Stephen Willeford couldn't have stopped Devin Kelley without his AR
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“If I had run out of the house with a pistol and faced a bulletproof vest and kevlar and helmets, it might have been futile. I ran out with an AR-15 and that’s what he was shooting the place up with. I hate to politicize that, but that’s reality.” NRA Instructor Stephen Willeford in Hero Who Stopped Texas Gunman: I Couldn’t Have Stopped Him Without My AR-15 [via]


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  1. I haven’t seen much on this. I only saw one small blurb in all the reporting noise that said the shooter had 1 plate. Essentially meaning he had a vest designed to carry stuff… a load bearing vest of some sort? Anyone hear further clarity about that?

    • It was reported that the vest was a bullet resistant vest with a plate. If I remember correctly it was the sheriff’s department that reported it as that and not just the news media.


  2. Weapons. I don’t specify firearms cause, trucks, gas, knives, etc. can all be deadly weapons.

    Weapons are neither good nor bad. They are just tools. People are and have always been the problem. Disarming yourself when you’re surrounded by people is an act of lunacy.

    • Of course it is possible to minimize the chances of facing a killer with a dangerous weapon like the AR-15… but whenever decent folks try yall unzip and start moanin about how your barrel is all that stands between us and tyranny, stroking and stroking to your 18th century fetish when AR-15 didnt even exist…

      You see the path to increasing public safety lies less in focusing on yalls puerile fantasies about having ready access to such dangerous weapons so we can shoot it out with killers with such dangerous weapons, and more in enforcing current means and developing more effective means to screen buyers so we face less monster weapons.

      So in my America if you fail to report to NICS you automatically receive an enormous fine and we make it easy to sue them and gun sellers who fail to do their due diligence are likewise fined and liable to be sued

      Now well also implement a significant waiting period and veggie-up the background check; naturally it should be at least as difficult to get a tool that can kill so many people so rapidly as it is to say apply to grad school or secure a position where mulitiple interviews are required.

      Under a Williams administration we will say goodbye to the dark days of wild west mentality to public safety, I have a dream, its morning in America again, keep hope alive, well have a kinder gentler America, here comes the sun, HERE comes THE SUN, HERE COMES the sun, no gods bless ya,*applause* I love you very much, I love you very much, thank you, thank you *APPLAUSE* : D

      • Whys it hurt when I pull my nose hair out? I got tired of spittin Skoal out the winder so I jest spits it on dah floor. I let the chickens in the house to pick up the crumbs that the dog spilled when he licked the plate off. A cow mows my yard. And my goat can knock a Troll off the bridge

      • You said “dark days” and I saw it and was triggered – your racist microagressing, hatemongering, codeword, etc etc etc blah blah blah is not acceptable here. Go back to your video games.

      • Or we could pressure the media to stop naming the killers and showing their faces. Mounting evidence from behavior experts shows that is a big motivation for mass killers. And that’s if you really want to stop mass shootings. As terrible as they are, they are an infetisemally small amount of the crime that occurs here.

      • Keep dreaming about dark ages when only criminals and agents of state will have firearms. Criminals don’t care about NICS. Monsters hell bent on killing are not dissuaded by possible punishment and they will find a way.
        Keep dreaming about rendering decent folks defenseless.
        As for ‘Williams administration’ – pah, just keep dreaming.

  3. I feel for this man. What he did was an incredible act of courage that will likely haunt him for the rest of his life. Even after this traumatic event he continues being courageous by speaking out about the experience and saying the things that many don’t want to hear. As long as evil exists guns in the hands of good people are a necessity to combat that evil.

    • Non-fatally wounding a whack-job intent on mowing down innocent church-goers, including babies, may not cause him as much “haunting” as you might believe.

      I wouldn’t lose a second of sleep.

      • Wondering if you might have somehow done something differently, gotten there earlier, and saved more lives (like having had a loaded magazine ready to go), would be difficult.

        I am very thankful for this good man, and what he did.

        Very worthwhile interview

        • Yes, I agree with you Art. I would have wanted to do more. Good point. The wounding and potential killing the whack-job part wouldn’t have bothered me a bit.

