"The Good Guys With Guns": America's Forgotten First Responders

"The Good Guys With Guns": America's Forgotten First Responders

Out of every disaster come tales of heroism.

When Jonnie Langendorff returned from breakfast on the morning of Sunday, Nov. 5th, he stumbled into the fight of a lifetime.

Driving past the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, he saw something very, very wrong. A pearl-colored Ford Explorer was pulled sideways in front of the church, driver’s door ajar, engine running. A man holding a rifle stood before the vehicle, exchanging shots with a black-clad man walking from the church.

Langendorff sprang into action as the shooter leaped into the car and sped off. The man with the rifle, Stephen Willeford, ran up to Langendorff’s truck and briefed him on what was happening. The two men were strangers. Langendorff said, “Get in.”

The two men chased after the shooter down the highway, engaging him in a high-speed chase until the shooter ran off the road and careened into a ditch. Langendorff and Willeford got out slowly, ordering the shooter to get out of his car, but they got no response. He was already dead.

An autopsy later confirmed that the shooter, David Kelley, had been shot twice before shooting himself in the head. It is suspected that these two earlier shots came from his confrontation with Willeford.

Willeford and Langendorff, two ordinary, gun-owning Texans, became heroes in this instant. Willeford, a local NRA instructor, who lived nearby and heard the shots, decided to come help. Langendorff, another local resident, was just driving by when he sprang into action. To these men, jumping into the fray seemed like a simple calculation.

“I’m no hero,” Willeford told the news later. But he is. Had he, with Langendorff's help, not forced the man to flee, more lives would have inevitably been lost.

In the last year, the number of mass shootings and terrorist attacks has climbed steadily, spreading devastation and loss across the country. Time and time again, our country grieves and attempts to move on as normal, with only the sadness lingering. The light that comes from these events, the stories of heroism and humanity, are the first things to fade from our minds.

First responders are the unsung heroes of the disasters our country has weathered. Whether these men are trained, or, in the case of the Texas shooting, simply concerned and well-informed citizens, they save lives. When heroes were needed, many answered the call, like off-duty firefighter Travis Haldeman, who was in the crowd with his wife the night of the recent Las Vegas shooting. When the gunfire stopped the music, he kept calm, ushering people out of the line of fire.

In the wake of the Las Vegas shooting, first responders swarmed to the scene, attempting to save lives even as bullets continued to rain down into the crowd. Off-duty firefighters rushed into the fray, offering first aid and evacuating the injured. Security guards and police officers acted on “instinct”, trusting that their training would guide them. These heroes remind us that, even in the wake of disasters, this country will not bow. Our people will not turn their backs on those in need.

Cover Image Credit: pixabay

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When Your Enough Just Isn't Enough

Do what you can, and God will do what you can't.

Have you ever felt like your enough just isn’t… enough? I feel like often times, even in smaller situations, we belittle the greatness that we can achieve because of our own personal thoughts or what others lead us to believe. It’s like, yeah, I wrote this paper, but did I really put my all into it? Or, yeah, I did my Bible study, but was my heart really into it?

It’s times like this when I must sit back and remember that God is God and He knows every depth and shallow I’ve been through! Lately I’ve found myself wondering if I’ve been doing enough to follow my calling properly, or even if I’ve done enough to please God. Sometimes doing what you want to do for God can be disheartening because rejection and a whole lotta “no”s come along with it. The outcome will always be pleasurable, but the journey to reach out to someone’s heart can be difficult. 

Hebrews 10:36 (NIV) says “You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what He has promised.” 

To me, this verse is saying, “Do what YOU can, and God will do what you can’t.” 

Is that not amazing to think about? We have the honor of having a God that will never leave our side. Receiving your calling and attempting to do the best to please God can be difficult – there’s no doubt about it. God never said it would be easy, but He did reassure us that He wasn’t going to leave us behind. Whether your passion for God is to sing, minister, be a missionary, or absolutely anything, do what you can and God will do the rest – with your drive, of course. 

