The man praised as a hero for stopping a shooter at his Texas church last month is now helping other churches across the country train their armed congregants to prevent massacres from occurring in their own places of worship.
During a church safety seminar on Sunday, Jack Wilson told those in attendance that if Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg’s proposal for gun control were in effect, the shooting would have ended “extremely more severe” than it did.
On Dec. 29, a man dressed in a fake beard, wig and a long coat entered West Freeway Church of Christ in White Settlement, Texas, and walked up to a communion server.
A few moments later, he pulled out a shotgun and shot a security volunteer and the communion server before he was stopped by Wilson, who serves as head of security at the church, according to The Associated Press.
Sadly, both men died as a result of their injuries.
With his own gun, however, Wilson stopped the shooter and prevented him from killing anyone else in the congregation.
“The events at West Freeway Church of Christ put me in a position that I would hope no one would have to be in, but evil exists and I had to take out an active shooter in church,” Wilson later wrote on Facebook.
“I’m thankful to GOD that I have been blessed with the ability and desire to serve him in the role of head of security at the church. I am very sad in the loss of two dear friends and brothers in CHRIST, but evil does exist in this world and I and other members are not going to allow evil to succeed.”
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott called Wilson a “true Texas hero” and emphasized that his story shows how a “good guy with a gun” can stop “a bad guy with a gun.”
This is the good guy with a gun who stopped a bad guy with a gun at the church in White Settlement.
It took 6 seconds.
He saved countless lives.
He is Jack Wilson and a true Texas hero. pic.twitter.com/kfAv79xcoT
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) January 3, 2020
Bloomberg saw things very differently.
Speaking at a campaign event Dec. 30 in Montgomery, Alabama, the former New York mayor said Wilson shouldn’t have been armed.
“It may be true — I wasn’t there, I don’t know the facts — that somebody in the congregation had their own gun and killed the person who murdered two other people,” Bloomberg said.
“But it’s the job of law enforcement to have guns and to decide when to shoot,” he said. “You just do not want the average citizen carrying a gun in a crowded place.”
Sunday was the first major church safety seminar at which Wilson spoke since the shooting event at his own church.
Nearly 600 people gathered at North Pointe Baptist Church in Hurst, Texas, to learn about how to better protect their own church, according to The Dallas Morning News.
While speaking to the crowd, Wilson warned them of the growing attacks on the Second Amendment and specifically called out Bloomberg.
The Democratic candidate’s policy plan says he supports “a gun safety policy that treats the gun violence crisis like a true national emergency: creating an effective background checks system, keeping guns away from people who pose a danger to themselves or others, protecting young people in schools and Americans in their homes, tackling daily gun violence in the hardest-hit communities, and confronting the gun industry head-on.”
The tension surrounding anti-gun legislation has been rising across the country, as Democratic presidential candidates and politicians in Virginia push for restrictions on firearms and citizens rally to fight for their Second Amendment rights.
“If we were operating under Bloomberg’s position, we wouldn’t have had any guns in there,” Wilson said, referring to the Dec. 29 attack. “The outcome would have been extremely more severe than it was.”
Man who stopped White Settlement church shooting warns of attack on Second Amendment https://t.co/RDjbPdGHYG
— Dallas Morning News (@dallasnews) January 28, 2020
Even though Wilson said he was only able to save the other 250 congregants’ lives by using his gun, Bloomberg’s campaign claims the entire situation could’ve been avoided had a policy like Bloomberg’s been in place.
“Mr. Wilson certainly acted bravely, but the killer had a history of violence and mental health issues and under Mike’s plan, he would never (have) had a gun,” Bloomberg campaign spokeswoman Elizabeth Lewis said in a statement, according to The Morning News.
Wilson, however, maintains that people would be able to get a gun regardless of how strict gun laws are.
He also told those in attendance about how important it is for those with firearms to practice and prepare for an attack.
“If you sign up for a security team, practice, train, practice, train,” Wilson said, “because if you don’t do that, when it comes down to the real-life scenario, you probably will not react as you need to.”
He added that his heightened awareness and his skill with his own firearm played crucial roles in thwarting what could’ve been a much more tragic scenario.
“I hope the outcome of all this is getting people to become aware of their surroundings,” Wilson said, “to become aware they are responsible, in a large part, for their safety and well-being, whether they are in church, a grocery store or wherever.”
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