In perhaps the most chilling instance of post-shooting hysteria, an online mob viciously attacked thought and prayer.
They attacked religion. They attacked our God-given right of self defense. The NRA was covered in blood, they said. The church’s walls and their God did not protect them, they said.
The mob’s scorched earth would accept nothing less than a complete mea culpa, on behalf of the Christian God, the Second Amendment, and supporters of both.
Here’s a mascot for cliche coastal twerpism, Lauren Duca, who exemplifies the multitudes hurling bile on the foundations of the free world:
Then, as typically happens with these things, the facts started to trickle out. They could not have possibly been worse for the gun control, anti-prayer, anti-thought proponents.
Stephen Willeford was “taking a nap” in his home Sunday morning when his distraught daughter started yelling for him. Someone was shooting up the church across the street, she said.
Without pause, he loaded his rifle and ran outside barefoot. Willeford, we’d find out later, was formerly a Sunday school teacher. People describe him as a good Christian. The kind who would “give you the shirt off his back,” one community member said. He was also a former National Rifle Association marksmanship instructor, and part of that troubling sub-sect of working class whites, a plumber by trade.
Above all, or perhaps in sum, he was the kind of American who runs toward the sound of gunfire.
“He saw me and I saw him,” Willeford said in the TV interview. “I was standing behind a pickup truck for cover.”
The shooter, we’d find out, was a militant atheist whose online musings about the virtues of godlessness annoyed his friends so badly, they started unfriending him on Facebook. He was also a convicted wife beater and abuser of children.
The shooter committed his crimes while serving in the Air Force. In the cruelest twist, incompetent military court clerks presiding over his case did not forward his conviction and discharge status to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). The Second Amendment regulation meant to prevent the likes of the shooter had failed.
Willeford calmly took aim and put rounds down on a literal bad guy with a gun. One struck true, despite the killer’s body armor. The murderous heathen then took flight to his car to make a getaway, and that’s when the most Texas thing possible happened.
A barefoot stranger carrying a rifle ran up to Johnnie Langendorff’s truck as he was driving by the church and hollered about the shooting. Langendorff, who readily admits he likes to drive fast, knew what he had to do.
He floored the gas.
“Because that’s what you do,” he said later. “You chase the bad guy.”
In an interview the next day that made Sully Sullenberger seem loquacious, Langendorff recounted in single-syllables his Sunday drive with a gun toting plumber in pursuit of a mass murderer at speeds reaching 95 mph.
“What were you thinking?” He was asked.
“I had to catch the guy, I had to make sure he was caught.”
The perpetrator didn’t fare well. When police arrived at the end of the chase, the killer had become a heavily-perforated corpse in a smoking wreck.
Now if you’re looking at this story, what you should be seeing is nothing short of providence. Not a reason for summary dismissal of faith, thought and prayer, and certainly not a reason to curtail self-determination.
When they extracted his remains from the car, authorities found the killer had in his possession a veritable armory. A law-abiding Sunday school teacher and an almost frustratingly understated hero put an end to a rampage that, by all accounts, would almost certainly be worse.
And in the immediate wake of this as of yet unknown, objective truth, certain parts of our liberal class, among them powerful members of the media and body politic, saw their moment to attack the things that prevented a further massacre, and promote the things that fueled it.
They promoted godlessness. They promoted fraught and failed gun policies. And, worse yet, they scorned without remorse the people who might for a second resist their baseless bile.
Finally, these people who dropped Vegas in order to defend “Allahu Akbar” for a week, they came for thought.
They demanded we amoral infidels convert to their group think. They sought to leverage the power of government to exact it upon us.
Personally, that’s exactly when they’ll find me most wrapped in thought and prayer, with a gun nearby.