Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Simply Having a Gun Is Not Enough

Here's an interesting account of the Colorado Church shooting, featuring the eyewitness statements from a Vietnam combat vet who was at the church when the shooting took place.

Larry Bourbonnais, a combat-tested Vietnam veteran, said it was the bravest thing he's ever seen.


Bourbonnais, 59, had just finished up a hamburger in the cafeteria on the sprawling church campus when he heard gunfire, he recalled.

He headed in the direction of the shots as frightened people ran past him looking to escape to safety.

"Where's the shooter? Where's the shooter?" Bourbonnais kept yelling, he recalled.

Near an entryway in the church, Bourbonnais came upon the gunman and an armed male church security guard who was there with his gun drawn but not firing, he said.

Bourbonnais said he pleaded with the armed guard to give him his weapon.

"Give me your handgun. I've been in combat, and I'm going to take this guy out," Bourbonnais recalled telling the guard. "He kept yelling, 'Get behind me! Get behind me!' He wouldn't hand me his weapon, but he wouldn't do anything."

There was an additional armed security guard there, another man, who also didn't fire, Bourbonnais said.


Bourbonnais ducked behind a hollow, decorative pillar and was hit in the arm by a bullet and fragments of the pillar.

At about that moment, Assam turned a corner with a drawn handgun, walked toward the gunman and yelled "Surrender!" Bourbonnais said.

The gunman pointed a handgun at Assam and fired three shots, Bourbonnais said. She returned fire and just kept walking toward the gunman pressing off round after round.

A gun is not a magical object. You can't wave it around like you're Harry Potter conjuring up a disappearing spell and expect all your troubles to vanish into thin air. There's a lot more to armed self-defense than "Step 1: Draw your weapon.".

Thankfully, Ms. Assam understood this and was willing and able to return fire and eliminate this piece of garbage before any more innocent lives were lost. She didn't put on her gun that morning hoping she'd get to kill someone that day. No one in his or her right mind does. But, sometimes, doing the right thing means doing something you'd rather not do.

To paraphrase something I said earlier on the topic: People who carry handguns for self-defense aren't looking for trouble, but trouble has a way of finding us, anyway, so we'd best be ready for it.

The alternative ending is something I'd rather not experience.

(link via Wizbang)