An op-ed columnist is getting heat for arguing it was "terrifying" that some Texas churchgoers were armed when a church security volunteer killed a gunman within seconds after he opened fire.
Arizona Republic writer Elvia Diaz penned a piece that acknowledged though Jack Wilson, who is a firearms instructor, was a hero, "unfortunately" the "split-second heroism has been turned into a PR tool by gun advocates."
Two men were killed when the gunman opened fire at West Freeway Church of Christ in White Settlement, Texas, on Sunday, where more than 240 parishioners had gathered for a service. The gunman was fatally shot by two congregants who fired back.
Diaz wrote Wilson is "exactly the kind of man you want around with a firearm," but questioned others having his back.
"We know nothing about the at least six other parishioners who also appeared to draw their handgun," she wrote, adding "and that's terrifying."
Kristine Marsh of the conservative watchdog Media Research Center lamented, in her own commentary, wrote "Diaz turned the parishioners who heroically drew their weapons on the shooter into villains."
In an interview on "Fox & Friends" on Thursday, commentator and former National Rifle Association spokesperson Dana Loesch insisted "guns save lives."
"There's a real reason why people in houses of faith feel the need to defend themselves," she said. "If it's not Jewish people, it's Christian people. People of faith are under attack and we have every right to defend ourselves.
"I find it terrifying that someone would think it's bad that other lives are worth defending by good people with the skill set to do so," she added.
The op-ed also got hit on social media, with one Twitter poster noting "the terrifying part" was how the shooter got his gun.
Another wondered why it was terrifying the congregants were exercising
"their constitutional rights."
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