Talk:Sutherland Springs church shooting

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Gun details[edit]

diff. Is there a reliable source that actually says this? I don't mean to say the poster is wrong, but how can anyone verify it? I'm not a gun expert - do we trust anonymous Wikipedia editors and hope for the best? Relevant policies are WP:OR (Original Research) and WP:V (Verify) and WP:RS (Reliable Sources). The other problem, is this the same weapon he used on the day of the shooting .. was all that gear on the gun when at the church? -- GreenC 21:32, 20 January 2018 (UTC)

I'm not a gun expert either, but @Mandruss: is right that the detail was excessive even if correct. It was an AR-15 pattern rifle, which is enough info for an average reader. There is a tendency to add excessive detail about the type and model of the gun, and it doesn't appear to have reliable secondary sourcing. The reverted edit used an interpretation of Kelley's Facebook page so it is classic WP:OR.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 06:28, 21 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Here is the gun as it appeared on Facebook on October 29, 2017. As previously mentioned, it doesn't necessarily follow that this is the gun exactly as it was used during the shooting.--11:27, 21 January 2018 (UTC)
Per WP:ONUS, I'd want not only WP:V but also RS saying that some gun characteristic or feature bears some relevance to the shooting. A good example is the bump stock at 2017 Las Vegas shooting. Even if such RS could be found for the details here, which seems unlikely, the article should mention only that characteristic/feature, not the complete list thereof, and it should explain its significance by paraphrasing the RS.
This is a similar situation to that of the iPhone model, above. A by-the-way mention in RS, alone, does not necessarily qualify something for inclusion. ―Mandruss  15:17, 21 January 2018 (UTC)
Here is some reliable sourcing about the gun on Facebook. It quotes a law enforcement official saying "the rifle Mr Kelley used is similar to the one in the photo but could not confirm it is the same weapon." Here the New York Times says "The cover photo on Mr. Kelley’s Facebook page appears to show a Ruger 8515 rifle, equipped with additional aftermarket products, including a red-dot aiming sight for faster targeting and a two-stage trigger for greater accuracy". However, it would require confirmation from investigators that the gun shown on Facebook is the one used in the shooting. It seems logical that the gun in the photo on Facebook is the one used in the shooting, but there is no confirmation. What is notable is that neighbors knew that Kelley had a gun because they heard gunfire at his property, but no-one connected it with a problem although Kelley should not have owned a gun at the time.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 18:32, 21 January 2018 (UTC)
At that close range, and considering that his shooting was largely indiscriminate, I don't think any "faster targeting" or "greater accuracy" features have any relevance to this shooting, and your NYT quote does not suggest such relevance. ―Mandruss  19:14, 21 January 2018 (UTC)
A red dot sight is meant for close to mid range combat. A mass shooter is interested in killing as many as possible and at close range, a red dot sight does help towards that goal since it does improve accuracy. Some people don't know how to properly use iron sights but a red dot sight makes it very easy to tell exactly what part of the body you're going to hit. I agree with Mandruss in that I don't think it's particularly helpful or necessary to list the attachments used, however his reasoning behind why doesn't make much sense to me. AllSidesMatter (talk) 23:26, 28 February 2018 (UTC)
Re this edit: articles should not have photos of guns which were not used in the shooting, as this is misleading and unencyclopedic. A photo of a similar gun on Commons won't do the trick. Kelley did post an image on Facebook which is possibly the gun used in the actual shooting. It looks quite different from the generic gun photo that was removed.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 19:12, 27 March 2018 (UTC)

Naming Willeford in the opening paragraph[edit]

I am opening this thread because the editor Mandruss has fought me repeatedly on this, going so far as to engage in a mutual edit war over it. So, here's an opportunity for anyone else to weigh in. AllSidesMatter (talk) 23:31, 28 February 2018 (UTC)

Stephen Willeford ought to be identified by name in the opening paragraph as he was the second most important and noteworthy individual involved in this event -- second only to the active shooter himself.

