Unethical Quote Of The Month: USA Today Op-Ed Writer Elvia Diaz

“Jack Wilson is a hero alright. It took him only six seconds to kill a gunman at a Texas church, saving countless lives. Unfortunately, that kind of split-second heroism has been turned into a PR tool by gun advocates…. he’s exactly the kind of man you want around with a firearm. But we know nothing about the at least six other parishioners who also appeared to draw their handguns at West Freeway Church of Christ in White Settlement, Texas. And that’s terrifying.”

Elvia Diaz of the  Arizona Republic, USA Today, in a Jan. 1 , 2020  USA Today op-ed.

The paper, soon to be defunct (thankfully—I would not be shocked if it didn’t last the year), has been furiously flamed on social media for this obnoxious and telling commentary. It doesn’t take much, beyond respect for American citizens and the Second Amendment, to pinpoint the ethics illness on display here.

Every mass shooting instantly is politicized into a repetition of the anti-gun propaganda that has become a reflex on the Left and in the mainstream media since the Sandy Hook school shooting. The disappointment among this group over a shooting being foiled by a lawful gun owner has been nauseating. The right to own guns is the right to self-defense, and not to have to depend solely on  the government for self-preservation.

The result in White Settlement should be used to counter the efforts to strip gun rights from citizens, because there are many benefits to society of private gun ownership.

The op-ed perfectly summarizes the media’s distrust of Americans and personal liberty. It’s so terrifying that those owning guns, and prepared to use them lawfully, haven’t been certified as worthy of self-defense rights by obtrusive government overseers. What an ugly bias.

The social media reactions have been impressively on point…

We know:
• They were willing to risk their lives to save others
• They aren’t criminals

So we know all we need to know, you cowards.

and…

Unless they all magically decided to carry a gun to church for the first time that day, we know that they regularly carried concealed handguns and never hurt anybody.But they had them when they needed to protect themselves from a criminal who was prohibited from buying a gun.

…as well as…

We know they weren’t opening fire in a church to kill innocent people

If this doesn’t “leave a mark,” it should…

I will join those rejecting the “enemy of the people” rhetoric when the press stops being an objective enemy of the people. These are victims of a church shooting. Inviting every dumb loon on the internet to do a background check on them for the sin of self defense is loathsome

and this…

Sure Jack Wilson is a hero that saved many lives but his heroism is good for gun advocates so it’s actually bad. Brilliant stuff here…

 

Finally, here’s Prof Glenn Reynolds…

Well, here’s some stuff we know about the other armed parishioners that we allegedly know nothing about. First, they stood up to place their own bodies at risk (“Greater love hath no man,” etc. So the Bible says, and it still is news.) Second, when Jack Wilson put down the gunman with a single shot, they calmly reholstered their weapons. Nobody took any unnecessary shots, nobody shot anyone else by accident, and that was that. Honestly, this is better performance than you’d expect — or usually get — from a like number of law enforcement officers, who nowadays seldom seem to let things stop with one shot, and whose shooting ability seems well below what was displayed here. So we do know some pretty important things. The oped author was just too dense, or bigoted, to notice.

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26 thoughts on “Unethical Quote Of The Month: USA Today Op-Ed Writer Elvia Diaz

  1. The first television report of the event struck me that the reporters were visibly astonished that the attack could have been ended so quickly by an alert armed citizen….that he wasn’t a law enforcement officer….and that they kept calling the firearms instructor a “security officer” as if you must always pay someone else to provide for your personal security.
    They seemed surprised that the murderer was taken down by a single armed citizen with one difficult shot rather that 84 shots by uniformed officers using incomprehensible decision making on the street with collateral loss of life.

    If the firearms instructor was not successful with his first quick shot. I think the other four or five armed parishioners would have done their duty just fine.

    The reporters commented on how quickly the intended killing spree was brought to a close…..six seconds. There was no mention of any lengthy investigation, change of venue, discovery, prosecutorial/ defense bargaining or a not guilty plea due to insanity….no judge or jury deliberations. No mention was made of how much money was saved by the state for having a group of friends take care of each other on their own.

    Towards the end of the report, the commentators were shaking their heads and thankful for the what they considered a lucky and rare good outcome for once.

    Reasonable studies have estimated that there are over several hundred thousand successful defensive gun uses in the US every year. I had my second one last year and no one got hurt. As an aside, I learned that there will probably never be time to insert cartridges in a revolver, a magazine in a pistol, or even rack the slide. There may be more than two assailants. They may be much bigger than you, and suddenly appear much closer than you expect.

