What We Learn From This Texas Church Shooting

Tennessee Church ShootingShootings in church seem to be on the rise a lot more lately, which is all the more reason to carry a gun to begin with. However, there is a distinction that must be made between someone who carries a gun and someone willing to use that gun to save life that is of extreme importance.

I think a lot of people are enamored by the idea that a gun will save them if they're ever attacked, but that's not exactly true. In fact, it's downright false. The gun itself doesn't save a person any more than having a parachute will save someone who has jumped out of a plane.

Please let me explain.

The parachute by itself cannot deploy. Don't get me wrong, if you're falling through the air it's great to have the parachute. In fact, it's the best thing you can have from the moment you jump from the plane or start to fall.

But having the chute is only half of the answer. The parachutist must pull that string to avoid becoming a dude pancake at the bottom. Therefore, the driver must also put on the seatbelt if he believes it will help save him during a car crash.

And finally, the gun owner must pull the trigger when the time comes that he or she believes deadly force is required.

Such is the case with this past church shooting that took place in Winona Texas, at a Starrville area Church.

For some background in case you haven't heard, a fugitive had found a church to take refuge in and was there until Church on Sunday morning. When the pastor of the church went into the bathroom, he saw the man there and confronted him.

According to sources a scuffle ensued, causing the pastor to draw his firearm and tell the suspect to get on the floor. Then, the pastor got distracted by something and the suspect charged toward the pastor, took his gun, and shot him with it.

He sadly died.

If you take away nothing else from this article, it must be this: If you are ever to the point where you feel that you need to draw your weapon for self-defense, you also must be willing to use it.

And if not, you may find yourself getting injured or worse.

You should only pull your gun out and point it at someone if you feel deadly force is warranted. Just pulling the gun out and pointing it at someone can be seen by a court as deadly force. Why? Because it, itself, warrants deadly force. In other words, if someone has a gun trained on me I'd likely be justified to use deadly force to protect myself.

Another key takeaway that many people in our industry fall prey to, is that they think their firearm is the only essential piece of gear or skill that is needed to save their life. We've covered this topic on many different occasions and I won't beat it up here.

Read: Know your physical limits to self-defense.

But this is just one more example of how not being able to fight with your hands and body can get you killed. A bad guy can make up a lot of time while you're still in the decision-making phase of “pull the trigger or not,” (unless you're like me and have already made that mental choice of what you'd do).

By the time you register that you MUST pull the trigger to save not only your life, but that of your flock, your time is out because it happens that fast. Now you've got a bad guy on top of you, disarming you, and shooting you with your own gun.

All around a bad scenario to be finding yourself in.

Learn more about when you can and cannot shoot someone, here.

As usual, I'm not an attorney and nothing I say here should ever be construed to be legal advice. Always consult with an attorney.

About Joshua Gillem

Josh is a lifelong practitioner and student of the gun. He grew up shooting/hunting with his dad, and was given his first gun, a 12 gauge shotgun, when just a small boy. After high school, he joined the Marines where his love for firearms blossomed as he qualified with an M16A2, an M9, and a 240G. Josh has been writing about firearms and tactics for several years, owns the blog Gunners Den, is a staunch supporter of the Second Amendment, and believes that each individual person has the right to self-defense by any means necessary. Currently residing in gun-friendly NC, he carries a concealed gun on a daily basis, even in his own house.


  1. Brandywine8753 on January 5, 2021 at 8:06 am

    I enjoy your information and your thoughts. I have passed this information to friends, that may bring awareness to church families and I have listened to others, but many times the concern and information falls on, it will not happen here in our communities and the police can handle the problems. It is all around our communities and our beautiful state of Florida. People die and the prisons are full.

    May God forbid that these problems never happens here. I do not and never wish or desire for these issueses to ever happen in any community, even in the worse places. Thank you

  2. Brandywine8753 on January 5, 2021 at 5:25 pm

    In my church there are over 30 conceal and carry individuals, including me, but unknown how many are carrying due to the viruses that harm many people here. All churches are a place for refuge for anyone and for safety. But there are problems that
    leave us worried and concerned, why did this church have this shooting and they lost
    their Pastor ?

    Whether some people know it or not, that refuge is Jesus Christ and HE set in motion by giving HIS Life for all of us, forgiving us our sins, helping us to live life to HIS fullness and Glory. Protecting all of us it these troubled times, every day and night. I
    am not attempting to answer any of their question, but we must trust a believe that there are reasons and they are greater than all of us.

    Jesus also has set promises to provide all our needs in life and there are promises to heal us of and illnesses. HE did that on the Cross of Calvary, just for you freely. We must trust HIM to protect us from all enemies, even with us Concealing and Carrying
    a live firearm. We have the authority and the recourses to protect our families, and our lives. Jesus is there to protect and watch over you, because HE Loves You.

  3. John S on January 6, 2021 at 7:06 pm

    It is very problematic to shoot an unarmed man but it is preferred over having the last thing you see on this Earth be the muzzle flash of your own pistol.

  4. Keith on January 12, 2021 at 10:52 am

    Joshua, I’d like to add to the pre-thought process one piece of decision making. To not only think of yourself but others. Perhaps the pastor was not willing to do bodily harm, perhaps for personal conviction, but the added fact is that his weapon was then used to harm others.
    I may be willing to die for my beliefs but I am also called to defend others and, despite any personal convictions, that requires that I be willing to pull the trigger.

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