Stephen Willeford Proves NRA Correct: Good Guys with Guns Stop Bad Guys with Guns

Stephen Willeford, right and Johnnie Langendorff, left, attend a vigil for the victims of
AP Photo/David J. Phillip

The NRA’s Wayne LaPierre pointed out a week after the heinous attack on gun-free Sandy Hook Elementary School that good guys with guns are necessary to stop bad guys with guns, which Sunday’s church attack in Sutherland Springs, Texas, has proven correct.

On December 21, 2012, LaPierre said:

Politicians pass laws for Gun-Free School Zones. They issue press releases bragging about them. They post signs advertising them. And in so doing, they tell every insane killer in America that schools are their safest place to inflict maximum mayhem with minimum risk.

How have our nation’s priorities gotten so far out of order? Think about it. We care more about our money, so we protect our banks with armed guards. American airports, office buildings, power plants, courthouses — even sports stadiums — are all protected by armed security.

We care about the president, so we protect him with armed Secret Service agents.

Yet when it comes to the most beloved, innocent, and vulnerable members of the American family — our children — we, as a society, leave them utterly helpless, and the monsters and predators of this world know it and exploit it. That must change now!

He added, “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.”

LaPierre has been proven right again and again in the years since making that assertion, most recently on November 5, 2017, when Stephen Willeford used an AR-15 to end the Texas church attack.

Willeford is an NRA member, and, as Breitbart News reported, a former NRA instructor. He was in his home near the church when shots rang out, and he grabbed his AR-15 and ran barefoot to the scene to save lives. He told KHBS, “Every time I heard a shot, I knew that probably represented a life. I was scared to death. I was. I was scared for me, and I was scared for every one of them, and I was scared for my own family that just lived less than a block away.”

Yet Willeford went to the church, took cover behind a vehicle, and waited for the attacker, Devin Kelley, to come outside. Once Kelley emerged, Willeford took a shot. “He saw me, and I saw him. I was standing behind a pickup truck for cover. I know I hit him. He got into his vehicle, and he fired another couple rounds through his side window. When the window dropped, I fired another round at him again.”

Willeford then jumped into a truck with Johnnie Langendorff, and the two men gave chase until Kelley ran off the road and died in his vehicle.

Speaking from South Korea on Tuesday, President Trump acknowledged the heroism in response to the church attack and said, “And I can only say this, if he didn’t have a gun, instead of 26 dead, you would have had [many] more dead.”

LaPierre was clearly spot-on when he said, “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.”

AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and host of Bullets with AWR Hawkins, a Breitbart News podcast. He is also the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at


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