  2. 1.) I wonder if he is aware of the irony in his tweet of using it for anti-gun material.

    2.) This is the first article I’ve noticed on twitter that as attempted to censor you. At the moment I can’t view it without changing my settings.

  3. Reynolds is wrong. Police are trained to take multiple shots, because a bullet weights half of an ounce, and an angry shooter weighs five-thousand times more. It is moral luck alone that a single shot disabled the assailant in Texas, and moral luck alone he didn’t spring up with adrenaline to continue shooting once the security team holstered their weapons.

    • Rich,

      You have a basic misunderstanding of life in a Red state, much less Texas. We remember a Luby’s Cafeteria in Killeen, when a criminal calmly walked around a crowded restaurant executing people who followed the law, having left their right to self defense outside, uselessly locked in their car. One person shooting back, however badly, would have saved many lives that day, even if they never hit the gunman. Human nature means he would have taken cover, focused on the shooter, and thereby bypassed many who died that day.

      We refuse to abdicate our rights, unlike those who cower in fear at the sight of a pop tart bitten into the shape of a gun by a toddler.

      It is NOT moral luck when someone has been trained and continues his training to be able to place a shot center mass on an human sized target. You do not know where or how badly the gunman was wounded, nor if someone was giving a ‘stand down’ order, verifying the threat was over. Was the distance to the target a bit long? Sure. No choice. Shooting is a skill set and can be taught, practiced, and perfected.

      Maybe police are trained to ‘spray and pray’ where you live, but my local police and Sheriff offices DO NOT. They are taught to think and assess… and not use lethal force unless there are no other choices. It works. I have been through the training personally.

      Finally, those were not ‘security team’ members who holstered their weapons. Many were simply sitting in the congregation. Using ‘security team’ implies that ANYONE in that church was paid to provide security. I am offended by this smear, this out and out lie. I CARRY. I care enough to place my life on the line in this situation, as these people did. The elite snobs on the coasts who lament citizens protecting themselves are doing more to reelect Trump than any ‘fly over state’ voter registration effort.

      Progressives: We carry in Texas for just this sort of incident. We carried in church before the law allowed it, and would regardless of what state officials decree. We do not live our lives ‘by your leave.’ We understand that bad people will find a way to kill.

      Pity those in other states have given up their right to do the same.

      • You have a basic misunderstanding of life in a Red state, much less Texas.

        This anecdote seems to overshoot my meaning…. (no pun intended)

        It is NOT moral luck when someone has been trained and continues his training to be able to place a shot center mass on an human sized target. You do not know where or how badly the gunman was wounded, nor if someone was giving a ‘stand down’ order, verifying the threat was over. Was the distance to the target a bit long? Sure. No choice. Shooting is a skill set and can be taught, practiced, and perfected.

        Skill is what delivers the bullet to the human target. If one bullet does the job, that is great. You could, however, shoot someone in their center of mass a dozen times and not immediately disable them. This is not an argument about citizens “standing down” when confronted with a threat; if the church’s security team took multiple shots, they would still have been perfectly justified.

        Lets take another look at Reynolds:

        Nobody took any unnecessary shots, nobody shot anyone else by accident, and that was that. Honestly, this is better performance than you’d expect — or usually get — from a like number of law enforcement officers, who nowadays seldom seem to let things stop with one shot, and whose shooting ability seems well below what was displayed here.

        To criticize police for using multiple shots to neutralize a potential target just because a volunteer security officer got lucky and disabled the shooter with a single competently fired shot is where Reynolds is wrong.

        Reynolds is making a cheap shot at officers like Darren Wilson who used multiple shots against Michael Brown by comparing the twelve shots (six of which connected) it took to disable a 200+ pound angry individual with the single lucky shot in Texas.

        The single shot was moral luck, even if the skill of the shooter increased the odds dramatically.

        • I can live with what you wrote here: we are not as far apart as I thought. I did take out some frustration in my response, and that was not aimed at you. Sorry for that.

          I do think we differ on our definitions of ‘moral luck.’ I can also live with that.

          Have a great day, Rich.