          I would volunteer to be transported back in time to knock off that little weasel that killed the kids at Sandy Hook.

        • Not having to open a safe first to get his gun would have also helped his reaction time. If you don’t have small children there’s no reason to keep ALL of your guns locked up.

      • “Non-fatally wounding a whack-job intent on mowing down innocent church-goers, including babies, may not cause him as much “haunting” as you might believe.

        I wouldn’t lose a second of sleep.”

        At first blush, neither would I. However –

        I recall reading something a few days ago, it was by someone involved in the after lethal defensive-use business. They noted something interesting.

        In their experience, immediately following lethal defensive use, people reported feeling just fine – No problems at all. It had to be done, and was done, end-of-story.

        They noted for quite a few folks, in the days after the event, they had delayed reaction to the events of the defensive use. Some very powerful delayed negative reactions.

        While I believe my reactions after the events would be the same as ‘When Bullets Collide’, I, or even WBC, doesn’t really know, and won’t know, until it happens.

        (And personally, I very much hope to *never* have to need to use my weapon defensively…)

        • It is not just lethal DGUs. my wife was standing next to a shootout and was fine for about 3 days, and then it hit her like a ton of bricks. she never drew her weapon, and was not actively involved in it in any way but it still came back to hit her.

          the most important thing to remember after something like this happens is that you came out of it alive. So no matter what else whatever anybody else tells you you did everything right. There are things you could have done different, or things that you might want to have done to have improved what happened. But the most important thing is that you came out of it alive, and if the gods are kind uninjured, so whatever anybody else tells you you have to remember that you did everything right.

      • The infants bloviating about how easy and trauma-free it is to take away someones life either never have or are posing…

        The reality is its traumatic and at some level its always with you, no matter hard you are or how awful your victim is…

        And again this is whats wrong with most of the NRA, too many immature posers with big mouths, fools who think the best way to safeguard our lives is to spread ARs around so we can shoot it out with guys like Devin Kelley… for sensible adults naturally the obvious measure is to minimize the risk that a killer gets to use such an efficient weapon.

        Make the background check more thorough, take a long time to check folks out, AND (brace yerselves now) if any of the children in adults bodies at the NRA get shrill about our constitution requiring them to have ready access to ARs, or hysterical about the very continued existence of our constitution being dependent on them having ready access to ARs to fend off the government then well send out a drone and an A team to pull their pants down in front of their family nail your hands to the wall and hurt your balls so bad youll wish you were never born and then well ask you and your family why yall didnt stop us with your ARs and if you now appreciate the futility of such a plan, and how delusional you were… then regardless of your answer well ship you and yours off to Gitmo or a blacksite in some hellhole where what we did to you will seem like a utopia, and again periodically query you as to how this could possibly be happening because afterall you have all those ARs… and of course your obituary would run long ago…

        • So just to be clear about this, Rob “NazyCegroWithAGun” Williams, you are openly advocating rounding up american firearm owners, torturing them, putting them in concentration camps, and making them disappear in the middle of the night. Is that about right?

        • After reading this OP I conclude that Rob “NazyCegroWithAGun” Williams is a delusional, violent asshole and not very bright either.

          I can understand why he wants long background checks though. Like most assholes, he assumes everyone else is as fucking crazy, violent and stupid as he is.

          Also, note how he says they’ll send a team rather than promising to do anything himself. Pansy.