Stephen's role in this shooting was critically important. He singlehandedly stopped the shooter from committing further murders and he singlehandedly pinned the shooter down after he had crashed his car so that he couldn't escape before law enforcement arrived. Naming him does not violate any clause in WP:BLPNAME; in fact, WP:BLPNAME seems to support the idea that Stephen should be named early on in the article given that Stephen isn't low-profile and was such a critical component to the event.

Mandruss does not want this hero to be named in the opening paragraph because, according to him, Stephen's name is already mentioned in the body of the article and it would be redundant. His reasoning for this does not extend to any other names mentioned in this article that are repeated -- only Stephen, for some reason. The second reason Mandruss gave for this is he felt that Stephen's name has no place in the opening paragraph, given that the open is just a basic summary of the event. If the name of the hero who singlehandedly stopped the active shooter isn't worthy of mention in the summary of the event, then neither is the name of the shooter himself because Stephen's role is essentially a co-starring role.

In fact, I would argue that the name of the shooter should be struck from the article entirely because naming mass shooters gives them notoriety and fame -- something that would-be shooters find attractive. There's a solid argument to be made here that refusing to immortalize active shooters by withholding their names from publication would go a long way towards reducing these kinds of crimes. But that isn't an argument I'm going to make today. Right now I'm only interested in getting Stephen's name in the opening paragraph.

Mandruss has not presented a sufficient case as to why Stephen should not be named in the opening paragraph. Referring to a person by name twice in an article is not "redundant." In fact, if you didn't refer to the person you're writing about by name at least a few times, readers will likely get confused as to who you're referring to. That's why the shooter's name is everywhere in this article.

Beyond that, even if it was necessary to identify a person only once in an article where they are referred to multiple times, standard writing practice tells us that you should identify the name of the individual the first time that person is referenced. Standard writing practice also tells us that if you're going to refer to that person again later, it is best to refer to them by last name alone for sake of brevity. So standard writing practice doesn't even support Mandruss's assertion that IDing Stephen in the open would be "redundant."

It is interesting to me that this article almost seems like more of a bio on the perp than an article on the event. It is interesting because Mandruss (and also Ian, the Admin -- you can find the related dispute where Ian weighs in on the admin complaint board) is trying to make the case that since this article is about an event and not a bio on an individual, Stephen's name should not be included in the open. There's a -lot- of illogical reasoning going on here for such a supposedly minor detail. I don't think it is a minor detail but Ian has said it was. Makes me wonder why there's been such fuss about it in the first place.

I support the previous commenter's ( ) assertion that there is way too much about the perp himself in this article. As either Ian or Mandruss has already pointed out (they're pretty much a united front in this issue and I forget which said it -- important bit is that one of them did) this is not a bio. Yet this article is mostly about the perp and not the event.

I will wait until tomorrow to revise the article again so that Mandruss (or any others) have time to weigh in. Know that for this issue to not be elevated further to Admin review, a good case needs to be made based on either a syntax/grammatical defense, a Wikipedia Terms of Use argument, or some other argument that shows how naming Stephen in the first paragraph would explicitly break a Wikipedia rule. Not wanting his name in the first paragraph for political reasons is not sufficient cause.

Finally, I would like to point out that if I do make another revision before a resolution is had, it's because Wiki told me to.

From Wikipedia Notices: "You just made your tenth edit; thank you, and please keep going!" ;) AllSidesMatter (talk) 22:26, 28 February 2018 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by AllSidesMatter (talkcontribs) 22:24, 28 February 2018 (UTC)

