We all the basic story by now. Bad guy goes into a church and shoots the place up. "Church" could be school...or department store...or Christmas party. This one didn't end up as a mass killing, but not for the reasons the media (including the gun media) is saying. Let's discuss, shall we.
The bad guy - Emanuel Kidega Samson.
Samson is a Black Power advocate and very anti-police according to his personal Facebook page. Although his theological position is not known, he shared a number of pro-Islamic posts, including a video in which a Muslim activist defends Sharia law. Samson frequently shared anti-west posts. If you look at him being escorted here, and in the other images of him online, he is a powerfully built man and an avid weight lifter.
Police say in addition to the two pistols Samson bought into the church, they recovered another pistol and a rifle from his vehicle. Police say Samson fatally shot a woman who was walking to her vehicle and then entered the rear of the church and shot six others.
A churchgoer who confronted the gunman was pistol-whipped by the suspect, who then shot himself.
So what do we know?
We live in a time of war. We have now for some sixteen years. That the battles do not occur daily must not blunt America's sharpness. And the reality of the 'defensive" nature of this war must not for one instant lull us into thinking that any place is safe. And damn the signs. No place being safe, every place our feet touch must have us armed in case that day, that moment, and that place is the site of the next battle.
What I think Happened: Now to what I suspect happened, based on my own real world experience and my understanding of human nature. Samson enters the church and begins shooting. There are a few seconds of confusion as those inside are shocked and they try to make sense of what is happening. Samson has chaos on his hands as multiple people scramble for safety. Here is where the usher, whom we will discuss shortly, has an opportunity to intervene. And for that action, we certainly give him a deserved thumbs up...it almost makes up for his foolishness of having to go get his pistol from his car.
You Can't Ignore Nature: Look at the images of Samson, and the images of Engle. Unless Engle has been lifting heavy since the pictures or has been training in hard full contact karate, I don't see him overpowering Samson. I suspect that Samson was taken by surprise and because of that shot himself accidentally. That allowed Engle to go get his pistol. But lets look at the real situation here. Why in God's name was Engle not armed inside the church? Had he been armed inside the church he may well have been able to kill Samson as soon as he fired his first shots inside the church. Moreover, the "pistol whip" injury incurred by Engle may very well have been incapacitating, thus nullifying the "go get the gun" thing at the outset and continuing to facilitate Samson's killing spree.
Learning Point 1: I am sure we will learn more in the coming days. Samson was either a crazy guy (which is more convenient for the left-stream media), or an actual black power/islamic terror sympathizer. We will know more. At the moment he was carrying out his attack, his motivations didn't matter. But they matter now.
Learning Point 2: I suspect Samson was very new to firearms and his lack of skill contributed to his failure. One cannot count on the ineptness of his adversary as a pre-planned advantage.
Learning Point 3: Carry your weapon every single place you go. Learn to conceal it so nobody knows you have it. And have it always so you can shoot the bad guy in the face and kill him instead of having to wrestle with him and then run to go get your gun out of your car.