          Most of all though, I am proud of my God and my country. My God is perfect. None of the other things I’m proud of are even close, but I’m still proud of them.
          I am particularly proud of the Bill Of Rights. Without it America would have degenerated into an enormously bigger mess than than any other country in the world. With all its natural resources, the fighting for everything would have continued until “last man standing”, winner take all. Basic human nature is to bind together to keep what you have, take what you don’t have, and fight to the death to stop others from doing the same to you.
          I am not proud of that aspect of human nature. Or perverts. Or murderers, rapists, liars, thieves, or “Pinko Commie Fascist Freaks”.
          And Racists, bigots, or irrationally prejudiced fools.
          Such as you, Rob “NazyCegroWithAGun” Williams.
          After all that’s been done to us by them, you should know better. But you don’t, by choice. That makes you, not ignorant(since ignorance is merely not knowing), but STUPID. AKA, “WILLFUL IGNORANCE”.
          You choose to treat others worse than you have been treated. And don’t bother trying to tell me that I don’t know how you’ve been treated. I’ve been denied employment, fired from jobs, pulled over by the cops, beat up by so-called friends, cursed at, been forced to see my family burned out of our home and forced to live in “The Ghetto”. By THEM! Because I am Black. But not “Black Like You”. I see racism where it is, and not where I wish it to be. I do see quite a lot of racism on this site, and I’ve commented on it many times before. There are also some very decent people here. Some have come to my defense, some have merely kept quiet so they wouldn’t get stomped on by the stupid racists.
          Like You.

        • Let’s see
          – Projecting your own inadequacy on other people, check.
          -Proposing onerous infringements on law abiding to “make it harder for murderer” who doesn’t care about laws, check.
          -Dreams of sending drones and armed goons to do fulfill your sick fantasies, check.
          -Sexual torture fantasizing, check.
          -Dreams of rounding up your political opponents and locking them in concentration camps, check.
          -Disregarding armed unorganized militia as impotent, check.

          Congratulations! You are typical idiotic gun grabbing scum.

          You grabbers should consider yourself lucky that we gun owners are so nice, patient and law abiding. But make no mistake. Just try to realize your wet dreams about sending goons to disarm us and push us over the edge. You will find out, personally, how efficient the unorganized militia can be fighting enemies of the Constitutional Republic, both foreign and domestic. You realy do not want that, believe me.

  4. How is saying you chose the best tool you had for the job, politicizing anything?

    All I can think is, this guy must be under serious pressure from the aftermath of trying to save life, and that’s a shame.

  5. If you haven’t listened to the whole interview I Would advise doing such. It’s a good listen.

  6. For years, I have preached, “It’s not what you shoot him with, it’s where you shoot him that counts.”

    Willeford was smart enough and possessed the skill necessary to know where to shoot, to exploit the vulnerabilities of the his body armor.

    I stand and applaud what he had the courage and presence of mind to do.

    But, for the Bozos who seek to capitalize on the tragedy to promote their favorite black-gun, “Try again. He could, probably, have accomplished the same result with a Glock 19.”

    It was Willeford that made the difference, not the gun.

    • A glock 19 won’t fire .223, when where he needs to be shot behind body armor, the bullet needs to end up behind body armor. 9mm won’t do that.

      • The writer of the previous comment is right. A long rifle would certainly be preferred and more effective, but the effectiveness of a well trained good guy with a gun is far more important. See, when something happens, it may not be your choice what gun you have on you. You certainly don’t go out on the town with a rifle strapped to your back, right? This is where you pay attention to your training, especially failure-to-stop drills. You do failure-to-stop drills, right?

        BTW, if I had my choice in this same scenario, I am picking up something with a little more heft, perhaps my AR-10. 5.56mm is a great round if I have to hike a dozen miles with 500 rounds of ammunition strapped to me, but if I am 20 feet from my safe, I want a real rifle round. 🙂

  7. Except, he hit the killer in the leg and in the side of the torso unprotected by the vest. Pistol rounds would have worked fine.

    I know, I know, he said “might” have been different. So what? Any other time we would shoo away such details with a dismissive “Result!” and be done with it.

    If anything, rather than making the case for AR-15s, this incident makes the case for banning all kinds of body armor for everyone (not just for felons), in addition to an “assault weapon” ban.

    • Still waiting for someone to tell me exactly what an assault weapon is.
      The cars/trucks used in the recent terror attacks, mowing down innocent people?
      The knives used in two London and numerous Japan attacks?
      Which one of those should we ban first?

      • A misused German military designation for the” STG-44 Sturmgewehr: Storm Rifle of 1944. Also known as the Assault Rifle of 1944.” Now a buzzword for the news media. Of course!!!

