A story of "gun enthusiast" Mark Allen Wilson's death is making its rounds through the blogosphere's gun section. Say Uncle, Publicola, Sheepdog, and Geek with a .45 covered it so well there is little for me to say, but it kept eating at me all morning so I decided to blog about it.
Here are links to press coverage:
Tyler Morning Telegraph (local paper)
Briefly, a man (David Arroyo) armed with probably a semi-auto version of an AK-47 killed his wife and wounded his grown son in front of a courthouse in Tyler, Texas. Wilson interceded with his own firearm thus saving the son's life. In an exchange of gunfire, Wilson was hit and then Arroyo stood over him and killed him. A second armed citizen at the scene may also have exchanged fire. Finally, police officers rallied and killed Arroyo.
CNN's article quotes the wounded son as saying "...his father was always open about having a collection of weapons." But, police said Arroyo had a history of domestic violence and weapons violations therefore he probably owned his "collection" illegally.
The story said Wilson was a "gun enthusiast" who once owned a shooting range.
I look for gun grabbers to spin this incident in several ways.
First, Arroyo used an AK-type weapon so expect more cries supporting "assault weapon" bans.
Second, it is likely, though I'm not absolutely sure, Arroyo was barred from firearms ownership. If he could own guns legally, look for gun grabbers to call for fast ways to confiscate weapons of those with restraining orders, domestic violence convictions, etc. If he was barred, look for gun grabbers to call for tightening the Brady Act to examine gun buyers more thoroughly.
Finally, Wilson was a civilian who died helping others. Gun grabbers will argue that an armed citizen faces death when dealing with a gunman. They'll say that Wilson shouldn't have had a gun and that he died needlessly. They'll say helping others is best left to professionals.
They won't mention that Wilson saved a life and bought time for cops to get to the scene. We'll never know, but Wilson may have prevented Arroyo from shooting others who had not yet found cover and stopped a higher death count.
I carry a concealed weapon legally. I know that I could face a situation where I or others are in mortal danger. I don't know how I'd do in such a test because no one does. Even "trained professionals" freeze or are killed despite their training. There is no way to train for every scenario since each incident is different. You train as realistically as possible and respond as best you can.
Wilson interceded in a terrible situation and lost his life. He laid down his life for another person and there is no better or unselfish reason to die. A greater love hath no man....
Wilson died because he acted. Anti-defense people are against action. They want us to live like they do. Afraid of acting in our defense. Afraid of helping another person in the face of danger. They want us to say, "let police officers handle it" even as they disparage police officers as "tools of BushCo's fascist regime."
I'm tired of whiners. I'm responsible for my own defense and I believe in helping others. I would not want to die while doing so, but its a risk I believe I would take if so tested. I'd rather die fighting than die at the hands of a smirking criminal as he moved along to his next victim--especially if I knew I took a horrible bastard with me or that I saved another person's life.
Mark Allen Wilson, Rest in Peace.