Tragedy can and will strike in the smallest of towns and the largest of cities. You may remember one of the more recent shootings where a Texas Church of Christ became part of the statistic. On that cold winter day in December, there were a dozen wounded and three dead. While the event was tragic, the carnage would have been much worse had it not been for the trained firearm-carrying members of the congregation who stopped the shooter.
(Do you want this info in here, or is this just for my benefit? I’ll write on it, but feel free to delete if you weren’t planning on using the content) The shooter, like most, was considered a troubled man where he sought out help from the local church. While they gave him food and shelter, they would not give him money, thus creating the fuel for him to open fire on the congregation. No amount of evil should not be tolerated and though we can have empathy for the shooter, we cannot allow someone like this to take the lives of others.
Thankfully, modern-day technology played a key part in the Texas church shooting. The live-streamed service caught the first shots firing off along with the head of the church’s security team shooting and killing the gunman. The whole event was over in seconds and all thanks to firearm training and muscle memory.
Any coach, trainer, or teacher will beat into you that repetition is everything. Creating muscle memory requires patience and persistence which Jack Wilson emulates in his defense against the shooter. The live stream video shows Wilson reacting without hesitation to combat the quick turn of events. His shooting stance unfolds with an effortless grace as he pulls his sidearm and fires–all within seconds. Such smooth and practiced motions come from putting thousands of rounds down range and running through countless firearm self-defense courses and scenarios.
You can find the live streamed version of the video online, both edited and unedited. Wilson’s quick reaction time unnerved a few, especially to watch, but the majority are forever thankful that he was able to save so many lives. Wilson’s bravery should be a call to action for others. We should use the pure inspiration to train more often, more tactically, and more intentionally so that we might also be ready and willing to take a life-saving shot.
What’s It Mean To You?
(I didn’t change this too much, you had it very well written) You might be thinking that you’d never be able to have Wilson’s skill set, but I’ll kindly tell you that you’re wrong. Muscle memory works in all facets of life. Driving, Lifting weights, long jumping, golfing, catching a falling glass, and even reacting to catch your falling child. We all have that muscle memory, that reaction time to do just the right thing in the nick of time. They are often found in things we do repeatedly either at home or at work and become almost second nature. The same thing is true for training for safe and effective tactical firearm use.
Tactical firearm training really is for everyone. Learning how to pick up and fire a weapon does not mean you’ll automatically reach for your firearm when your spouse annoys you. It does not lead to violence of any kind, only to protect yourself and those around you. If anything, this training will instill a level of discipline in you that you won’t find in most areas of your day to day life.
Becoming tactically disciplined means learning to have a keen sense of your surroundings that you may not have had before. You’ll automatically note how many kids are on the playground and who the adults are watching them. You’ll notice how many people are in the gas station with you, and if any of them are acting suspiciously. Your training and proficiency with a firearm will enable you to see the world from a more critical lens, ultimately benefiting you and anyone with you.
How Can You Protect Your Church or Place of Faith
The first step, like for so many other institutions, is recognizing that it’s vulnerable for an attack. Being a church, temple, synagogue, or any other place of worship does not put blanket protection around it.
You’ll need to set up a committee with a group of volunteers who are willing to fully commit to the security and well-being of the congregation. These individuals need to be willing to put in as much training time as possible and take it seriously. While the volunteers should be dedicated to understanding security and self-defense, they should be willing to have hard conversations where they can challenge each other in strategy and tactics. Being willing and able to see possible avenues of attack is vital in creating a solid foundation for security.
At the same time, ensure your congregation is preparing individually. No one should have a false sense of security and assume someone like Jack Wilson will be there to save them if the need arises. The only person who can truly protect you and your loved ones is you. If it falls on your shoulders you want to be strong; avoid crumbling under the pressure and take this role and responsibility with pride, respect for human life, and of course, bravery. The mental challenge will be more difficult than the physical here.
A Good Guy with a Gun is Dangerous
Do not read this article and think “I’d better get a handgun just to be safe and carry around with me,” if you don’t intend to take on training with it. You become part of the problem if a moment of crisis strikes. Yes, you may get lucky and happen to have the right knee-jerk reaction to fire off a round or two in the right direction, but the probability of the alternative is much greater. Jack Wilson developed the instinct and skill set to take his kill shot with a level of proficiency you don’t get by going to the range every six months and putting a few dozen rounds downrange. Tactical training is essential.
You must become comfortable with the weapon, train to master the weapon for hours and hours, and then the hardest training begins: tactical. You must also train your mind to accept that with this training and the choice to carry a firearm comes deep responsibilities and mental clarity about all scenarios that could take place. A good man or woman with a gun isn’t the answer. A good person with a gun and great training is a hero in everyday clothes.