        • That’s the answer when they misuse it… make them look like schmucks.

          “He had a WW-II German gun? I hadn’t heard that. Weird.”

          Where do they go from there?

          “You know it’s a kind of gun designed for military…”
          “Full auto? I hadn’t heard that. Those are way illegal. How’d be get it; someone breach an armory?”

          “But, features. N grip. N scary n black…”
          “Oh, you mean like the stuff that didn’t do any good, under the old A W B?”

          There must be a name for this pattern. Presuppose your argument, take their meaning from your (sane, fact based, coherent) understanding not their intention, n pack that into a question that *presumes* they said what you mean.

          In “debates” with programmed agenda-monkeys, we too often try to address their (ill-formed, implied) meaning behind the sloppy words. In a real conversation, seeking understanding, that works, and it’s polite.

          In this B S agenda-mongering, the ambiguity is designed. It isn’t a conversation, it’s a beat-down. You’ll give them the benefit of the doubt on what tbey said, n they’ll beat you with it.
          — Don’t let their ambiguity play for them, use it for you.
          — Don’t ask them directly to clarify; they’ll only get to slime you more. Presume what you prefer into their ambiguity. Now they’ve got to waste time: either double-down on the stupid, or backpedal.

          These agenda-monkeys use crafted ambiguity all the time. That’s why they invent terms, redefine terms, write laws with vague, broad assertions. You can’t be against the one thing it meane. Once it’s in place, it means that other thing. Like a “bump fire stock ban” that never says “bump fire stock.”

          It slows them down on the land grab of the moment. Also makes them look both weasely n dumb to the unaligned. (Only by exposing their weaseling n dumb.) Even better, done in public it builds an inventory of “this is what they do” to fill a google search. “Hey look, Mothers Against Only Some Violence were wrong again…” “Oh, those idiots…”

          I feel like there’s a name for these in the Roman catalogs of rhetoric.

      • Here’s what I posted yesterday:

        What is an “assault weapon”?

        Anything you want it to be.

        Today it is a AR-15 or AKM clone.

        Tomorrow it is a stock SKS or Mini-14.

        Then it is a Lee-Enfield (10 rounds is too many).

        Then it is a collectable Mauser 98 (looks too military).

        Then it is your grandpa’s Winchester 94 (lever actions give rapid fire).

        Then it is your Remington or Winchester hunting rifle (who needs to hunt with a “sniper rifle”).

        Then it anything above a single-shot .22 or air rifle.

        When the term is deliberately vague it can be whatever needs to be.

    • Alternatively, it’s an argument to allow stocks for pistols and armor piercing pistol rounds
      (of all sorts, removing the specific type bans). Imagine if he was away from home and the shooter had started up. Could he have accurately placed those bullets with just a pistol? But if you take that pistol and add a folding stock (or imagine a modernized Mauser C96 pistol and stock/holster) as well as armor-piercing rounds, suddenly he has a much greater chance of hitting those vital areas, or punching the armor if he doesn’t.

    • I don’t know the distance from which Mr. Willeford engaged the enemy.

      Even if it was close enough for us to reliably hit a small, stationary target with a pistol under relaxed conditions at a gun range, Willeford’s situation was different. Target was moving and he was under the physiological effects of an adrenaline dump.

      All I know is, if I was in that situation I would want my rifle with a red dot.

    • Problem is that the current industry has shown you can make decent armor out of AR500 steel and rhino-liner. Once again, bans don’t stop criminals. AR500 steel is a legal product that just happens to be used in armor. Will they require a special license for steel next?

