Mark Vaughan, A Good Man with a Gun
Vaughan Foods, Moore Oklahoma – September 25, 2014
Colleen Hufford was repeatedly stabbed and then beheaded by an ex-employee. Traci Johnson, another employee of Vaughan Foods, was attacked by the same assailant. Mark Vaughan intervened and stopped the attack on Traci Johnson by shooting the assailant twice. Traci Johnson survived. The assailant survived and will be charged and tried in the criminal justice system.
Reports from news sources (KFOR.com, KOCO.com, nypost.com & CSmonitor.com) in the days following vary somewhat about what happened at Vaughan Foods on September 25, 2014. Was Mark Vaughan the Chief Operating Officer or a Security Guard on duty? Was the gun used a rifle from Mr. Vaughan’s office or a handgun in his possession? Did other employees try to intervene before Mr. Vaughan shot the assailant?
The facts that can be gleaned are that an ex-employee, who was a recent convert to Islam, returned to his former employer, stabbed Colleen Hufford repeatedly and then murdered her in a manner associated with Muslim extremist, by beheading her. The assailant then attacked Traci Johnson and was stabbing her when he was shot by Mark Vaughan.
Mark Vaughan would be any rational person’s choice as a fellow employee to have a gun. This description is taken from a statement by Sheriff John Whetsel of the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office: Mark Vaughan has been with the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office since June 2010. During that time he has completed the 10-month Reserve Deputy Basic Academy as well as other extensive law enforcement training. Mark is currently assigned to the Patrol Division, is a member of the FAST Team (Fast Action Support Team) and is a highly trained member of the Tactical Team.
Guns-at-work situations for most of us do not approach this kind of situation. But even there at Vaughan Foods, it did not prevent the murder of Colleen Hufford. We must realize that we are at risk, even behind fences and electronic locks and card key access. There is no scenario where a first murder or attack by a human, who has not already been detected as a threat, but who is intent upon inflicting harm on another human, can be prevented. Not on our military bases, not on the streets of our cities, not in our places of work, not in our places of entertainment, and not in our places of worship.
So what do you do about it? Don’t throw up your hands and hope statistics don’t catch up with you. Acknowledging that evil exists in the world is the first step in building a defense. The next is cultivating the belief that you are responsible for your own welfare. Next comes the evaluation of your abilities based on your physical, mental, and financial situation to confront evil.
How would you respond to a violent threat? Are you mentally and physically prepared to resist? Are you mentally and financially prepared for the consequences if you use deadly force and kill another human being? If you are able, would you be willing to kill another human being so that your spouse doesn’t become a widow? So that your children are not without a parent? These questions have to be asked and answered BEFORE you are forced to make that decision.
In the high stress situations were a life exits on the difference, there are three reactions. Most will recognize fight or flight, but the third devastating reaction is to freeze. Training to confront the possibility of a violent attack may enable you to survive the unimaginable.
As equally unimaginable can be the aftermath when you are accused of going to far, that deadly force was not necessary. This will usually come from people who were not under threat and believe you should not have the right to defend yourself because they can outsource their own protection.
Make a start to prepare yourself for what you pray you will never have to face. Chance favors a prepared mind. Practice improves performance. Take Time To Train.
Start researching what it takes to get a concealed permit in your state. Learn where you legally can and cannot carry. Read and contemplate the use of force statutes in your locale. Read and study stand your ground cases. Determine if you have a duty to retreat in your area. Attend seminars dealing with these issues. Follow cases involving self-defense in your state.
Are you trained in any form of self-defense? Do you practice your training in self-defense? How often?
Mark Vaughan was prepared and he responded decisively. One died, but one was saved.