Unlike a lot of shootings, this one had live video going from beginning to end and unusually clear. The church was livestreaming their services. The camera was placed on the far back corner from the pulpit's left, and was positioned to show both pulpit and congregation. Which meant we had clear view of the shooting, which happened at the far back corner from the pulpit's right.
The shooter, wearing a hood and a jacket, approached a man holding what looks like a collection plate. I'm told by the news the man with the plate was a Mr. Anton Wallace.
After an unheard conversation with Wallace, the shooter pulled a shotgun from under his jacket. A man sitting in the back pew (who news sources ID as a Mr. Richard White) stands and reaches for the small of his back.
Three things happen in rapid succession.
One, The shooter doesn't immediately fire. He does, however, shoot and kill White before White manages to draw his own weapon.
Two, He then turns and shoots Wallace, killing him.
Three, the shooter is shot and killed almost immediately afterwards by a man named Jack Wilson. Wilson had been sitting further away from White in a back pew.
At this point, five more parishioners draw their weapons. One advances along the back wall. One, satisfied the shooter is dead, temple indexes their weapon and starts escorting kids out of the pews. One reholsters after being satisfied the shooter is down. Two head down the main aisle between the pews, flagging some of their fellow parishioners before likewise reholstering.
* * *
That's the shooting. The reactions have been typical.
Pro-gun groups have all but built a statue to the good man with a gun who graced us with his earthly presence. NRA immediately tweeted such, and is being called out by CNN for "apparently it's cool to talk about it when the bodies are still warm if you're proven right."
The tacticlowns are mocking the late Mr. White for everything from being fat to carrying at the small of the back. Those who aren't drooling at Wilson making a headshot from 15 years, that is.
The few gun grabbers who are opening their mouths are sneering at the deaths of Wallace and White as examples of Good Guy with a Gun not working, and otherwise are clutching their pearls and sailing down denial.
I mean, an overweight cishet white boomer christian trump supporter being a GOOD guy? *GASP*
Wilson, for his part, ain't helping. Turns out he's a local politician running for county commissioner, and wasted no time giving his side of the shooting story.
* * *
As for me? I'm getting too old for this shit.
Look, Good Person with a Gun and the Will to use it is still the first, last, and only effective response to mass shootings we have, period. Deal with it or die mad about it.
The fact that Wilson's an ex-cop meant shit. The man used to own a range. He went through more training ammo in a week than most cops do in a year. For further comparison, there's a UPS truck from a few weeks back that probably still looks like a fucking colander.
White died trying. End of story. Larry Correia once said that armed citizens don't have to be Navy SEALS, they just have to be speedbumps. White died a speedbump, and there's honor in that. He died defending his fellow parishioners, even if he never got off a shot. There's a term for mocking the man after all of this: victim blaming.
You want to talk shit about him for it?
Then from one fat man with a beard and a keyboard to another: go fuck yourself.
Seven parishioners were visibly armed that day. One died trying to draw. One killed the shooter. Three others kept their muzzle discipline. Two flagged fellow congregants.
With the usual caveats that I'm a cishet dude here, to me? Being flagged is like being catcalled: it's annoying as fuck and a huge red flag as to the offender's threat to my personal safety, but if the blood has already started flowing, it's the least of my problems. Not bad for a half-dozen people that look like Backyard Bettys.
Wilson's taking a huge risk talking about his part to the press. Even in as clear-cut a shoot as this, It's still a risk that a relative of the shooter can try to sue Wilson for wrongful death. Wilson presumably has a lawyer on retainer. Not every Good Person with a Gun can say that.
(In other words, if the worst happens and you have to pull the trigger, stay the fuck off Facebook for a while. You'll get called a lot of vile shit. But I assure you, discretion becomes the better part of valor here.)
TL;DR - If you can't be a Good Person with a Gun, be a Good Person. Train. Watch out for what happens next.
See you next year.