    • The AR-15 is not an assault weapon it is a civilian self defense rifle……and by calling for an assault weapon ban you are giving the anti gunners the argument they need to ban semi auto pistols. How? They say we need to ban Assault rifles because they can kill a lot of people at one go. Leaving aside the fact that knives were used to murder 1,604 people in 2015, and over 1,500 people every single year…the anti gunners will get the AR-15, and then use the exact same argument to get semi auto pistols after the next mass shooting. Why? This guy murdered 26…..the Virginia Tech shooter murdered 32, with 2 semi auto pistols…and having given in to the argument against AR-15s you have no ground to defend semi auto pistols which can kill just as many people. And the anti gunners know this. The Luby’s cafe shooter…..23 people with 2 semi auto pistols….The anti gunners know how to lie, they know how to box you in…and you are going to let them do it. They don’t want ‘common sense” gun laws…they want all guns banned.

    • The gun has to be chosen before you know exactly where the bullets will end up. You only get hindsight coming out of a fight, you don’t get it going in.

    • You do realize an AR-15 with a Trijicon sight (which Mr. Willeford had) is going to be much easier to aim accurately than a stock pistol would be. Even at what he said was about 20 yards.

  8. The AR-15 is not an assault weapon it is a civilian self defense rifle……and by calling for an assault weapon ban you are giving the anti gunners the argument they need to ban semi auto pistols. How? They say we need to ban Assault rifles because they can kill a lot of people at one go. Leaving aside the fact that knives were used to murder 1,604 people in 2015, and over 1,500 people every single year…the anti gunners will get the AR-15, and then use the exact same argument to get semi auto pistols after the next mass shooting. Why? This guy murdered 26…..the Virginia Tech shooter murdered 32, with 2 semi auto pistols…and having given in to the argument against AR-15s you have no ground to defend semi auto pistols which can kill just as many people. And the anti gunners know this.

  9. I applaud him…get that black rifle while you can! It’s just been shown the murderer was a BERNIE SAUNDERS lowlife😡

  10. Can I stir the pot a little and suggest perhaps the lowly 12 gauge could have served well in such a scenario? While not immediately fatal a controlled pair of 00 Buck to the pelvic girdle and/or legs is a solid recipe for immobilization and a partial solution to circumnavigate body armor.

    Or am I completely wrong here?

    I bring it up because my 590A1 loaded with #4 buck, and several side saddles of Federal Flitecontrol 00 Buck & slugs is my go to long gun and load out.

    • I think a shotgun would work just as well as an AR-15 in this case. As you said 00 or #4 buckshot to any part of the body not covered by armor would do it.

      Even if the threat is wearing metal armor, 00 buck or a slug should knock wind out of threat if you hit them in chest. And if it’s soft armor a hit to the chest would still kill them.

  11. “Ban body armor, too.” in the comments.

    So, it’s not just that they don’t want you to protect yourself with a gun; they don’t want you to protect yourself.

    Cop – “You’re suspicious because you’re wearing body armor.”

    Citizen – “Dude, you’ve got your hand on your gun. Body armor.kinda makes sense to me.”

    No guns, no vests for you! – Makes sense in a world with no criminals, where cops are everywhere n never make mistakes. When you find one of those, let me know.

  12. It’s only “insane” for citizens to have effective self-defense weapons, if you don’t want them to defend themselves.

  13. I would imagine he replays his mental video of the incident about 100 times a day.

    What if I……..

    It is normal to do that for awhile after any traumatic event.

    His will be prolonged by the media attention that goes with this.

    I wish him well.

  14. Maybe the 5.6 ain’t so great. Look at all the times that round has failed to actually one shot stop. ” Couldn’t have did it without my AR” , that’s debatable, Kelley and Paddock wounded a lot more then they _+_-_, Kelley stopped shooting however he still drove off after being hit twice. Champion the AR and the cartridge it uses if you want, a .308 started its career as a military cartridge, the .223 started as a woodchuck round

  15. POA = [if head covered] supra-sternal notch, armpit, sacroiliac joint, or center of pelvis, for body armor.

    AR’s would be handy for enforcing the 2nd Paragraph of the Declaration of independence.

  16. Historically civilians had better weapons than the government. Kentucky rifle, 250 yards effective range. British brown Bess smooth bore musket, 60 yards max effective range.

    More Thompson sub machine guns were in civilian hands than government hands in the 1920s.

    Today civilians and government are about equal in firepower. And the Left doesn’t like it.

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