In the small Texas town where Devin Patrick Kelley shot up a congregation last Sunday, residents are praising the local who used a gun of his own to stop the psychopath from committing any more murders.
The hero of Sutherland Springs has inspired neighbors to take control of their own security by arming themselves. None of these proud Americans wants to be a victim, they’d prefer to fight back.
You’ve seen many times on these pages (here, here, and here for only a small sample) that more guns equal less crime. Americans must be their own first responders, because when seconds count, police are minutes away. Peter Holley and Joel Achenbach report:
SUTHERLAND SPRINGS, Tex.
This is a place where people carry firearms as routinely as they wear boots. They carry them out of sight, tucked in a waistband or in a pocket like a billfold. Or they carry them openly.
“There are lots of guns in the community. Most people own guns in Texas,” Wilson County Sheriff Joe Tackitt said Monday. “But guns don’t kill people, people kill people.”
The gun rights community has long had a favorite saying: The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. What happened Sunday offered for that community a resounding echo of their belief. A local man — described by officials as “our Texas hero” — who lives near First Baptist grabbed his own weapon and shot gunman Devin Patrick Kelley outside the church, forcing him to flee.
What some people were saying Monday was that the massacre could have been stopped sooner had the worshipers in the church been carrying. The attack could signal that a change is needed, said Brandy Johnson, 68, an evangelical minister who moved to Sutherland Springs a few months ago. Even in a church service in a one-stoplight town, someone should be tapped to be on the lookout for trouble, she said.
A day after the church massacre involving an assault-style rifle, residents said their resolve to carry those weapons had only strengthened.
Rick Schultz, 58, who retired from the military, said: “You pass a bunch of laws — who is going to obey those laws? Law-abiding citizens. . . . We just need to harden up soft targets. Having someone in there with a concealed weapon.”
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