Should Churches Should Arm Themselves?

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…

 

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Gary DeMar

Gary DeMar was raised in the suburbs of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He is a graduate of Western Michigan University (1973) and Reformed Theological Seminary (1979). He has served as researcher and writer at the Christian Worldview ministry American Vision since 1980 and President since 1984. Today he serves as Senior Fellow at American Vision where he lectures, researches, and writes on various worldview issues. Gary is the author of 30 books on a variety of topics – from "America’s Christian History" and "God and Government" to "Thinking Straight in a Crooked World" to "Last Days Madness." Gary has been interviewed by Time magazine, CNN, MSNBC, FOX, the BBC, and Sean Hannity. He has done numerous radio and television interviews, including the “Bible Answer Man,” hosted by Hank Hanegraaff and “Today’s Issues” with Tim Wildmon and Marvin Sanders. Newspaper interviews with Gary have appeared in the Washington Times, Toledo (Ohio) Blade, the Sacramento Bee, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Marietta Daily Journal, San Francisco Chronicle, The Orlando Sentinel, and the Chicago Tribune.

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