Just six weeks before Devin Patrick Kelley killed 26 people at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, another church shooting occurred in Antioch, Tennessee.
Emanuel Kidega Samson killed one woman in the parking lot at Burnette Chapel Church of Christ, then entered the church to fire indiscriminately.
Yet the tragic scene in Antioch played out quite differently than that of Sutherland Springs.
Kelley’s shooting spree was stopped when Stephen Willeford ran barefoot into his yard with his AR-15 and shot Kelley multiple times before pursuing him with another man. Injured from gunshots, Kelley crashed his car and committed suicide.
Both killers were prevented from continuing their shooting spree by a good Samaritan with a gun.
Unfortunately, Willeford was across the street from the church, too far to respond quickly enough to save more lives.
But when Emanuel Kidega Samson entered the Burnette Chapel Church of Christ, he encountered a man who had a gun in his car, and was quick to respond.
Bearing Arms reported:
A Nashville Police Department spokesman said the shooter entered the church after 11 a.m. CST wearing a neoprene ski mask. One woman was shot in the parking lot before the shooter entered the church and opened fire on about 42 people still inside.
One church member, 22-year-old Caleb Engle, confronted the shooter before being pistol whipped in the face. Engle then went to his car to retrieve a gun, which he has under a concealed carry license.
Engle returned to the church to confront the gunman again. The gunman shot himself in the face when the man returned, possibly by accident.
“He’s the hero here,” Nashville police chief Steve Anderson said. “He’s the person who stopped this madness in its tracks.”
According to Bearing Arms, Samson went on his shooting spree because he “wanted to kill white people in retaliation for the racially motivated murder of people in a South Carolina church by an avowed white supremacist.”
Yet because Engle was in a position to quickly respond, only one person was killed.
Believe it or not, workplace and student training for dealing with an active shooter used to encourage people to hide. That’s all changed. But as it becomes clear that evacuation is sometimes not an option, and hiding simply doesn’t work, professional training sessions now encourage engagement, by whatever means are necessary.
The recent church shootings were ended in a similar manner. Long before police arrived, somebody stopped the shooters from killing more people.
The difference is that Engle was in the church, and his gun was nearby, so he was able to quickly engage the shooter.
The final result is that we often only hear about shootings with higher death tolls, because somebody with a gun prevents the ones we don’t hear about.
Bearing Arms continues:
We see that a quick, armed response is the best way to minimize the loss of life. Even if the armed citizen ultimately falls, he or she can provide valuable moments for others to escape and ultimately save lives, but we also see that an armed citizen can outright stop the fight. That’s what happened in Antioch, TN. That’s what happened when Jeanne Assam pulled her privately owned weapon on a shooter at the New Life Church in Colorado Springs back in 2007.
Two church shootings just six weeks apart, and we see a very different outcome. Anyone still believe that guns don’t save lives?
Quick, armed response truly is the answer.
Yet to anti-gun legislators, regular law-abiding Americans trained to use their firearms are too stupid and too unprofessional to have their rights protected by the Second Smendment, and signs with a red slash through a gun are the real crime-stoppers.