As I watched the coverage of the tragic church shooting last Sunday, my initial thoughts covered how impossible it would be for me to even imagine being in that small town and losing that many friends at one time. My secondary thoughts automatically went to how this event would be used by the MSM and tyrannical politicians to try and push the anti-gun, anti-protection agenda that they are huge proponents of.
Then, something epic came out of that tragedy. A civilian plumber named Stephen Willeford, a guy with no military or law enforcement background was the one who had grabbed his rifle and engaged the killer outside of the church and ended up being the reason the bad guy died and killed no one else. Why is it important that Mr. Willeford was not prior Mil or LEO? It’s important because the media is a big fan of saying, “Well, the guy who took down the bad guy used his prior Mil training to do it.” or “The guy who stopped the shooting was an Off Duty/Retired Cop.”, and they try to use this as a qualifier for why he was able to engage the bad guy and win.
Although Stephen had plenty of training on using a firearm from the NRA, he was not what one would typically call a “Sheepdog” in his every day life. As a plumber, I’d imagine his everyday mindset is not directed towards protecting those around him. From what he said in interviews, he has been an NRA Instructor for a while, and this goes back to one of the key points in why it is important that he was the guy to take down the bad guy.
Immediately after the shooting, politicians were calling the NRA “terrorists”, but as Stephen proved, the NRA was one of the reasons the bad guy didn’t kill anyone else once he was engaged by a good guy with a rifle. The training that Stephen received from the NRA gave him the tools he needed to be successful in stopping the bad guy. Stephen had no Mil or LE background, so there is no other place for the media to point concerning the training he had and used in this incident.
The media immediately made it about the AR-15 that the bad guy used in the shooting, and thug politicians immediately (before the bodies were cold) started calling for a ban on AR’s and their type of rifle. Unfortunately for the Media and politicians, Mr. Willeford was also using an AR-15 with an EOTECH sight, which he had pulled out of his safe in his home when they started to hear the shooting a block and a half away. Good guy with an AR trumped the bad guy with an AR.
Stephen said he ran out of the house with his rifle, a magazine, and a handful of ammo he had just emptied into his hand as he went out the door (so I’m guessin’ he had 20 rounds from the box he emptied). This man was so intent on saving everyone he could, that he even forgot his shoes and was barefoot. He said he was loading ammo in the mag as he ran to the sound of the gunfire (he mentioned every time he heard a shot, he thought it was probably a life of a friend or neighbor, thus the urgency of his departure).
Besides the complete “body slam” of the media and liberal politicians over their typical “NRA BAD!”, “AR-15 BAD!” reaction in this incident. Another point that this situation shows is that a typical 20 or 30 round magazine is not only something that might be nice to have, but that it is a NECESSITY!!!! An AR-15 or any other rifle designed for a martial or protective role is not for duck hunting. It is designed for reliability, durability, and extended firing and it is geared towards hunting down and stopping bad guys. A 20 or 30 round magazine is it’s normal capacity BECAUSE IT IS FOR HUNTING DOWN AND STOPPING BAD GUYS!
Stephen mentioned that if he had just had a handgun, the situation would probably not have turned out as well, and more people might have been killed. The accurate and powerful rifle cartridge (Most any centerfire rifle cartridge is more accurate and powerful than a pistol cartridge) was able to be accurately aimed at a small spot on the bad guy’s side that was not covered with protective plates or kevlar.
Something else I would add is that if Stephen had only had a five or ten round magazine (which he would have had to reload multiple times), the situation he was in might have turned out a lot worse (remember that the next time they talk about wanting to restrict mag capacity!). Although I understand most people keep their magazines unloaded when in storage, I think this is a good example of why you should at least have a few loaded at all times. This kind of a situation is why I am a fan of the three mag bandoleer and slip on or side zip boots. My Buddy John at UWGear makes the bandoleers I have for all my semi auto fighting rifles, they are pictured below.
If Stephen had had a loaded, three mag bandoleer in his safe with his rifle, he could have been out the door that much quicker. I am not disparaging Mr Willeford actions or preparations at all, but I know from what he said in the interview that he was in mental agony every time he heard a shot because he knew what it probably meant, and he probably felt like it was taking him FOREVER to load that mag.
Takeaways from this situation.
- Stephen Willeford showed what a trained, good guy can do with a rifle against a bad man with a rifle.
- Stephen Willeford showed the importance of having a fighting rifle, and how important a standard 20 or 30 round capacity magazine is in a fight.
- It’s hard for the media to demonize the plumber, NRA Instructor, and “Santa on a motorcycle”, Stephen Willeford, and his actions have given us someone to point to as a role model and reason to not restrict fighting firearms and to also stress the importance of training.
- It’s hard for gun purchase restrictions to work when a Federal entity like the Air Force can’t even do their job and enter things like “Dishonorable Discharge” and “Domestic Violence” into the FBI’s criminal database to block things like gun purchases. The Killer’s ability to purchase the firearms he had rests solely on the shoulders of the incompetent AF data entry personnel who dropped that “ball”.
- If someone is a shooter in a mass shooting, they are more than likely a liberal, a Democrat, not a Christian, and are probably on some type of psychotropic medication, because…..Nuts…. Just sayin’….
- Stephen Willeford and Johnnie Langendorff are what the true unorganized militia is, and is supposed to be. Those multi cammed, “Want to be in a fight” moolisha groups we saw at Charlottesville VA just make all of us who have prepared for the fight THAT COMES TO US, look like a bunch of aggressive, wannabe, ne’er do wells trying to start shit.
Hopefully, unlike Stephen Willeford, the fight will never come to you, but the question you need to ask yourself is this, “If a situation like this does happen to me, can I respond in the same manner as Stephen, and what can I take away from this tragedy and his response to make my preparations more squared away for that eventuality?”.
P.S. I purposely did not mention the name of the dead POS bad guy who committed the murders of all those innocent people. I will not acknowledge who he is, and by doing so, give him any more fame than he has already garnered.
American by BIRTH, Infidel by CHOICE