Saturday night, Pastor Tim Remington gave the invocation for Ted Cruz in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.
Sunday afternoon, he was laying on the ground in his church parking lot with (up to) 6 bullets lodged in his body.
I’ve been to events with Pastor Tim and our church prays for him regularly. I’m friends with the pastor who was originally going to do the invocation for Ted Cruz. (Still no word on whether or not there is a connection) This hits close to home for me. The only reason I say that is that I’m going to switch over to cold & calculating mode and cover a few quick lessons that we can take away from the shooting.
1. People focus on security inside churches during service. That’s good, but statistics tell us that violent attacks happen MUCH more often in areas of transition than inside of the church. Transitioning from being inside the church to inside a car is an example. This attack happened near Pastor Tim’s car.
2. Violent attacks at church happen more often during non-service times than during service times. This attack happened at 2PM.
3. Situational awareness reduces, but does not eliminate violence. I don’t know enough of what happened yet to know how aware Pastor Tim was of his surroundings at the time. And frankly, this is a case where I probably wouldn’t say what he could have done better, even if I knew.
4. Handgun rounds are incredibly ineffective. On one hand, it’s safe to say that God played a hand in keeping Pastor Tim from having any lethal injuries after being shot (up to) 6 times at point-blank range. On the other hand, it’s not that unusual. Anyone who claims that a typical self-defense pistol round has “knockdown power” or “one shot stop capability” needs to talk with guys who have been in gunfights or actually go hunting with their pistols. Reality can be shocking and humbling and drive you to new standards for your self-defense training.
5. Most shooters over-estimate their ability and the ability of their gear. The shooter was a 30 year old former Marine, shot at point-blank range, and didn’t hit any vital organs. Fortunately, he probably counted on his former military service. Fortunately, he probably thought that he was so close that he couldn’t miss.
What the shooter did was evil and he had mental issues, but good people with guns make the same mistakes with their training. Don’t be one of them. Don’t mistake having a gun for knowing how to use it. Don’t mistake what you did 7 years, 7 months, or 7 weeks ago for what you can do now. And don’t stop practicing when you get to the speed/accuracy you want…practice until you CAN’T miss.
6. Placement matters. Pistol rounds all suck. Some suck less than others. And no matter what you’re shooting, the effectiveness is going to be 95% placement and 5% caliber.
7. Skulls are harder than you think and vary greatly. One of the rounds struck Pastor Tim in the head. His skull stopped it. Thank God. A friend of mine growing up fought in WWI. He got shot in the forehead one time. The bullet penetrated his helmet and skin, hit his skull, followed the contour of his skull under his skin to the back of his head, and exited through the skin on the back of his skull and went through his helmet.
Train hard. Train often. Train smart.
And please pray for Pastor Tim, his family, and for the officers who are searching for the shooter.