USA Today slammed for op-ed criticizing ‘terrifying’ reaction of gun-carrying Texans during church shooting

An editorial in USA Today sparked a massive outcry and the publication was raked over the coals for how it characterized the armed Texas church parishioners who confronted a shooter last weekend.

The opinion piece did praise Jack Wilson as a hero for being the one who killed the gunman after he opened fire at the West Freeway Church of Christ, but the piece took it a step further by criticizing the other parishioners who drew their weapons in response.

(Image: ABC News screenshot)

The USA Today op-ed was promoted in a tweet on Wednesday which set off an avalanche of backlash for its portrayal of the church members and for taking the opportunity to criticize President Trump.

The Federalist’s Mollie Hemingway, among many others on Twitter, flung the description back at USA Today.

And the Daily Wire’s Josh Hammer’s understatement was echoed by many more.

Wilson, a volunteer security team member of the church, took out the gunman by firing just one shot. Other members of the church security team also reacted as the gunman shot two people and made his way to the front of the church sanctuary before being stopped by Wilson.

But the USA Today piece got off to a bad start immediately with an “unfortunately” bad opening.

“Jack Wilson is a hero alright. It took him only six seconds to kill a gunman at a Texas church, saving countless lives,” the opinion piece by Elvia Díaz, an editorial columnist for The Arizona Republic and AZcentral, stated.

“Unfortunately, that kind of split-second heroism has been turned into a PR tool by gun advocates,” it continued, igniting countless scathing rebukes.

“The reality of Wilson’s heroism is a lot more complex. He wasn’t just an ordinary parishioner, as gun advocates may want you to believe. The church’s volunteer security team member is a firearms instructor, gun range owner and former reserve deputy with a local sheriff’s department, according to a New York Times detailed account,” Diaz continued. “In other words, he’s exactly the kind of man you want around with a firearm.”

The fact that the USA Today tweet found it “terrifying” that other church members drew their weapons was also called out.

And Diaz’s questioning about the other church members was a point that Twitter users were especially enraged about.

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Frieda Powers

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