This story could have had a very different ending, but because a man was carrying a concealed gun on his Walmart shopping trip with his family, a potential deadly situation ended with no one being hurt. The story of what happened that day last spring is just now being told.
According to The Blaze, 2nd Lt. Joshua Nelson, a West Virginia Air National Guardsman, popped in to the local Walmart in Del Rio, Texas, to pick up some supplies for a trip to the lake. While he and his wife and children were putting things in the cart, they heard a woman scream, "Stop! Put that down!"
The fear in her voice led Nelson to search for the source of the commotion. USAF News reports that he "looked into the aisle, and this young man had a knife to a woman's stomach."
He quickly directed his wife to take the kids to the front of the store and call the police. He told The Blaze that the safety of his family was his top priority. Both Nelson and his wife hold concealed carry permits, and both had their guns with them on this day. Like many armed citizens, they hoped to never need to use their weapons, but on this day, they were thankful that they had them, even in Walmart.
As Joshua approached the woman and her filet-knife-wielding attacker, he says he "thought real hard about drawing my gun," deciding instead to put his hand on his gun, letting the perpetrator know that he was armed. He didn't want to spook him by drawing his weapon and have him cut his victim in a panic. Nelson's military training kicked in as he addressed the situation.
"I put my hand on my pistol where he'd notice, and then I stepped in between them. I kept demanding he hand me the knife. I wanted him to see only one option. As I was standing beside that lady, I felt like I was responsible for her life. I was going to do whatever I had to do to protect her."
That was when the drama took a different turn. The assailant turned the knife on himself, threatening to kill himself. Nelson was able to talk him down, telling him that they could get help for him. According to USAF, other Walmart employees had gathered by that time, and joined the Guardsman in trying to convince the man to put the knife down.
He finally cooperated, and kicked the knife toward Nelson as he ordered. Then, he turned to run out. That was not an option for him, and Nelson assumed the voice of military command, telling him to "stop" and "sit down" while they waited for the police to arrive. The man complied.
When police arrived on the scene, they determined that the woman the attacker threatened was his own mother, according to the police report. He was throwing a temper tantrum because she refused to buy him a gun at Walmart.
Lt. Nelson told The Blaze that the Del Rio police handled the situation very appropriately. They commended him for his handling of the situation.
This story was not published in news media until October 24, though the incident occurred in May. That bothers Nelson, because there are many stories about ordinary citizens exercising their 2nd Amendment right to bear arms who make a difference and stop bad things from happening to good people. Yet, like this story, they often go unreported, whereas the criminals hurting people with guns are front-page news.
Nelson voices a concern of many Americans, "They never let us tell our side of the story."
The Inquisitr has reported a number of these stories, where guns have been used to protect people against armed thugs, such as the grandfather in North Carolina, Kenneth Byrd, who sustained injuries himself while using his gun to save his 19-year-old granddaughter from being gang-raped by three armed robbers. Last summer, a St. Louis father shot the assailants who held a gun to his daughter's head.
Lt. Joshua Nelson sums up the thoughts of many good, gun-toting citizens.
"The number one reason I carry is to protect my family. It's a God-given, constitutional right that I fully, 100 percent stand behind. Secondly, I love my fellow Americans, and if I'm in a position to help one of them, obviously, I want to do that."
If Nelson had not been in that Texas Walmart with his concealed gun that day, the day could have ended very differently for one woman.