Mandruss does not want this hero to be named in the opening paragraph because, according to him, Stephen's name is already mentioned in the body of the article and it would be redundant. - A misstatement of my rationale, clearly stated in this edit summary. The OP is free to disagree, but I don't think anybody but the perpetrator needs to be named in the lead. I'm not aware of any Wikipedia guidance on this either way, except the general WP:LEAD principle that lead should summarize body and minimize unnecessary details. OP believes, as seen in their statements elsewhere, that there is some nefarious agenda behind my position, and that is simply false and fails WP:AGF. If there is a consensus to include the name, I oppose anything about his NRA connection per Ianmacm's edit summary here. I'm not going to be involved in a long debate on either question; in fact this will likely be my last comment here. ―Mandruss  23:35, 28 February 2018 (UTC)
Mandruss, if you are bowing out at this point without defending your revert based on rules or guidelines, then you'll have no reason to revert my edit when I add his name in the intro again. I've made a very strong case for why his name should appear there. I haven't seen anything in wiki rules stating a multi-editor consensus must be reached among editors not involved in the dispute. Of course I welcome others opinions and such but to uphold a revert you need to defend it. Saying his name doesn't add to the story is false -- if people hear that a lone gunman stopped a mass shooter, their first question is going to be "who?!". Adding his name in the intro is giving the readers pertinent information they will certainly want to know. AllSidesMatter (talk) 23:42, 28 February 2018 (UTC)
I will wait until tomorrow to revise the article again so that Mandruss (or any others) have time to weigh in. OP is advised that any article changes in this area without consensus in this thread will be seen as a continuation of the disruption that resulted in today's ANI complaint. I strongly suggest they don't do that, as they will be less likely to escape without a block the second time. ―Mandruss  23:45, 28 February 2018 (UTC)
I also did not mischaracterize your rationale. Your rationale, according to the edit log, is quote: "anyway this person is named in the body and his name is excessive detail for the lead - lead is summary/overview)". "This person is named in the body..." suggests your rationale is one of redundancy. As in, He's already named in the body, it would be redundant. Beyond that, naming the hero is not excessive detail. That's a silly argument. Like I mentioned above, the first question on anyone's mind when they hear a lone private citizen singlehandedly stopped a mass shooter, the first question on everyone's mind is "who?" Naming him is -just the right amount- of information. — Preceding unsigned comment added by AllSidesMatter (talkcontribs) 23:48, 28 February 2018 (UTC)
"OP is advised that any article changes in this area without consensus in this thread will be seen as a continuation of the disruption that resulted in today's ANI complaint." the complain has already been resolved, there is no continuation. Interesting, you seem to be speaking on behalf of the admin here. Just because you don't like an edit doesn't mean it is disruptive editing. I am attempting to DISCUSS this issue with you to come to a consensus here, between us. You are electing, voluntarily, to refuse that discussion based on your statement "I'm not going to be involved in a long debate on either question; in fact this will likely be my last comment here." If you choose not to discuss this with me and reach a compromise, you will be seen as the party who caused the breakdown in communication. I will be seen as the one trying to follow the BOLD, Revert, Discuss guidelines because that is what I am doing. At this point, there is no disruptive editing going on and it won't be disruptive editing to go ahead with an edit that you've failed to appropriately revert. AllSidesMatter (talk) 23:53, 28 February 2018 (UTC)

I'm happy not to name the civilian in the lede. The perpetratorwas already outside the church when the civilian started shooting at him. It is unclear if the civilian saved any lives, but is clear that he helped end the life of the perp in a wild west use of an assault rifle. Perhaps some called him a hero, but that is not sourced, and he could also be termed a vigilante with an AR-15. Legacypac (talk) 00:46, 1 March 2018 (UTC)

  • Oppose him being named in the lead. I think it is unnecessary. We do not name police officers who shoot perpetrators, so why name civilians. Also, the name should not go in the lead until consensus is gained. Richard-of-Earth (talk) 06:01, 1 March 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose naming him in the WP:LEAD because it is a summary of what happened, although I wouldn't argue about naming him later on in the article.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 06:33, 1 March 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose No need for a mention in the lead. I also strongly oppose Willeford being listed as a defender in the infobox, he was clearly responding to the events of the church shooting. He should however be mentioned later in the article where appropriate.--SamHolt6 (talk) 07:26, 1 March 2018 (UTC)
Oh yea, I also oppose him being mentioned in the info box. Wikipedia is not a place to glorify people. Richard-of-Earth (talk) 08:46, 1 March 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose his name in the lead FTR, for the sake of anybody who doesn't care to read the wall-of-text. I'll also oppose his name in the infobox, per others. ―Mandruss  13:32, 1 March 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose lead and infobox. The name of the civilian adds nothing to the understanding of the event. I would even support its removal from the article unless there is some follow-on ie covered court cases addressing his behavior etc which gives context to why this named individual in particular is relevant to the understanding of the event. Jbh Talk 14:25, 1 March 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose lead and infobox. Nom said: Mandruss has not presented a sufficient case as to why Stephen should not be named in the opening paragraph - other way around, as a low-profile individual, per WP:BLP, the responsibility is on you to make a case for inclusion. I have no problem with a single mention in the text body, he certainly should be named. If there are sufficient number of sources that called him a hero, that might also be mentioned in context, like "Many sources later identified Stephen's actions as heroic", assuming it's a majority of sources including mainstream national. -- GreenC 16:43, 1 March 2018 (UTC)

