In Amarillo, Texas, police shot an innocent man who helped thwart a possible mass shooting in a church (video below).
The incident occurred at the Faith City Mission, a “faith-based outreach organization.” A man identified by police as Joshua Len Jones, 35, entered a church building with his gun drawn and held 100 congregants and church staff hostage.
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Churchgoers were eventually able to subdue the gunman and immediately called the police. Tony Garces, a bystander, took Jones’s gun, only to be shot by Amarillo Police Department officers when they saw him holding the weapon upon entering the building. He was quickly hospitalized and is reportedly in stable condition.
“I said ‘hey, hey I got the gun,’” said Garces. “’I took the gun away from him.’ … [The police] said throw it down. I wasn’t going to throw it down because it could have fired. It had bullets in it, you know. I didn’t want anyone else getting hurt. … Then pop, pop they shot me. … I went down, then a puddle of blood. … I thought I was a goner.”
“There were other people there,” he added. “I just took the gun away from him. I got shot. I got the bad part. It’s life.”
“I got the gun,” he said. “I thought it was over, but they the cops shot me. The good guys shot me.”
Jeff Blackburn, Garces’ attorney, outlined the slew of challenges that his client now faces.
For doing the right thing, he now has got a huge medical bill, probably a lot of long term physical problems and it needs to be taken care of,” said Blackburn. “The only reason he’s got those problems is because they shot him.”
The tragic accident exposes a major flaw with the tenuous “good guy with a gun” theory. Republicans have touted the talking point that, should “good guys” be armed, they’ll be able to more efficiently take out the “bad guy” in the case of a shooting situation.
The foundation of this argument, of course, is decidedly disingenuous. Republicans will do the NRA’s bidding because the organization funds their re-election campaigns. The NRA, for its part, simply wants to sell more weapons and add to their bottom lines.
Furthermore, the theory is fundamentally flawed for the very reason illustrated in this scenario. Police are not able to distinguish between the perpetrator of a mass shooting and, for example, the innocent bystander who was able to wrestle the weapon away from him in an active shooter situation. The fact is that this proliferation of war weapons in our civilian society is what has led to such a uniquely American problem in the first place. The solution, then, is by no means simply adding more more weapons into the fray. If a fire is burning out of control, the solution isn’t to dump gasoline on it; it’s to cut off the oxygen supply.
This incident in Amarillo also comes at a precarious time for Republicans, many of whom have rallied behind Trump amid calls to arm teachers after the tragic shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. The community in Parkland, Florida has been outspoken in their opposition to the plan, with many teachers from around the nation also signaling their displeasure.
Republicans may have been able to fly under their radar shilling for the gun lobby thus far, but Americans have finally woken up and have taken a hard line against such glaring and disgusting corruption in our government. November’s midterms are fast approaching, and the NRA-bought Republican Party is in for a rude awakening.
Watch the segment from ABC 7 News below: