Hero of 1993 church attack calls for being armed

Hero of 1993 church attack calls for being armed

A man who was in the congregation during an earlier church shooting – and fired back at the attackers – says the solution is not to restrict guns, as President Obama has suggested, but to encourage people to defend themselves and others.

“Many have adopted the pagan fallacy of animism – that evil lurks in things (guns), rather than people. Demonizing inanimate objects (guns) makes no sense! Guns can be used for good or evil. The heart of the handler is what makes the difference,” Charl Van Wyk, whose Christian mission work focuses on Africa, told WND on Thursday.

His comments came in the wake of the tragic South Carolina church shooting that left nine dead. A suspect was taken into custody several hundred miles from the shooting scene, and was being returned to the state for charges.

Van Wyk was in the congregation in Cape Town, South Africa, in 1993 when terrorists burst into St. James Church loaded up with shrapnel-coated grenades and automatic weapons and attacked.

Eleven people were killed almost immediately in the congregation of about 1,000. But Van Wyk, sitting only a few rows from the back, pulled out his snub-nose .38 revolver and fired two shots at the attackers.

One of the terrorists, who later admitted their intention was to kill as many as they could, was hit, but Van Wyk didn’t realize that until later, because he quickly withdrew from the building and circled around back, trying to get behind the terrorists.

But they already were in a vehicle fleeing.

His experience has been chronicled in book and DVD versions in “Shooting Back: The Right and Duty of Self-Defense.”

On the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the shooting, he told WND, “The moment of chaos and carnage unfurled is forever etched in my mind.”