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve backed out of opportunities or denied my calling to others, just because of how selfish I am about it. I felt like my enough wasn’t enough! But, if we’re doing what God wants, under Him and for Him, He will be pleased. That’s the beauty of it all!

So next time you feel like you’re not doing enough, take a step back and look at what’s in front of you. 

Are you doing what you can so that God can do what you can’t? 

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Black British Viewpoint On The H&M Ad

Why his mother is unbothered? And why South African Protestors are?

You've seen it everywhere. A photo of this beautiful Black Boy wearing a sweater (aka Jumper) stating "cutest monkey in the jungle". Now many people immediately expressed outrage about the entire situation but when I saw this, my original response was as follows:

And it seems that the boys mother agrees with me:

“[I] am the mum, and this is one of hundreds of outfits my son has modeled. Stop crying wolf all the time, [it’s] an unnecessary issue here. Get over it.. That’s my son, [I’ve] been to all photoshoots and this was not an exception. Everyone is entitled to their opinion about this… I really don’t understand but not [because I’m] choosing not to, but because it’s not my way of thinking. Sorry.

THE AFRICAN AMERICAN EXPERIENCE IS DIFFERENT TO THE AFRO CARIBBEAN EXPERIENCE

A fellow Brit writes:


Like this commenter mentioned, I've heard white and black parents in the UK refer to their kids as a cheeky monkey. You see before moving to the USA, I use to say all the time "racism DOES NOT exist". Yeah don't get me wrong I'd experience two moments that I remember, that had a slight racial bias attached to it. But it was two separate incidents in the twenty-something years of my life. It was really nothing. Scrap that maybe three. After all my family is multiracial. Many family members includng my uncle, brother in law, cousins in law are white and my lineage is mixed. I could go to a pub meet a white person or a person of any other race, and have a deep meaningful conversation about a plethora of issues with no judgment and feel like there really is a deep connection and acceptance. Heck, I could have that conversation at a bus stop.

My family member writes:


It's not the same in the USA. It's a constant barrage of judgment, of questioning everything and every experience. From the moment you walk out of your door, you could be subjected to multiple incidences of racist bias that leave you raw and unable to know how to process or to cope. ou leave your house and if in an affluent neighborhood, your neighbors can make you feel like you don't belong.Y You walk into your nearby Krogers, where until you are labeled as ok, you could be followed all around the store on a daily basis. You see your neighbors who do not acknowledge and often do things that let you know, you are un-welcomed (you don't belong) in your very own neighborhood. You go to work, where you are isolated and made to feel that it was not designed for you. Where you micromanaged and made to feel less than in so many ways. You drive home from work where if you are a black man, one false move could be the end of your life.

You see, the African American experience is one that dehumanizes you. It has become so polarized that it's difficult to even know which way to look. I mean my daughter was subjected to bullying with a racial element, at the age of 4. FOUR years old. It's heart-wrenching and just unacceptable. I can go to an event be it a birthday party or a school led event where everyone knows me, but many if not all at times, choose to not speak to me. It's a brutal experience.


Opposing views


Another view:


HERE'S MY POINT

The experiences are so different that I honestly can relate why for the Swedish black Mum took no issue with the sweater/jumper or the ad. But I also being black in America where it is common to dehumanize black people, and where this subjection is daily and constant can understand why there is such outrage and why many people take offense. There is a school of thought out there that believe H&M did this on purpose. That this was an opportunity to gain free publicity. I truly hope not. Either way I shout You Cannot Define Me, I am Beautiful, Learned, Adorable, Capable a King (aka BLACK) for that little boy. I also understand why those in South Africa protested to the point that H&M has had to close its door.

The divisive nature of the country, nay, the world needs to get on a better track if we are truly to move forward. When will we learn?I really and truly just don't get it. Let me know your thoughts?

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Cover Image Credit: YouTube

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