Monday, November 10, 2008

Free security in church

Who would have thought that people would feel safer knowing that there are armed members of the church?

"In states where people are allowed to carry concealed weapons, volunteers have become a cost-effective means of providing the security that some churches have come to rely on," Annis said.
It's funny how that works. In Virginia, citizens are prohibited from carrying their gun in church during worship. I'm not sure why. It's not like a crazed gunman is going to obey that law, so I can't see how disarming everyone is doing anyone any bit of good, especially since there are men and women who would risk their lives to stop a gunman.

It doesn't take too long before this article gets full of itself and starts with the "former/current/retired police/peace officer" being the "only ones" qualified to carry a gun into a church. That's what the media tried to do with Jeanne Assam after she shot the New Life Church gunman.

Jeff Petersen, a pastor at Lincoln Berean, said the church began considering armed security members after a gunman in Colorado last year killed four people and wounded five at two churches. In that case, a volunteer security officer with law enforcement experience fired on the gunman and stopped the attack, according to authorities.


Safety consultants stress the importance of using volunteers who are trained in armed confrontations, such as retired or off-duty law enforcement officials, to ensure that firearms are used as a means of last resort.


The leadership at the Lincoln Berean Church in Nebraska recently hired an off-duty police officer to complement its security team as an armed presence during major events.

What they're trying to say is that non-law enforcement people are too stupid to know what to do during a shooting, so they should just drop to the ground and pray they don't get executed:

Annis, a former peace officer and martial arts expert, said a properly trained staff could mean the difference between an exchange of gunfire and a defused encounter. He recommends that parishioners drop to the ground while trained security members handle the situation and call in the authorities.
See, Annis here is what is known as a bad ass, because he's got so many tactical ninja skills. So don't bother taking individual responsibility for your safety because you couldn't possibly be as qualified as him. You just can't be trusted.

I see this absurd mentality more and more these days, and it makes me sick. People like him can kiss my ass. The only person who is qualified to keep you alive is yourself. And spare me the "duck and cover" shootout rhetoric; shootings are over in seconds, and the untrained masses have proven to be able to handle themselves quite well.

Armed citizens are the most cost effective way to protect the church.

Update: There are several blogs linked to this story, and I thought I'd share a comment that I found on Imago Andei that sums things up nicely:

First, theres nothing heroic about dropping to the ground and cowering like a bleating sheep while getting shot in the head for the sake of not resisting someone who comes in and starts shooting. Thats cowardice. That is a failure to protect your wife and children when you have the ability to do so. Children who could grow up and help save more souls for Christ. Failure to be able to protect others in an effective way is an abdication of your duty as a man, as a husband and as a father.

Youre not a martyr if someone has a personal vendetta against the preacher and simply wants to kill some of the preachers flock. Youre not a martyr if someone simply wants to kill a great number of people and figures a church is a good place to do that.

Theres a difference between dying for your beliefs and dying because you happened to be among a large group of people when a nutjob started shooting into a mass of cowering, bleating people.

A security system typically goes off after about 1 minute. The national average for police response time is over 5 minutes. What could a firearm-wielding person accomplish in one minute against unarmed people, sir? How about five minutes? How many did Cho kill before police arrived? And AFTER police arrived? (Police, I add, who were not responsible for stopping Cho.)

Get trained in the use of firearms. Carry a firearm as insurance against the admittedly remote possibility that some maniac could enter into your place of worship.

Conversely, you can drop to the ground and pretend that youre being a martyr and hero because you happened to be numbered in a big group of people, not necessarily because you believe in Christ.

Defending innocent human life against a real, immediate and and grave threat posed by unjust aggressors, even by means of violence, is one hundred percent moral and one hundred percent in conformity with the teachings of Christ.

-Sans Authoritas

Well said sir!


Anonymous said...

In Virginia, citizens are prohibited from carrying their gun in church during worship.

Actually, Virginia law has a caveat:

§ 18.2-283. Carrying dangerous weapon to place of religious worship.

If any person carry any gun, pistol, bowie knife, dagger or other dangerous weapon, without good and sufficient reason, to a place of worship while a meeting for religious purposes is being held at such place he shall be guilty of a Class 4 misdemeanor.
[emphasis added]

I don't know that there is any case law defining what constitutes "good and sufficient reason", but some churches have determined that providing security, whether on a professional, or volunteer bases, with the approval of the Church, does indeed qualify as "good and sufficient reason".

Take it for what it's worth...and if any Virginia lawyers out there have any insight, I'm all ears...but I know that some churches are allowing for armed security under that caveat in the law.

BTW: This is unsubstantiated but I once read that such laws were passed in the south to prevent black church goers from defending themselves.

Could be true...then again, could be complete BS.

Either way, it's a law we need to work on getting repealed. Churches should not be FORCED to allow concealed carry or armed security, but they should not be precluded from it either.

Unknown said...

Thanks for the intel! And thanks for the info on the SKS. I think I'm going to duplicate your sight set up, and perhaps in the spring I'll work out getting one of your trigger jobs!