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Texas Massacre: The Importance of the 2nd Ammendment

Avi Kister

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On Sunday, November 5 in Sutherland Springs, Texas, Devin Patrick Kelley (pictured left) opened fire on First Baptist Church, killing 26 people, including an unborn child. This is the  largest mass shooting in Texas’ history (Washington Post). Kelley, the shooter, was wearing tactical gear and was armed with a Ruger AR-556 when he began his massacre by shooting at the church from the outside, and according to survivors of the incident, shattering the windows. Kelley then entered the church, shooting anyone that he saw or heard, especially young children who could not stop screaming in fear, including the 14 year old daughter of the pastor. Many of the victims were shot at point blank range (Fox).

Kelley then continued to search every aisle several times for any survivors whom he would shoot, but as survivor David Brown, who survived by playing dead, later related, Kelley was distracted when “somebody with a gun showed up at the front of the church (and) caught the shooter’s attention,” causing the shooter to leave and thus end the massacre (Fox).

Stephen Willeford (shown right), a former National Rifle Association instructor happened to hear the shots, quickly grab his rifle from its safe and ran down to the church barefoot where he exchanged fire with the shooter and managed to shoot him. Kelley however, managed to escape from the scene in his vehicle. However, the heroic Willeford quickly ran to a pickup truck stopped at an intersection and told driver Johnnie Langendorff, “That guy just shot up the Baptist church. We need to stop him.” (Fox) The two then continued in pursuit reaching speeds of up to 90 mph until Kelley hit a road sign and flipped his vehicle over landing in a ditch. Police later discovered that the injured Kelley appeared to have shot himself, bringing about his death (Fox).

Following an investigation, it was discovered that Kelley was once a member of the U.S. Air Force, but was court-martialed in 2012 following an assault on his spouse and their child, during which he fractured their child’s skull. He was later discharged (Fox).

One of the responses to the massacre were calls for increased gun control, but the investigation revealed that stricter restrictions would make no difference as Kelley should never have been able to get a gun in the first place. It turns out that the fault lies with the Air Force’s failure to transmit Kelley’s criminal record to the FBI, which would have stopped Kelley from acquiring such a weapon (USA Today). This massacre if anything, has for many, stressed the importance of the second amendment as many people are theorizing  that the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is to have a good with a gun, allowing for the brave Willeford to put an end to a massacre that could have been so much worse without the assistance of an armed citizen (CNN). Regardless of the politics, the nation’s response to the incident, whether from the President or from locals, has been outstanding. Today the church has been turned into a memorial, dedicated to all of the victims of the massacre (CNN).

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Texas Massacre: The Importance of the 2nd Ammendment