Police haven’t released many details about the shooting at Lakewood Church in downtown Houston that left two people injured and the female suspect dead, but that hasn’t stopped Texas Democrats from blaming the state’s “reckless” gun laws for the incident. In a press release on Sunday afternoon pushed out just a couple of hours after the news broke, Texas Democratic Party Chairman Gilberto Hinojosa called the shooting “yet another example of the danger and trauma that reckless gun laws have bestowed upon our communities,” adding that “no place of worship, shopping center, classroom, or shared public space is safe under the leadership of those that place the gun lobby over Texans’ safety.”
What gun control law would have prevented the woman from walking into the Houston megachurch with a long gun and a five-year-old kid? Hinojosa doesn’t say. In fact, the head of the Texas Democrats barely bothered to mention what did put an almost immediate end to the threat… or rather, who put down the shooter: off-duty law enforcement serving as armed security for the church.
The woman, wearing a trench coat and escorting the child, walked into Osteen’s Lakewood church in between services shortly before 2 p.m. CT and inexplicably began firing a long rifle, said Houston Police Chief Troy Finner.
“Once she entered, at some point she began to fire,” Finner said. He added that officers on scene reported the woman, whose age was estimated at 30-35, said she had an explosive device.
Two officers fired and struck the woman, Finner said, a Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission officer and a Houston Police Department officer. “Unfortunately the 5-year-old was hit. There was a 57-year-old man who didn’t have anything to do with it, I don’t think, who was shot in the leg,” the chief said.
Despite Hinojosa’s assertion that the state’s gun laws are to blame for the shooting, we’ve seen similar acts of violence at houses of worship in some of the most gun-controlled states in the country, including an incident in 2022 when a man opened fire at a church in Laguna Hills, California, killing one persona and injuring five other parishioners.
We don’t know the motive behind Sunday’s assault at Lakewood Church, but it’s downright despicable for Democrats like Hinojosa to try to blame the state’s gun laws for the attack while downplaying the significance of the armed presence in the sanctuary that prevented the attacker from doing more damage, especially while his fellow Democrats around the country are doing their best to make houses of worship “sensitive places” where lawful carry is not allowed.
New York’s post-Bruen carry laws barred all houses of worship from allowing concealed carry on the premises, even when pastors, rabbis, and other religious leaders wanted their parishioners to be armed, though thankfully that provision was put on hold by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. California Democrats did the same by including churches and houses of worship in the lengthy list of “gun-free zones” established by SB 2, though once again their attempts to disarm the public has been at least temporarily thwarted by the federal courts.
If Democrats like Hinojosa had their way, the only churches and houses of worship that armed guards could protect would be those that could afford the expense of hiring security for that task. We know what a disaster that would be, and Hinojosa needs to be reminded of the armed citizens serving as volunteer security for the West Freeway Church of Christ in White Settlement, Texas who were on hand to stop a killer who opened fire with a shotgun in the crowded sanctuary in December, 2019.
No gun control law is going to stop someone determined to kill as many people as possible in a “sensitive place” where lawful carry is banned. Force must be met with force; the sooner that happens, the more lives will be saved. Despite Hinojosa’s attempts to claim otherwise, Sunday’s shooting at Lakewood Church wasn’t a failure of Texas gun laws. It was proof of the importance of having an immediate armed response when lives are threatened, whether off-duty cops or armed citizens serving as security for their own faith community.