Musings after the Tyler Courthouse Shootings

Last week in Tyler, a lunatic named David Arroyo, in illegal possession of a gun, fired off about 50 rounds outside the Smith County Courthouse, killing two before police killed him. That’s the ten second sound bite most folks heard thanks to the leftward slanted media. Here’s a more complete look at what happened, along with news about a true hero and martyr who used his own, legally carried gun and sacrificed his life to protect others from the killer. [The link works as of 11:15 p.m., 3 March 5.],2933,149250,00.html

For those who don’t read the full story I shall focus on two particularly telling excerpts. Mark Wilson is the name of the chap who diverted the vest-wearing killer by firing a few slugs into Arroyo’s shielded torso, undoubtedly saving the killer’s son and likely other folks as well. [Too bad Wilson didn’t nail Arroyo through the temple instead.]

Wilson, a licensed concealed handgun permit holder, heard Arroyo’s shots and saw the commotion from his apartment window. He grabbed a handgun and headed toward the attacker. Arroyo had already wounded several police officers and there was no one left to prevent his rampage.

Arroyo had also shot his 22-year-old son and was about ready to shoot him again from very close range when Wilson fired his gun, hitting Arroyo several times in the chest. Arroyo was wearing a bullet resistant vest and flak jacket and Wilson’s shots did not seriously wound him. Yet, Wilson’s shots forced Arroyo to come after him, and it used up a couple of minutes of his time. Unfortunately, in the exchange of gunfire, Arroyo eventually fatally shot Wilson. With police arriving, Arroyo fled the scene and was later shot to death by police as they pursued him.

This true American hero deserves the most attention and is getting the least in all the furor. The courthouse should be renamed the Mark Wilson Courthouse of Smith County, to honor this man for his unselfish, and ultimately fatal, valor.

The writer, John Lott Jr., is a gun rights advocate and researcher of crime trends. He also wrote…

In the book, The Bias Against Guns, Bill Landes of the University of Chicago Law School and I examine multiple-victim public shootings in the United States from 1977 to 1999 and find that when states passed right-to-carry laws, these attacks fell by 60 percent. Deaths and injuries from multiple-victim public shootings fell on average by 78 percent.

The problem we supporters of reasonably regulated gun ownership face in this argument is a tough one — akin to saving lives with watches and warnings. We can’t prove that lives were saved (or how many), despite the clear conclusion that this action spared *somebody* (i.e., Arroyo’s son) and that stats show a drop in casualties from such events since the era of [defensive gun use, watches/warnings]. As applied to the gun matter, the chattering classes on the left exploit and distort that conundrum to fullest extent in order to ensure that only criminals will carry guns.

As for Arroyo and his ilk: If not by an illegally obtained firearm, such a deranged freak is as likely to use a car to mow folks down and/or an explosive to blow folks apart. Those so horridly determined to carry out their evil purposes will not let any gun law or even gun unavailability stop them. Bear in mind the wackos who run cars into crowds, or all the bombings in “enlightened” western Europe, where gun availability is restricted in draconian fashion. The Dutch gun slaying of moviemaker Van Gogh by Islamic extremists shows that super strict firearms laws don’t mean anything at all to those intent on deliberate, murderous rampage.

Never will I advocate unfettered access to police and military arms for all. That’s just ludicrous! But upon completing a safety course and exhibiting a spotless criminal record, law abiding citizens, who as a group epitomize the constitutional “well regulated militia”, should be allowed licenses to pack heat.

I come from the inner city and understand gun violence first hand. Have you witnessed shootings? Seen a fresh bullet hole, black within like a miniature cavern through throbbing human flesh, as that dark maroon blood peculiar to bullet wounds begins to ooze out? Watched people die before your eyes? I have. They were the result of both accidental and deliberate shootings. In none of those events was a law abiding citizen responsible.

A kid I didn’t know, but with a familiar face, gasped through blood filled lungs while hoisted into an ambulance, never to be seen again, after his “brothers” in a gang popped him for some ridiculous little transgression of disrespect and/or petty drug related spat. At Baylor Hospital, my six or seven year old eyeballs gazed in stunned amazement as my dad’s barbershop friend David Lopez unfurled the bandages to reveal the seeping crater in his torso, resulting from a late night shooting in a parking lot of a Bryan Street bar.

Now after all that, please read carefully these words: I support the right of law abiding citizens to bear arms.

Yes, yes, accidents can and always will happen too, as with car drivers (who as a group kill far more people than gun owners). An uncle of mine died at the old Baker Hotel, thanks to a careless punk who supposedly was firing in the air at nothing in particular. A woman on a school bus I was riding once got nailed in the leg by a .22 caliber piece she carried in her purse. [It discharged through the purse and downward as the bus passed in front of the Belmont Station post office, east Dallas. Neither she nor her friend, the driver, were seen again by the kids of Alex Spence Middle School who rode that route.] It could have been me or any of the other kids taking that bullet. Again, the common denominator: none of these people were legal carriers of firearms.

This is a broken and sin ridden world. Until a neutron bomb for psychopaths can become reality and zap away all the deranged freaks like Arroyo, or until the Second Coming renders hatred and violence extinct, law abiding citizens should be able to carry and use small arms for self defense. And gun use for crimes, gun ownership by criminals, or negligence by any gun owner in someone’s death or injury (including their own injury), should be what’s punished to draconian extent with the most severe measures humanely possible.


3 Responses to “Musings after the Tyler Courthouse Shootings”

  1. steve goss on March 10th, 2005 6:34 pm

    Aw, come on, Roger. We all know the truth — that we have to outlaw guns. Didn’t you see the article on Drudge today, about the CAT who shot it’s owner? Doesn’t that prove that guns are evil and should be outlawed? Cats (and the rest of the gun owners in this country). What a menace to society.

  2. Hail Chaser on March 13th, 2005 12:46 am

    I am a licensed carrier and I say Great Post!

  3. tornado on March 15th, 2005 5:57 pm


    Naturally! And we ought to outlaw cars too; after all, people don’t kill people, cars do. The only way to get all these deadly vehicles out of the hands of drunks and other criminals is to ban automobiles, pickups and SUVs! Why not? After all, this reasoning is entirely conistent with the left’s reasoning regarding guns. Yet, how strange… I don’t see most liberals arguing to ban cars — either for this reason (they kill people) or for others (i.e., pollution). Perhaps it’s because they *drive* them, and because it would be personally inconvenient. Hypocrites.

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