The unthinkable has happened, and not just at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, where 26 church members were murdered and more than 20 were wounded. There was the horrific race-based shooting in 2015 that took place in Charleston, SC, at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church where nine people were murdered. There have been other church shootings. The Antioch murders are the worst in United States History.
Churches are soft targets. Their doors used to be always open. Not anymore. Theft, vandalism, and now mass murder are now part of our culture.
In December 2011, a man shot up two churches, killing five people. He was stopped by Jeanne Assam, a voluntary security guard when she shot him.
If crazy evil murderers like these church shooters knew that people in a congregation were armed, do you think they would attempt an assault? I don’t think so.
Every mass shooting in the United States took place in areas where the victims were unarmed: schools, nightclubs, movie theater, and oddly enough, a military base (Fort Hood).
You may recall the Killeen, Texas, Luby’s restaurant shooting in 1991. “George Hennard . . . crashed his pickup truck through the front plate glass window of the Luby’s Cafeteria. . ., shot 50 people (killing 23), exchanged shots with responding police, and then hid in a bathroom and fatally shot himself.”
After the shooting in which her parents were murdered by the gunman, Suzanna Hupp, a survivor of the shooting who watched her parents die, spoke out against new gun control measures. “I don’t view myself as a victim of gun violence, I view myself as a victim of a maniac who happened to use a gun as a tool,” she told lawmakers.
“In what she called a ‘stupid decision,’ Hupp said she realized she’d obeyed Texas law and left her gun in her car. At the time, people were not permitted to carry a weapon into public places. ‘It still makes me angry when I think about it. You can’t go up against a guy with a gun with a salt shaker or a butter knife.’”
Gun-Free Zones are soft targets for people who have no regard for the law. The gunman who killed the people in Luby’s Cafeteria had broken the law by bringing a firearm into a place where the law said it was unlawful to do. Murderers are lawbreakers by definition.
Now to the question. Should churches ensure that there are armed and trained people at every service? Absolutely! Christians might say, “But we should put our trust in God.” God has given us the ability to reason and assess the times like the sons of Issachar, “men who understood the times, with knowledge of what Israel should do, their chiefs were two hundred; and all their kinsmen were at their command” (1 Chron. 12:32).
Consider the following…