‘Miraculous’: Heroes in the pews, concealed carry law credited in church shooting

by WorldTribune Staff, December 30, 2019

Changes in state law that allow concealed firearms inside places of worship proved instrumental during a Dec. 29 shooting in a Texas church, where a gunman was fatally shot by armed parishioners six seconds after opening fire.

In a still frame from video provided by law enforcement, churchgoers take cover while a congregant armed with a handgun, top left, engages a man who opened fire, near top center just right of windows, during a service at West Freeway Church of Christ on Dec. 29. / West Freeway Church of Christ / Courtesy of Law Enforcement

According to local police, the unidentified gunman pulled out a shotgun and shot and killed two parishioners at the West Freeway Church of Christ in White Settlement, which is outside Fort Worth.

Two armed parishioners who were volunteer security guards returned fire and killed the gunman.

Texas Department of Public Safety Director Jeoff Williams said: “The citizens who were inside that church undoubtedly saved 242 other parishioners, and that might get swept aside. It was miraculous. The true heroes in all this are the people who were sitting in those pews today and responded, the immediate responders … it was truly heroic.”

Britt Farmer, the church’s senior minister, told the Dallas Morning News that the church lost two “great men today, but it could have been a lot worse, and I am thankful our government has allowed us the opportunity to protect ourselves.”

The new law which allows legal gun owners to conceal carry in places of worships was signed by Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, in June.

Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, at a press conference after the shooting, praised the two volunteer security guards and credited the changes in state law.

“The immediate responder is the most important,” Patrick said, according to the Dallas Morning News. “The citizen responder. Because even though the chief’s brave officers were here in less than a minute … by the time they got here, the shooting was over. And that always happens, that over 50 percent of shootings, our first responders, it’s usually over when they get there, no matter how hard they try.”

While many officials said the outcome was proof that the new gun laws in Texas were appropriate and working, the usual socialist Democrat gun-control proponents disagreed.

Beto O’Rourke, whose bid for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination crashed and burned in magnificent fashion, tweeted: “Clearly what we are doing in Texas, what we are doing in this country, when it comes to guns is not working.”

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