The Unthinkable in Texas

I was busy on the range most of the weekend. Saturday evening after returning home after a long, sunburned day I find out that a free speech event had been attacked by two AK-wielding islamists intent on murdering everyone there. It was just a couple of weeks ago that I was in a class with Greg Ellifritz and William Aprill that covered the possibility of active shooters and suicide bombers…and some people invariably questioned the validity of covering that material in an open enrollment course. Is it possible to look at what happened in Texas…or Oklahoma, or Boston, or New York, or…and still believe that the course content has no application for the average Joe/Jane?

There are many lessons we can glean from what happened in Texas…

1. We have yet another example of a good guy with a handgun stopping a slaughter 

The national media has gone to great lengths to try and discount the potential impact of someone with a firearm and the knowledge to use it making any positive difference in an intended mass-casualty event, but every time there is armed resistance present at the opening stages of an intended slaughter it turns out completely different to the plans of the bad guys. A sixty year old off-duty police officer armed with a handgun saw these two chuckleheads roll up and open fire…and apparently without hesitation he pulled his pistol out and used it to excellent effect. Kudos, sir. I hope you remain anonymous for the sake of your personal safety, but I think I speak for tens of millions of people when I say I’d like to buy you a beer and a few boxes of ammo. You. Rock. 

2. Accurate fire is a force multiplier

Two dudes with AKs bent on slaughter versus one guy with a pistol is some pretty bad math on paper…but violence doesn’t happen on paper. In the real world the ability to put a bullet exactly where it needs to be exactly when it needs to be there can make the critical difference. From what I’m hearing, the good guy here fired his weapon with exceptional accuracy delivering hits on both terrorists that were almost instantaneously physiologically debilitating if not instantly mortal. If you want a handgun to make someone stop their violent actions, you have to put the bullets in important bits of their anatomy. There’s no better way to overcome being outnumbered and outgunned than putting bullets into the hearts and central nervous systems of the bad guys with lethal efficiency. 

3. Bad guys travel in packs

The more dastardly the deed, the more likely the bastard wanting to do it will have help. Always assume there is one more.

4. You don’t get to pick when you need to use your gun. The bad guys decide when you need to use your gun

Granted the nature of this event made the possibility of a violent attack a bit more visible, but I’d wager that the officer working security that morning probably didn’t expect that with all the SWAT studs in attendance that he would be the guy dropping the hammer on a couple of terrorists if any showed up. Life dropped a big ol’ bucket of jihad right in his lap and to his credit he responded immediately and effectively. Again, sir, bravo. If we had scorecards, even the French judges would be holding up 10.0.

5. The people on the front lines of these type of events are often pretty “ordinary” folks

If this were a movie, the terrorists would have been engaged by well-equipped SWAT officers in a dramatic shootout complete with lots of pyrotechnics and a bitchin’ electric guitar solo in the background. In reality it was a traffic officer not too far from retirement age that was confronted with the need to do battle with ISIS-inspired scumbags. Extraordinary violence almost always happens to ordinary people. So to believe that only ninjas have to worry about being able to make an accurate shot under a pretty stiff time constraint, or that only SWAT/JSOC studs need to have ready access to the tools and knowledge to deal with casualties and potential explosive devices seems pretty silly to me. If stuff goes down in front of you, you are on your own for what may well be the rest of your life.

I have a lot of questions about this event, too…like how a dude who has already been convicted on terrorism related charges is walking around a free enough man to get guns and tweet about attacking this event without our massive surveillance state doing anything proactively to prevent him from doing so…but that’s another rant. Erm, “article” for another time.

For now, I encourage you to look hard at the “unthinkable” elements from this event. Those who think it’s “unthinkable” that they would ever be in the middle of a terrorist attack should probably reconsider given that the scumbags busy cutting a murderous rampage across the globe have promised more. Those who believe it is “unthinkable” that one guy with a pistol can make a difference in such an event should probably get their head right, too.





  1. Oh, haven’t you heard? This was all instigated by the Tea Party (or something). There’s facts n’ stuff all over the place.

  2. I have a question. At what point do two rifle carrying open carry protesters morph into threats? Must you wait until they fire upon innocents? Point the rifle? Handle rifle in what way? Make a verbal threat? When do you pull your pistol? Timing is everything.

    1. I think the distinction is rather clear, here. Rifle-toting protesters don’t roll up to the front in a vehicle, roll out with rifles at the ready, and immediately open fire on the first uniform they see. These guys did all of that and so made their intentions pretty clear.

  3. tweet about attacking this event without our massive surveillance state doing anything proactively to prevent him from doing so

    That question was answered two years ago, after the Boston Marathon bombing:

    MISSING THE PING: So Much For The Surveillance State. “The standard investigation clichés apply: It’s still early; there are many unanswered questions; it’s unwise to rush to judgment. But the emerging picture is one of systemic failure, human error, and willful ignorance of the threats facing the country.”

    The surveillance state is part of the state. Where surveillance is a priority — say, when political enemies are concerned — it’ll be ruthlessly efficient. The rest of the time, like when it involves protecting Americans from terrorists, it’s just another government job.

    Glenn Reynolds. April 27, 2013, 11:02 pm.

  4. Turns out no AKs (but a kel-tec Su16 or sub2000, how can they get one when I can’t find one for sale?) and probably no body armor.

    Remember everything the media reports within the first week of an event like this is wrong.

  5. Best line about this I have seen was Kevin Williamson at National Review. “Texas is where terrorists go to get outgunned at an art exihibit.”

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