Monday, August 1, 2016

Happy 50th Anniversary

Fifty years ago today at the University of Texas in Austin a murdering little psychopath named Charles Whitman assembled an extensive arsenal of firearms and ammo, then climbed to the top of the 300 foot clock tower at UT and opened fire.  He shot 49 people, killing 16.

Whitman was killed by Houston McCoy, who fired two shots from a 12 gauge shotgun loaded with double oh buckshot, hitting Whitman with both shots.  A group of four men, three police officers and one civilian, climbed to the top of the clock tower, got out on the observation deck, and ultimately sent Whitman to his great reward.

All four of these men demonstrated bravery; all admitted they were frightened, but they stepped up and did what they had to do anyway.  That, to me, is real bravery.

Everyone who was involved in this terrorist act by Whitman was frightened.  Some stepped up, some did not, and I will never criticize anyone who didn't step up to help.  What bothers me about the way this even is often related is this: There were many civilians who helped police that day by shooting at Whitman, thus denying him a safe platform to shoot from, and those are the people who go unrecognized.  I'm happy to say that the Texas Tribune reported the event with a lot more accuracy.

The Armed Civilian Who Helped Stop UT’s Tower Sniper 50 Years Ago
For more than an hour, a sniper named Charles Whitman had been firing away from the tower’s observation deck. In the end, the sniper would kill 16 people that day, plus Wilson’s unborn baby. More than 30 others would be wounded.

[A group of four men climbed to the top of the tower] But as Martinez and the man made their ascent to the top of the iconic tower to stop the madman, the stranger asked an unusual question: “Are we playing for keeps?”
“You’re damn right we’re playing for keeps,” Martinez later recalled answering.
“Well, you better deputize me,” the man said.
Then, it was clear. The man with Martinez wasn’t a plainclothes officer. He was a civilian — Allen Crum, one of many who armed themselves on Aug. 1, 1966, in an effort to stop the first mass shooting at an American university.

Regular people from all over Austin had grabbed their guns from their trucks or homes that day and rushed to campus to fire at Whitman from the ground. Their bullets pelted the tower, kicking up clouds of limestone.
You can bet the Austin police didn't hesitate to give credit where credit was due.  The people on the ground who did their level best to hit that crazy SOB Whitman forced him to keep his head down and limited his field of fire.  They saved lives that day, and any one of them could have easily stopped a bullet.  Whitman was hitting targets at ranges up to 1500 feet, but these people stayed and returned fire.  Other people that helped by carrying the wounded off the battlefield deserve recognition too, and generally aren't mentioned.

So here's a hoist of the afternoon bourbon glass, a tip of the old fedora and a salute to those who stepped up and did their bit.  We need more of you in this world.

The good news is that the Texas State Government ignored the howling of the anti-freedom moonbats and passed some new concealed carry legislation, which fittingly takes affect today.

Campus Carry Bill Heads to Gov. Abbott
Legislation requiring the state’s public universities to allow handguns in dorms, classrooms and campus buildings is now one step away from becoming law.
After final approval from the Texas House Sunday, Senate Bill 11 now heads to Gov. Greg Abbott, who has said he will sign the measure. The state Senate approved the bill Saturday.
It took about an hour Sunday for the chamber to pass the controversial measure — over the passionate pleas of several Democrats who rose to speak against it — on a 98-to-47 vote.
The governor signed it, and now the universities in Texas are a little safer for everyone.  Well, everyone except the violent criminals.  As I write this, I wonder if the dissenting politicos and their allies understand that in opposing this bill, they support criminals, violent criminals, and terrorists.

I wonder if they care.


CWMartin said...

I had heard that it was the anniversary on WOWO's Pat Miller yesterday afternoon. A story to be proud of... unless you are a gun-control fanatic. Then it's erase, obfuscate, and move along.

Trilby said...

Reading a recent liberal report denouncing this law, it was twisted to stress that the citizens with firearms injured other citizens with ricochets. No mention of any heros.

Mad Jack said...

Right, CWMartin. Commercial media has been perverting the news for years and continues to do so.

Mad Jack said...

I never heard of any citizens injured by ricochets, but given the lack of evidence I think that fact was made up of whole cloth. I know the four man team had to duck lead when they got out on the observation deck, but they expected that. I also know that the shooting stopped when one of the men waved a white handkerchief - the universal surrender flag. Note how chaotic and uncontrolled those civilians on the ground were :)