Monday, December 10, 2007

Female Church Member With Personal Pistol Kills Assassin, Saves Lives

Condolences and prayers are due those church members in Colorado whose family members were killed or wounded by the deranged loser who attacked young people at two locations on Sunday.

Prayers of thanks are due for the heroic actions of Jeanne Assam, a church member, a civilian, a volunteer with a gun who killed the 24-year old assassin before he could do more damage.

In spite of nearly a day of reports that an "off-duty" police officer stopped the shooting spree of the armored and armed killer, CNS is now reporting

Many people are expressing relief that a volunteer security guard used her own gun to stop a man on a shooting spree Sunday. "She probably saved over 100 lives," the Brady Boyd, the pastor of the New Life Church in Colorado Springs, said on Monday. The female guard, a church member dressed in plain clothes, killed the gunman after he opened fire at the mega-church. Boyd said she "rushed toward the attacker and took him down in the hallway" as he entered the building.
It gives one pause to realize that in many states, though thankfully not Colorado, church members are banned by law from carrying concealed weapons in church.

It also supports the perception that while there are always civilians on the spot when bad guys attack, too often their only role is victim. Here is case where one person, out-gunned and on the wrong end of the surprise continuum, defeated a man who was willing to kill as long as his victims cooperated.

To those who say one person cannot make a difference, the lesson from New Life Church is proof that reality is different.

The police will respond to these senseless attacks, as they always do, but lives are saved only when at least one of the victims decides to resist effectively. In nearly 100% of the incidents of multi-victim shootings in "gun free zones" the end comes in only one of two ways, death by suicide or death by a civilian shooting the bad guy.

For a woman to use her own pistol to kill a 24-year old murderer armed with a semi-automatic weapon, wearing body armor and an armored helmet is impressive as it should be.

UPDATE: According to an eyewitness, Larry Bourbonnais, quoted in the Denver Post, two male security guards with guns drawn refused to return fire and also refused to give their pistols to church members willing to shoot the assassin.

UPDATE: The Colorado Springs police force responded very quickly, but still it took two minutes for the first officers to reach the scene, by which time it was all over. Most departments stress tactics that call for the first responders to wait for overwhelming force before attempting to enter an active shooting scene. If this is true in Colorado Springs, it could very easily have taken police officers 30 minutes or longer to subdue the shooter.

There is no substitute for necessary (and courageous!) action by those whose lives are actually at risk.

UPDATE: The shooter left behind substantial evidence that his was a hate crime directed against Christians.

We all owe a debt a gratitude to those who carry and use weapons in our defense, whether in uniform or dressed for church. We are all the safer for it.

It will be awhile before a copycat takes the path that this killer did, as there is absolutely no "amp" in being gunned down by an ordinary lady.

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