Comments

THOUGHTS ON SELF-SUFFICIENCY — 9 Comments

  1. Mas,

    Your report on that broadcast was clear, true and backed up with facts. Preparing for disasters lessens their destruction. Being unprepared means being more helpless and vulnerable to harm.

  2. What I found most interesting, the next day Mr. Wilson got it on camera, that the only reason he took the headshot (kill shot) was because there were parishioners in front of him and he had no choice.

    Given instruction with Mas and other talented Deadly Force training, a head shot–the intentional killing of another human being, could be introduced as “Mens rea” and the outcome of that Kill Shot was immediate death, thus, Actus rea.

    But because of the totality of the circumstances, he was not charged with murder.

    While Mr. Wilson declines to claim to be a hero, he is to many. He had the courage to down a mad dog, with precision and quick decisive actions that saved lives. He had the presence of mind, to go out in front of the cameras the next day to explain his actions, which were reasonable, proportional and necessary. Amazing!

    Stay safe.

  3. I’ve been talking about this very thing earlier today Mas, with a retired LVMPD friend who is deeply religious and who knows the importance of training for these possibilities.

  4. In certain circumstances the head shot may be the only shot available. However, it’s fraught with practical “issues”. Since the bullet may be traveling at head level anyone beyond is at considerable risk. As are those between the shooter and the threat. The head is capable of considerable movement and you have no warranty that those beyond the threat and those between the shooter and the threat won’t move in a extremely bad direction at the exact wrong time. It’s definitely a case of least bad choice.

    There’s also the problem that a head shot is not necessarily an instant stop. A properly placed shot with an adequately capable tool has a chance. The task on the square range isn’t the same as doing it for real.

    Kudos to Mr. Wilson.

  5. What Mr. Wilson did was truly amazing. I think what he did was perfect, but an anti-gunner may regret the loss of life, and try to argue he should have shot the suspect in the leg. Readers of this blog know that is a bad strategy.

    I want to explore another “what if?” scenario. What if Mr. Wilson killed or wounded two innocent church-goers, before he finally concentrated on his front sight and ended the attack? I would still consider him a hero. I would count the number of cartridges carried by the suspect, and conclude each round could have found a victim. So, Jack Wilson would still be a life saver, but he would be a sloppy one, not a perfect one.

    My aim is to show that we Americans like neat, surgical, collateral damage-free happy Hollywood endings to violent encounters. Because of dedicated practice, Jack Wilson was able to provide us with a Hollywood finish to this gunfight. I would argue any gunfight in which the good guys win is acceptable. Perfection is too high a standard. Although Vince Lombardi said if you aim at perfection, you get excellence.

    • Voltaire noted that “Perfect is the Enemy of the Good”.

      By this, he meant that we must not let our desire for perfection, or (more accurately) our fear of falling short of perfection freeze us into inaction.

      Mr. Wilson did not let his natural fear of failure, even of making a bad shot and killing an innocent friend, freeze him into inaction. He took the shot. If he had missed with his first shot (as could easily happen), I believe that he would have continued to fire until he neutralized the criminal.

      As it happens, his first shot was “on target” and he did achieve that “neat, surgical, collateral damage-free happy Hollywood ending”.

      The real story, however, is that Mr. Wilson acted decisively. He was not paralyzed by fear (either direct fear of the criminal or indirect fear of failure and causing harm to the innocent).

      His decisive action marks him as a hero. I am reminded of Theodore Roosevelt’s famous quote:

      “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

  6. I was just reading your Ayoob Files article on the White Settlement shooting. I remember when I saw the video, my heart sank when I first saw the gun swing up and Mr. Wallace move backward, and then again when I saw Mr. White fumbling his draw. As you said in the article and the radio interview, lessons to be learned from others’ sacrifices.

    I was just reading an older article from Texas Monthly magazine about Stephen Williford in their November 2018 issue. It’s a well done article, I thought, especially given Texas Monthly can be a bit left leaning in their views. There is a fair bit of detail I had not seen before, including some of the aftermath Mr. Williford had experienced. I’d post the web link, but comments here that include those seem to disappear. But If you search “Texas monthly November 2018” and go to that issue, you’ll easily find it.

    • Just read that story. Amazing.Thanks for the cite. This puts a real man into a tough situation.