Jeanne Assam carried her pistol with her to church on Sunday. She did so legally, having received a license to carry a concealed weapon. If a weapon in church seems incongruous, it also became providential on this particular Sunday, as Assam stopped an assault that may have killed many more people than it did (via Memeorandum and many CapQ readers):
Assam said she believes God gave her the strength to confront Murray, keeping her calm and focused even though he appeared to be twice her size and was more heavily armed.
Murray was carrying two handguns, an assault rifle and over 1,000 rounds of ammunition, said Sgt. Jeff Johnson of the Colorado Springs Police Department.
“It seemed like it was me, the gunman and God,” she said.
Assam worked as a police officer in downtown Minneapolis during the 1990s and is licensed to carry a weapon. She attends one of the morning services and then volunteers as a guard during another service.
Boyd said Assam was the one who suggested the church beef up its security Sunday following the Arvada shooting, which it did. The pastor credited the security plan and the extra security for preventing further bloodshed.
Murray didn’t show up to shoot a couple of people and call it a day. Two handguns, an assault rifle, and over a thousand rounds of ammunition would have equaled a church full of corpses had Assam and others not been able to defend themselves and their fellow parishioners. Before Murray had a chance to really open up on what he assumed was a defenseless congregation, Assam used her training and preparation to save dozens of lives, at the least.
Over the weekend, Mitch and I discussed the Omaha mall shooting, where eight people died in a “gun-free zone” when a lunatic started sniping shoppers. Some questioned whether a CCL holder with a pistol could outmatch a lunatic with a rifle. This shows exactly what one trained shooter can do to defend against someone who randomly selects unarmed targets for slaughter.
And this is the folly of “gun-free zones”. Lunatics looking to kill people either will attack at places for which they have some animus (as in the case of the church) or where they can find a lot of unarmed people (as in Omaha). They don’t stop because someone puts up a sign designating a site as gun-free, any more than people stop taking drugs because a city puts up a sign that designates a neighborhood as a “drug-free zone”, as in my own neighborhood.
All that sign does is prevent the Jeanne Assams from being able to defend the defenseless. That’s all it does. It doesn’t make anyone more secure or safe, and it has the potential to make a lot of people into victims.
After the Virginia Tech shooting, people asked whether a CCL holder could have made a difference once the shooting started. Jeanne Assam answered that question on Sunday.