Nom I already have made a solid case, you must not have read it. Also, Stephen is not low-profile. He made national headlines in all major news outlets. Tell me how that is low-profile. — Preceding unsigned comment added by AllSidesMatter (talkcontribs)

We are writing an encyclopedia article here, not a news story. The dispute occurred over naming him in the WP:LEAD, and the WP:CONSENSUS seems to be against naming him in the lead, but it would be OK later on in the text of the article. Please read WP:STICK, as we are moving in this direction.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 08:00, 2 March 2018 (UTC)
  • Comment - Noting that the OP has been indefinitely blocked for disruption, their access to their own user talk page has been revoked, and they have exhausted the appeal process. One can't be much more gone than this. ―Mandruss  13:54, 2 March 2018 (UTC)

Recent edit[edit]

Hi @Ianmacm: Regarding this revert [1], could you clarify which debate you are referring to? I'm not seeing any discussion on the Talk page pertaining to this. --K.e.coffman (talk) 17:14, 13 May 2018 (UTC)

There is one particular blocked user, User:DisuseKid who has added this to a range of articles, eg here and at the Sandy Hook and Las Vegas shootings articles. Personally, I don't think it is necessary to say "AR-15 style rifle" in the infobox. The Sandy Hook shooting used a Bushmaster XM-15 and Sutherland Springs used a Ruger AR-556. They are similar but not identical guns. There is also a risk of using "AR-15 style rifle" to make a point about gun control as the AR-15 variants have been used in several high profile mass shootings. The Stoneman Douglas High School shooting is another example, where the gun was a Smith & Wesson M&P15. I'm not a gun expert, but if you look at the article AR-15 style rifle and the various related articles about the individual guns, you can see that these guns can be considerably different, despite being placed under the label "AR-15 style rifle". The infobox should stick to the actual make and model of the gun and leave the rest to the wikilink. It's misleading to give the impression that all AR-15 style rifles are very similar or the same, because they are not.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 05:08, 14 May 2018 (UTC)
@Ianmacm: Regardless of their appearance, AR-15 style rifles have certain common features and characteristics: light weight, usually short-barrel, magazine-fed, semi-automatic fire, relatively lightweight round designed to tumble after impact. Perhaps not all of this is common knowledge, but that's just a matter of education and will change with time. I think saying "AR-15 style" is a convenient shorthand that conveys a lot of information to many readers, and I find it a welcome alternative to the common preoccupation with gun model specifics. I personally don't care whether it was a Bushmaster XM-15 or a S&W M&P15, the capability and use is essentially the same for my purposes. That the Stoneman Douglas article shows the specific model at all is a compromise, and we've managed to confine that to the infobox. ―Mandruss  05:57, 14 May 2018 (UTC)

The “AR-15 style” rifle can come in a dozen different calibers and hundreds of configurations and modifications. These changes make the capabilities quite various. The one thing that is certain is that it is one of the most commonly owned semi-automatic rifles by private citizens in the US since the mid ‘70’s. Generally referencing this firearm is like saying a “four cylinder sedan” is accurate enough while it actually covers everything from a Mini Cooper to a Olds “88. Davemartinwood (talk) 06:31, 27 June 2018 (UTC)