Listen up Jihadists....Texas ISN'T France!
This evening (Sunday) my old home town, Garland, TX, was the scene of a shooting involving at least two (presumably) Muslim...let's just call them what they are/were...terrorists. I know the area well. I lived just 5 minutes from there, I shopped nearby, and all of my daughters went to Naaman Forest High School, located right next to the Curtis Culwell Special Events Center where the shooting took place. It is a very nice area.
Some background: This past January a Muslim group rented the Special Events Center from the Garland Independent School District in order to hold a "Stand With The Prophet" rally essentially saying that freedom of speech did not include the right to blasphemy (?) the prophet Muhammad. They had a right to rent the center, they paid the fee, and despite a few peaceful protesters, the event went off without incident.
A pro-free-speech group rented the same building, which was also their right, for this weekend as a counter event to re-enforce the idea that free speech means free speech for ALL. Their vehicle was a Muhammad cartoon contest, which incidentally was won by a "former Muslim".
As they knew this was a potentially incendiary event, the Garland Police beefed up security, planning for all contingencies. At least several dozen GPD officers were present, with some reports saying as many as 40, all this in response to some tweets that threatened violence. This was in addition to the normal contingent of Garland ISD security that attends all special events. In place was a command post, the SWAT unit, the robotic bomb unit, and I'm sure many more specialties that aren't being publicized.
A personal note: I know the Garland Police Department well. For 18 years I was on the city's Civil Service Commission, serving as Chairman for many years, overseeing the police and fire departments. I know police chief Mitch Bates well. He is a no-nonsense professional. I attended the city's (civilian) police academy, and know how the department operates. Their SWAT unit, indeed the entire force, is first class, and not to be trifled with...BIG mistake!
This evening two men drove up to the Events Center and opened fire, wounding one of the GISD security people. (He will be OK.) Garland Police returned fire, killing both terrorists. The entire attack was over in less than 20 seconds. The area was quickly secured, and a nearby Walmart Super Center, a Sam's Club, and an Academy Sports store were also locked down. Attendees to the free speech rally were quickly moved to the nearby high school, and are all safe.
Some might be surprised to learn that there is a sizable Muslim community in the Dallas area, including a mosque in adjacent Richardson, TX that has been associated on many occasions with extremism. There is another large mosque in Arlington (another Dallas suburb), plus many more smaller ones scattered throughout North Texas.
All kidding aside, the stereotype of Texans being "adequately armed" is...umm...TRUE! All the ingredients are in place for some serious unrest. It's gonna be interesting.
EDIT: Now we learn one of the dead gunmen was from the Phoenix area, and the event organizer was based in New York. It seems the locals were just pawns in this bizarre tit-for-tat game. It does show, however, that violence can happen any where, any time.