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A Salute to the Heroes of Sutherland Springs, Texas

Democrats are going to do their thing again in the wake of the massacre in Sutherland Springs, Texas, but perhaps it would be best if we just completely ignore them this time around. Their song is getting tired and old, their constant politicization of death is depressing, and their legislative dreams aren’t going anywhere as long as Republicans have control of both houses of Congress. They are impotent songbirds, squealing into the dark night, and we’re only giving them legitimacy by taking their calls for gun control seriously. What gun control would have stopped this shooting, we ask? No, we don’t ask, because we’re not paying those idiots any mind.

And for now, we’re not even particularly interested in Devin Patrick Kelley, the 26-year-old atheist who topped off his life of beating his wife and child with a heinous act of mass murder. He managed to pull off a devastating death toll that will put his little spree in the record books, but he is a symbol of banal evil indeed. It’s the usual thing to say how it’s a shame that a child will grow up without their father, but maybe in this case, it’s for the best.

Instead, let’s focus on the heroic actions of Stephen Willeford and Johnnie Langendorff, two men who selflessly put themselves in harm’s way to stop this murderous rampage before it could get any worse. Willeford is responsible for putting a direct end to the shooting when he confronted the killer with a rifle of his own. He shot the perpetrator, wounding him, and then joined Langendorff for a high speed chase down rural roads that ended when Kelley lost control of his vehicle.

It wasn’t clear as of Monday whether Kelley succumbed to the original gunshot or shot himself in his final moments, but it is clear that these two heroes did their part in proving that there IS such a thing as a good guy with a gun.

“The neighbor with the rifle came to my truck and he opened my door and said, ‘He shot up the church,’ and got in,” Langendorff told Good Morning America. “He said, ‘Chase him’ so that’s what I did. I just chased him.”

The silver lining – if you can call it that – to any instance of tragedy like this one can be found in the simple, yet extraordinary, heroism of the people caught in the maelstrom of evil. You saw it on 9/11, you saw it on the ground in Las Vegas, and you damn sure saw it in Sutherland Springs. Yes, this was an act of evil, but it reminded us once again that there is still a LOT of good in this world.

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