SOTG 231 - Will vs Skill, the Courage to do what is Right

(Photo Source: Getty Images)

Three Americans on a train bound for Paris showed the world that there is something more important than guns, gear, and even skill; will. The will or the courage to take action, when action is called for, is the most critical component for victory in a hostile encounter.

Fresh off the road from Jarrad’s recent MMA fight in Baton Rouge, the boys are back in the studios with stories to tell. Also, we examine once again the potentially deadly risk of being “reasonable.” A horrific murder at a grocery store in Portland, Oregon reminds us that evil is all around.



The next time you plan to see the newest blockbuster on the big screen, you might want to leave a little early. If the movie theater is owned by Regal Entertainment Group, you’ll probably be subject to a bag check.

“All they did was open and look. They didn’t actually go through it,” said movie-goer Jay Weinisch. He and his wife Dawn first noticed the new policy earlier this month.

“Two weeks ago we were here. I was surprised, but, it was perfectly fine with me.” said Dawn Weinisch outside the Regal Columbus Stadium 12 at Town Center in Virginia Beach. “I thought they were looking for the water bottle and they were going to take it away!”

Ticket takers were not, of course, looking for Weinisch’s water bottle, but they were looking for something else. A sign on the window at the ticket counter reads: “For the safety and comfort of all our guests: backpacks and bags of any kind are subject to inspection prior to entry into this facility.”

“[With] the recent news, I expected it to be sooner than this,” one movie-goer told

Regal Entertainment Group owns about 600 theaters nationwide, and several in Hampton Roads.

The full policy on their website reads:

Security issues have become a daily part of our lives in America. Regal Entertainment Group wants our customers and staff to feel comfortable and safe when visiting or working in our theatres. To ensure the safety of our guests and employees, backpacks and bags of any kind are subject to inspection prior to admission. We acknowledge that this procedure can cause some inconvenience and that it is not without flaws, but hope these are minor in comparison to increased safety.
Some on the Regal Columbus Stadium 12 Facebook page claim the new policy is turning them away. One comment called the policy unjust and unfriendly to law-abiding citizens.

“Will not, under any circumstances, return to a Regal theater since you instituted the bag search policy,” one person wrote.

Another poster said, “Do you guys want to go out of business? Hassling women to check their purses?”

“I understand that, but I think it would be nice if people didn’t have guns in the movie theaters,” Jay Weinisch said. “I don’t think it’s that much to ask.”

On it’s website, Regal Entertainment Group acknowledges that the policy could be an inconvenience, but says they hope it is a minor issue compared to increased safety.

“I think that anything that will protect the citizens, people should have the patience to go through that,” Shirley Wilkie said. did reach out to Regal Entertainment Group’s corporate office. We wanted to know if the people conducting the searches received specific training, and what they can do if they find something they deem to be suspicious. WAVY News had not heard back from the corporate office, as of Tuesday evening.


Saco police say a 59-year-old Saco woman has died after a knife attack inside Shaw’s Wednesday afternoon.

Police say Wendy Boudreau of Saco was taken to Southern Maine Medical Center where she died.

Police arrested 31-year-old Connor MacCalister of Saco and charged her with murder. Police say she attacked Boudreau with a knife.

The stabbing took place near the ice cream freezers inside the Shaw’s Supermarket just before 3 p.m.

Officials say two local EMTs were in the store at the time of the attack and immediately started giving Boudreau medical assistance. She later died at the hospital. An autopsy is scheduled for Thursday at the Maine State Medical Examiner’s Office in Augusta.

Police say there is no indication the women knew each other and police are still working on a motive.

Saco Police took MacCalister into custody at the store and she was interviewed by State Police detectives who informed her after 7 p.m. that she was being charged with murder.

MacCalister was taken to the York County Jail.

According to the Associated Press, court documents revealed that MacAlister confessed to killing Boudreau during an interview with State Police Detective Kristopher Kennedy.

When an employee asked MacAlister why she attacked Boudreau, she said, “She looked at me funny.”

Kennedy says that MacAlister claimed to be “angry with life” and was looking to lash out at someone. She had planned to kill several random people in the store.

The affidavit filed Thursday in York County Superior Court went on to describe the murder in detail.

“She wanted to target a small elderly female whom she knew wouldn’t resist,” the affidavit said. “(MacAlister) said she saw (the victim) in the parking lot and followed her to the ice cream aisle where she grabbed her from behind and slit her throat.”

MacAlister surrendered after two nearby men came to help the victim.

She is scheduled to appear in court Friday at York County Superior Court in Alfred.


The train was speeding through Belgium when the man emerged from the train bathroom, shirtless with a rifle — possibly an AK 47 — slung over his shoulder, the Americans said.

The three men — a member of the Air Force, an inactive National Guard member and a civilian — responded quickly, possibly preventing a deadly attack on the high-speed Thalys train.

The suspect had a box cutter or some other bladed weapon, authorities said.

“My friend Alek (Skarlatos) yells, ‘Get him,’ so my friend Spencer (Stone) immediately gets up to charge the guy, followed by Alek, then myself,” Anthony Sadler said in an interview with CNN.

Americans, French national tackle, overpower suspected Islamist gunman on train

“The three of us beat up the guy,” Anthony said. “In the process Spencer gets slashed multiple times by the box cutter, and Alek takes the AK away.

“I begin to tie him up with help from Chris, another passenger. I notice a man had his throat cut at which Spencer begins to apply pressure to the neck wound before he bled out.”

Spencer was cut in the head and neck and almost had his thumb cut off, Alek’s brother, Peter Skarlatos told CNN. Alek had taken control of the rifle and hit the suspect in the head with the muzzle, the brother said.

