- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Two people were killed and another wounded in Texas after a man wearing a fake beard, wig, hat and long coat entered a church in the community of White Settlement, pulled out a shotgun and began firing.

Tragic and horrible as that is — it could’ve been much, much worse. It could’ve been much, much bloodier.

The gunman was stopped in his tracks after Jack Wilson, a gun-carrying church security volunteer, and other armed parishioners pulled their own weapons and prepared to fire.

“By the time the [attacker, identified as Keith Thomas Kinnunen, 43] approached a communion server and pulled out a shotgun,” The Associated Press reported, “Wilson and another security volunteer were already reaching for their own guns.”

Several other armed church-goers reportedly reached for their weapons as well.

Kinnunen shot and killed armed church volunteer Richard White and a server, Anton “Tony” Wallace, AP reported. And as the 240-plus congregants in the church rushed for cover, Wilson was able to get a line of fire.

“[Church members] were jumping, going chaotic,” Wilson said, AP reported. “They were standing up. I had to wait about half a second, or a second, to get my shot. I fired one round. The subject went down.”


In a matter of seconds — the attacker was killed.

And because the attacker was so quickly killed, untold numbers of other lives were mercifully saved.

The Second Amendment saves, yes? 

“[Authorities] can’t prevent mental illness from occurring, and we can’t prevent every crazy person from pulling a gun. But we can be prepared like this church was,” Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said in a press conference outside the church on Monday.

Texas, notably, had just changed its laws to allow for church-goers with the legal rights to carry to bring their weapons inside of places of worship. That allowance took effect in September, and it came about because of a 2017 shooting at a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, that left 26 dead.

Twenty-six versus two.

Either way you slice it, the deaths are tragic and senseless and horrible.

But 26 versus two.

“Had this law not been passed and allowed these people to be armed,” Paxton said in a Fox News interview, “I fear we could’ve lost hundreds.”

There’s nothing to say to that except — he’s right.

• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter, @ckchumley. Listen to her podcast “Bold and Blunt” by clicking HERE. And never miss her column; subscribe to her newsletter by clicking HERE.

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