuals…civilians… both, had no prior military experience.
What they did have, was a blessed combination of knowledge, skill, and balls.
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The criminal came to the party with a load out for war.
At the time of the writing… the story goes:
He was clad in a plate carrier vest and had an AR style variant in his possession. When the carnage began, the two heroes sprang into action. One ran towards the sound of gun fire and engaged the suspect with his bare hands, disarming him.
When the suspect began to flee… Stephen Willeford, using the same rifle that he had requisitioned from the slob used it to nail the suspect in his support side.
(The UK Daily Mail was quick to point out in surprised language that Stephen Willeford has no prior military training! Ummmm… To the editors of the UK Daily Mail: I get your surprise from your vantage point in Europe… but let me explain something. Mr. Willeford is a Texan. He has lived around guns. He has hunted game his entire life. He represents the foundation of what the Second Amendment is about. When Tyranny raised its hand, (and make no mistake tyranny does not necessarily come from the hand of the government. Tyranny come from anyone or anything that would use force to deprive a citizen of their rights without due process.
In this case the suspect used force to deprive these innocent people of their right to exist.) Mr. Willeford used his knowledge of weapons, ballistics, and marksmanship to fight back against tyranny. The ultimate exercise of his Second Amendment rights.
With the suspect now fleeing and wounded, a second hero emerged. Johnnie Langendorff a local cowboy appeared on his modern day horse… a pick up truck. With Mr. Willeford in the passenger seat with the rifle trained on the fleeing suspect in his car… the two gave chase.
That chase ultimately ended with the suspect crashed, and dead off the side of the road.
We can debate the value of gun control, we can bemoan the lack of adequate reporting when it comes to mental health and all the corollaries to that.
But at the end of the day, we should focus our attention not on the shooter… but on the heroes that remain.
Mr. Willeford and Mr. Langendorff are examples of what makes America… well… America.
Citizens that rise to the call of duty and even in extreme indifference to their own safety do what is necessary to save others.
Gentleman. In our days of sorrow that lay ahead, we look to you as shining examples of what it means to be a true American Hero.
As we pause in silence for the fallen, we will shed a tear than raise a shot of whiskey in your honor.
Well done boys.