The train was rerouted to the French town of Arras, about 115 miles (185 kilometers) north of Paris. The man was placed under arrest.

The suspected gunman, a Moroccan national, was on the radar screen of European counterterrorism agencies for his radical jihadist views, the European counterterrorism official said.

Exclusive cell phone video from inside train

A second security source told CNN the gunman was known by French intelligence. The official said it appeared the gunman was sympathetic to ISIS, but a full determination on his specific loyalties had yet to be reached.

The man had plenty of ammunition, the first official said, and the Americans prevented a massacre.

The attack occurred while the train was on Belgian soil and Belgium Prime Minister Charles Michel tweeted, “I condemn the terrorist attack on the Thalys and offer my sympathy to the victims.”

The train attack has not officially been classified as an act of terrorism, although the senior European counterterrorism official indicated it was suspected.

Calling the attack “an attack of barbaric violence,” French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said the anti-terrorism prosecutor’s office in Paris will investigate.

He expressed “gratitude and admiration” for the U.S. military service members’ help.

Michel and French President Francois Hollande have agreed to unite their efforts and cooperate, French officials said.

Two people were hospitalized with serious injuries but their lives are not in danger, said Anthony Blondeau, spokesman for the city of Arras. He said one of them was an American.

Train heroes: The men who helped avert a massacre in Europe

The third person injured was French actor Jean-Hugues Anglade, who has a light hand injury, Blondeau said.

A White House official said Friday night: “Echoing the statements of French authorities, the President expressed his profound gratitude for the courage and quick thinking of several passengers, including U.S. service members, who selflessly subdued the attacker.

“While the investigation into the attack is in its early stages, it is clear that their heroic actions may have prevented a far worse tragedy. We will remain in close contact with French authorities as the investigation proceeds.”

A Pentagon spokesman told CNN: “We are aware of the reports and at this point, can only confirm that one U.S. military member was injured in the incident, the injury is non life-threatening. We will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates as they become available.”
Thalys tweeted Friday night that “The first passengers of Thalys 9364 are arriving in Paris-North; they are currently taken care of.”

Thalys is the high-speed red train which travels from Paris to Brussels in 1 hour 22 minutes, to Cologne, Germany, in 3 hours 14 minutes and Amsterdam in only 3 hours and 16 minutes.

Christophe Piednoel, spokesman from the French railway company SNCF, said the suspect carried an automatic weapon and a bladed weapon.

The train was heading to Paris when the attack occurred. France has been the site of several lone-wolf terror attacks this year, including the killing of 17 people in Paris in attacks on a satiric magazine and a kosher store.

Student of the Gun Podcast Radio Logo1400x1400 Student of the Gun Radio airs every Monday through Thursday  at 9 a.m. EST and can be found by going directly to using mobile devices can follow us with iTunes or Stitcher. SOTG Radio is a Think On! production. Student of the Gun is the #1 source for education, enjoyment and enlightenment of real-world firearms including: training, videos, radio, books and articles. A beginner once, a student for life. Being a Student of the Gun is not about being a novice or beginner. Student of the Gun represents a lifelong journey of education, enlightenment and the enjoyment of firearms. Each episode will introduce the viewer to new and interesting firearms as well as the latest gear to go with them. We will travel throughout the United States, seeking the advice and expertise of the best firearms trainers available. Sometimes deadly serious, sometimes just for fun, Student of the Gun will always strive to educate and entertain our viewers while offering them an insiders’ look at the worlds of firearms.

About the Host

Paul Markel: Host of Student of the Gun Radio

Paul Markel: Host of Student of the Gun Radio

Paul G. Markel has worn many hats during his lifetime. He has been a United States Marine, police officer, professional bodyguard, and small arms and tactics instructor. Markel has been writing professionally for law enforcement and firearms periodicals for nearly 20 years, and has hundreds of articles in print. A regular guest on nationally syndicated radio talk shows, Markel is a subject matter expert in firearms training and use of force. Markel has been teaching safe and effective firearms handling to students, young and old, for decades and has also worked actively with 4H Shooting Sports programs. Markel holds numerous instructor certifications in multiple disciplines; nonetheless, he is, and will remain a dedicated Student of the Gun.

About the Co-Host

Jarrad Markel: Co-Host and Producer of Student of the Gun Radio

Jarrad Markel: Co-Host and Producer of Student of the Gun Radio

Not just another pretty face, Jarrad Markel has experience and training beyond his years. Jarrad has been training to be a fighter since elementary school when he first learned the art of collegiate wrestling. Now skilled in Jujitsu, Judo, Muay Thai, Sambo, the Way of the Fighting Pistol and Fighting Rifle, Jarrad is a well-rounded, tactical athlete with several professional MMA fights under his belt. More than a brute, Jarrad has brains as well. He is the lead editor and videographer for Student of the Gun and works directly for Think On! Productions creating a wide variety of video material. In addition, Markel is a skilled web & blog designer, building material for the Internet side of the house.


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Paul G. Markel has worn many hats during his lifetime. He has been a U.S. Marine, Police Officer, Professional Bodyguard, and Small Arms and Tactics Instructor. Mr. Markel has been writing professionally for law enforcement and firearms periodicals for nearly twenty years with hundreds and hundreds of articles in print. Paul is a regular guest on nationally syndicated radio talk shows and subject matter expert in firearms training and use of force. Mr. Markel has been teaching safe and effective firearms handling to students young and old for decades and has worked actively with the 4-H Shooting Sports program. Paul holds numerous instructor certifications in multiple disciplines and a Bachelor’s degree in conflict resolution; nonetheless, he is and will remain a dedicated Student of the Gun.