A survivor of the mass shooting at an El Paso, Texas, Walmart said in an interview this week that his mother, who usually carries her handgun wherever she goes, did not do so on Saturday.
But he wishes she had.
Christopher Grant is being hailed as a hero for throwing bottles at the shooter, successfully drawing the killer to himself and away from other innocent bystanders.
Grant, who was hit in the process, described his experience in a Monday interview with CNN’s Chris Cuomo.
“I heard gunshots, and I knew what it was, so I ran towards my mother to try to shield her,” Grant said from his hospital bed.
“And I’m like, mom — ’cause my mom, she’s a gun-wielding grandma. She carries a snub-nose Smith & Wesson, .38 special with a built-in scope in it, everywhere she goes,” he said.
Saturday was the exception.
“An hour before we went to Walmart, she decides, ‘We’re just going to Walmart, I’m going to put it in my room.’ So when I went to her, no gun. And I was like, ‘Oh, my God, you got to be kidding me,'” Grant said.
Grant was in the store at the time, but he said he saw the shooter in the parking lot “popping people off.”
Instead of running to safety, he tried to divert the shooter’s attention.
“I started throwing random bottles at him,” Grant said. “I’m not a baseball player, so one went this way, one went that way, and then one went right towards him.”
Of course, his success meant putting his own life in danger, as the gunman soon started firing at him.
“When I got hit, it was like — it was like somebody put a hand grenade in your back and pulled the pin,” Grant said. “That’s basically what it felt like.”
There are a couple of important takeaways from this story.
First and foremost, Grant is a hero. His actions very well may have saved lives, and while he had the opportunity to try and save himself, he instead did the exact opposite.
Second, his story highlights the importance of the Second Amendment, especially the right of Americans to carry handguns in self-defense.
There’s no telling what might have happened had Grant’s mother opted to carry her gun on Saturday. Perhaps she would have been able to take down the shooter, perhaps not.
But here’s the takeaway: The one time you choose not to carry might be the only time you’ll ever need to carry.
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