    • New York City used to study officer-involved shootings. In the 1980’s (the last years of the revolver era), it took 2.8 shots (on average) before an officer struck the subject and they fired 5.6 rounds (average). Since they were using a 5 (J-frame) or 6-shot revolver, this meant that they shot the gun until it was empty just about every time. In the first few years of the semi-auto (they only kept track for 4 years), an officer fired 12.9 rounds before the subject was hit once (average) and 17.5 rounds total (on average). So, they shot the 18-round gun until it was empty (you can see why they stopped keeping track of this type of data). Citizens in self-defense classes are taught to take one or two shots at a time because we are held responsible for every bullet we shoot. Shoot, assess, shoot, reassess is what I have seen taught in classes and by trainers. The church member fired 1 round because that stopped the threat and that is how citizens are trained to do things. Police fire many rounds because that is what they are trained to do.

      Michael Bloomberg has been reported as saying of this incident “It’s the job of law enforcement to have guns and to decide when to shoot. You just do not want the average citizen carrying a gun in a crowded place.” So, he is suggesting that the gunman should have been allowed to shoot people in the church for minutes until the police arrive. Then, the state could decide if any defensive fire is required. Doesn’t that make you feel good? It also is a lie. Law enforcement carry guns for their own protection, not yours. Whenever people have sued police departments for not protecting them, the courts have found that officers have no duty to endanger their own lives to protect yours. The fact that so many of them do endanger their own lives to protect others is a testament to their bravery and sense of duty.

      In the Pulse nightclub shooting, the nightclub had a paid, off-duty police officer working as security and no one else was allowed to have a gun. In the Pulse nightclub shooting, a report noted that 16 of the 49 victims killed probably would have lived if the EMT’s had not been held back for hours to protect their own safety. In the Pulse nightclub, things worked just as Bloomberg wanted.

      In the Texas ‘Twin Peaks’ shooting, 9 people were killed and 20 injured. Everyone(177 people) was rounded up by police. At least 4 were killed by 5.56 rounds (only carried by the police), it is unknown if any of the killed or injured were not shot by the police. Although 177 people were arrested at the scene, only one person was charged with anything and there were no convictions. So, it looks like it isn’t always better to have the police in charge of doing the shooting.

  4. This points up the media’s fear, and I don’t believe it’s a fear of guns anymore.

    The media fears an armed society. On the Left, the new religion is that the state will define what rights you are entitled to. The newest invention is a “customization” of those rights based on your identity. You can’t customize the rights of a nation of men and women with guns.

    There are many rights they would like to restrict or even effectively eliminate, but number one is the right to bear arms in public. In truth, most of the Left would accept arms if they are confined to homes, hunting and gun ranges, but as the author states, it is “terrifying” to them that ordinary citizens may have arms on their person in public places.

    They are terrified not just because they consider it unsafe, but because an armed man or woman (or do/re/mi/xe/xim/fa/so/la/te/do person) is a free armed man or woman. They are free to resist tyranny, to defend their rights, and to defend the rights of others. Yes, these applications of force are subject to laws, and rightly so. But ultimately, when it becomes the “Law of the Jungle,” the armed citizen is in a position to protect lives and defend freedom. The unarmed citizen is ill-prepared to do so.

    That’s what worries the Left, a society that they can’t order around and place in fear to get their way. They are seeing how that works in Virginia, and you can read the building, creeping concern in their op-eds and Twitter feeds. They don’t know how far people will go to defend their rights, and that unknown is scary because armed citizens have the capability to resist force with force. Firearms in the hands of ordinary citizens are the ultimate defense against the deprivation of freedom and rights by the state.

    I can’t wait until an armed citizen kills a Jihadi militant terrorist in the middle of attempted mass murder, and hearing the complaints on the Left that “professionals” could have captured and interrogated him. That’s what we face — no amount of good from public use of arms is enough to justify it, and it never will be.

    • “Firearms in the hands of ordinary citizens are the ultimate defense against the deprivation of freedom and rights by the state.”

      That was a great statement in a response filled with great stuff.

      I recently read the following: “When politicians try to take away your guns, it’s because they intend to do things that would get them shot.”

      I think I believe that.

      • Has any one ever wondered why police need assault rifles to do their jobs if an assault rifle is designed to kill as many people as possible in a short time?

        • Those with an anti-gun stance probably think the police want them to, as you mention, kill lots of people quickly.

          My answer, strictly as a guess, goes back to Amy Swearer’s comments before the House Judiciary. She works for the Heritage Foundation and did about as good a job making a case for AR-15 style rifles as anyone could (a simple Youtube search will reveal a recording). They tend to be very easy to fire accurately in defensive situations. DHS lists the AR-15 as a “personal defense” weapon for police officers.

          • Actually, Joel I believe only the anarchists believe police are so armed to kill the many.

