The good guy with the gun

We recognize that it’s absolutely not possible to separate the debate over guns in America with the actions of people who get involved to save lives, so Johnnie Langendorff and another unidentified man aren’t going to be everybody’s cup of tea.

But they deserve credit anyway.

They chased Patrick Kelley from the church after he became America’s latest mass murderer in Texas.

The chase ended when the mass murderer was run into a ditch, where he killed himself.

“He just hurt so many people and he just affected so many people’s lives. How could you not want to take him down?” Langendorff said. “It was a horrible tragedy, but I just hope the families of the victims can sleep a little better at night knowing that he’s been taken care of.”

Langendorff and his neighbor will be the poster boys for gun advocates, just as Kelley will be the focus of gun opponents.

That doesn’t make Langendorff any more or less the person you want as a neighbor.

  • Gary F

    Love the tooth pick. Thanks Johnnie.

  • Blasko

    As an Army enlist, Devin Kelley was once the “good guy” with the gun, wasn’t he? I’m still so frustrated by that overly-simple framework – I don’t think it works that way. But if we can’t stop this slide into the wild, wild west mentality, then, sure let’s at least focus on the “good guys.” Today, that certainly seems to be Mr. Langendorff. Thank goodness he took action.

    • Air Force

    • jon

      Difference between a good guy with a gun and a bad guy with a gun is one trigger pull.

      Same as the difference between driving to work and killing a bus stop filled with kids is really only a few inches of movement on your steering wheel.

      Not a perfect analogy, we build curbs and guardrails, and such to prevent cars from running over kids, we require licenses and insurance to drive cars… but the general concept that the difference between hero and villain isn’t near as large as people like to pretend, that holds up.

  • Jay T. Berken

    This tragedy shows one fallacy of the whole gun debate, even if the “bad guys” know before entering the building that there are “good guys” with guns in that building, the “bad guy” will still shoot and kill as many people possible knowing this.

    • Gary F

      It is illegal to carry, either open or concealed per Texas law in a church or synagogue. So to the best of my knowledge, no one was carrying in the church.

      • Jay T. Berken

        It is small town Texas; the shooter knew there was going to be guns in the vicinity.

      • Jack Ungerleider

        Question: Does Texas law refer to religious houses of worship or specifically to a church or synagogue?

      • >>It is illegal to carry, either open or concealed per Texas law in a church or synagogue.<<

        That is incorrect information.

        As of January 1, 2016, Texans with a handgun license are allowed to openly carry their handguns. Churches or place of worship in Texas MAY prevent handgun license holders from carrying handguns inside church buildings as long as the church gives proper notice. Each church decides for itself.

  • Chris

    Congress could work on solving this problem but instead they want tax cuts for the rich and less health care for the poor.

  • Al

    None of the above. Can I choose none of the above? Is that a choice? I’m making that a choice.

  • Jeff

    Is it legal to shoot at someone who you think is committing a crime? What if he hit someone else? Although I’m certain nothing would come of it in this case.

    • Erik Petersen

      No, it’s not, not under the conditions you have expressed. “think” doesn’t rise to the level of a persuasive defense / self – defense claim. They have to be demonstrably committing bodily harm against someone else… Might be fair to say that at the lower, more ambiguous levels your response ought to be proportional to what’s necessary to stop the attacker, and not more…

      • Kellpa07

        Minn. Statute. Texas may differ.


        The intentional taking of the life of another is not authorized by section 609.06, except when necessary in resisting or preventing an offense which the actor reasonably believes exposes the actor or another to great bodily harm or death, or preventing the commission of a felony in the actor’s place of abode.”

    • jon

      I’m no lawyer, but my recollection is shooting some one is always assault with a deadly weapon, the question becomes is there a justifiable defense for said assault…

      Self defense usually applies to oneself, family and property… not to strangers, so shooting some one for punching or stabbing strangers, is not a defendable assault, there may be other defenses that i’m not familiar with (I’m no lawyer) and laws likely vary from state to state… and if you’ll be prosecuted at all varies from prosecutor to prosecutor…

      So as to if it’s legal.. probably not.
      But if you can get away with it… that’s an entirely different different question with different variables…

      • RBHolb

        It does depend on the state. It is often lawful to use deadly force to prevent a violent felony even if the intended victim is a stranger.

  • AmiSchwab

    the problem is that we are in the 21st century. this kind of “hero” worship is something out of a b grade western. the boys are lucky they didn’t get shot or cause even more casualties. the phenomena of mass shootings in the usa will not be stopped with such “heroic” acts. the world looks at america and shakes their collective heads.

  • kevins

    Soooo…which one?

  • kevins

    Man up..state your position clearly.

  • kevins

    No need to be rude. I hope you never have such a dire emergency.

  • kevins

    Be well.

  • Who is to say the violinist isn’t a crack shot and cool under pressure?

    The Vietnam vet may have PTSD and freeze up in an emergency.

    /You really don’t know.

  • Or you can withhold information from readers that are pertinent to your choice.