            I used that argument to demonstrate the inherent false emotion it is intended to create. If a weapon is ok for civilian police forces for defensive purpose then they should be acceptable for responsible civillian adults as well.

            The argument that these are weapons of war rings hollow when you see them issued to police. Unless, a plan is in place to use the police to put down any resistance to a tyranical government, which is exactly why the second amendment exists to protect the citizenry from government.

    • The media fears an armed society. On the Left, the new religion is that the state will define what rights you are entitled to. The newest invention is a “customization” of those rights based on your identity. You can’t customize the rights of a nation of men and women with guns.

      Thinking this over it occurs to me that what the Left actually fears is a highly armed society — a society where there are many firearms — but one that is highly ‘multicultural’ and one that has strong social conflicts. In that kind of society the abuse of gun-rights will be more common. Under those conditions the Lefties and certainly the socialists always seem to opt for ‘safe’ policy.

      In a homogenous America — the former America that was 90% European — I assume that average people were not gunning down other average people. So, that society was (more or largely) ‘responsible’ and could be counted on to be responsible with their weapons possession. It was the notorious criminals that abused the gun-right.

      What is happening in America is the fruition of a ‘multi-cultural project’ that seems to be failing. These are conditions of social unrest and turbulence. The social divisions and tensions seem to become more noticeable and more acute. But in America, and according to American idealism, what is happening *should not* be happening. Because Americans are supposed to *come together* and to hold to a civic proposition about citizenship. (The problem is that there is no consensus about why the conflicts are getting worse and why they exist. The Right seems to blame the Left for ‘increasing social divisions’. But the Left blames the Right and the conservatives for having a racist society to begin with!)

      In such conditions of social unrest — indeed people even speak about the possibility of open civil unrest (and some who write here, I am thinking of one notable Texan, have provided some pretty stark details about how the civil unrest might unfold) if things go on as they are. In that situation, obviously, neither the government nor the authorities nor many unarmed citizens will want there to be general gun ownership.

      ‘The Media’ mean people hired by news corporations that are part of constellations of corporations that are owned by the wealthy sectors. Of course they would be more positive toward restrictions of guns since it is bad for business when people are gunned down in the Walmart isles!

      The vice tightens, but I wonder if people can see the vice or can define what it is?

      • …some who write here, I am thinking of one notable Texan, have provided some pretty stark details about how the civil unrest might unfold) if things go on as they are.

        I do believe she refers to me. ‘Notable’ …code for notorious? 🙂

        …neither the government nor the authorities nor many unarmed citizens will want there to be general gun ownership.

        Tough. The guns are here, and there is nothing that can be done about it without precipitating the Civil War they say they do not want.

        Happy New Year, Alizia

  5. When I first heard about this op ed my reaction was of course it is terrifying if others (good guys) take out the mass shooter ( bad guy) not enough people will be killed so it won’t have the political impact they wan’t. My new years resolution was to be less of a cynic. Oh well so much for resolutions.

  6. The article uses the lie that Texas has one some of the least restrictions on gun possession on the country. It does not.
    Many states have NONE except for courthouses. In Texas, you can be prosecuted for possession of a gun on private party if it is posted. For example, a mall can place a sign banning private carry, and if you violate that you can be prosecuted. A dozen states do not. The most a property owner can do is ban you after you’re caught carrying.
    Texas does not allow gun possession on school property, including colleges and universities. Again, about a dozen states do not have this restriction.
    NH is the most open – you don’t even need a permit for concealed carry.

  7. The article uses the lie that Texas has one some of the least restrictions on gun possession on the country. It does not.
    Many states have NONE except for courthouses. In Texas, you can be prosecuted for possession of a gun on private party if it is posted.

    Prosecuted = $200 fine with ZERO other consequences (speeding tickets cost more.) You would have to defy the owner of the land or establishment such that police would be called (you refuse to leave, or put the gun in your car) and then wait to insist on being cited. You could do this 5 days a week and never get more than the fine for each instance.

    The most a property owner can do is ban you after you’re caught carrying.

    This is also true in Texas

    Texas does not allow gun possession on school property, including colleges and universities.

    Incorrect. Concealed Carry is legal at colleges and universities in Texas. School property is illegal if there is a school event going on at that moment.

    Laws changed in 2017: just making sure the info being given is correct.

  8. No one on the Left has yet admitted that the would be mass murderer was using a shotgun, a weapon most of the anti-gun crowd knee-jerkedly claims are the only type of long-run a private citizen really needs.

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