Do You Support Churches That Choose To Arm Themselves?
Church shootings are becoming more common throughout the country as cowardly terrorists prey on so-called “soft targets” where defenseless victims are ripe for the picking. At least one community of god-fearing Americans in Fort Wayne, Indiana are doing what they can to mitigate the risk of an active shooter situation like the one that took place in Southerland, Texas last month.
Here’s what went into their thought process when making this serious decision:
Members of Abundant Life Church on Coliseum Blvd. have been mapping out security plans and taking shooting classes. Five or ten years ago they wouldn’t have thought it was necessary, but now they believe this type of security is a must.
“I think after the Texas shooting it became very real to all of us that unfortunately this is starting to become more and more prevalent,” said head of security Chris Williams.
Twenty-Five people were shot to death by an active shooter in Sutherland, Texas last month. That came two years after nine people were killed in a mass shooting at a Charleston, South Carolina church.
Abundant Life provides a place to worship for a large congregation and the venue has multiple entries and exits. As such, they’re being proactive and defending their church. Members of the community have been taking shooting lessons, a select group will be provided with firearms during service hours, and they’re practicing evacuation plans.
The answer to that is now a yes. They’re amping up security by arming 15 to 20 members with guns. They’ve been receiving formal training on proper communications and responses in active shooter situations. The ushers, greeters, nurses and newly formed security team are all briefed on how to protect Abundant Life’s members if danger ever arises.
Williams knows many churches won’t agree with the new security measures, but says in a 20,000 square foot church with 12 doors and 450 members they have no choice in light of recent events.
“I can understand the hesitation because it really is walking a tight rope between security and hospitality,” he said. “You want to make sure that your members and visitors are safe and anyone that comes into this church, we want it to be a safe place, but at the same time there’s also a certain level of security practices that should be implemented to make sure that we’re doing everything we possibly can to keep it a safe place on services.”
For security purposes, the armed members of the congregation will not be revealed.
Americans can choose to be victims or choose to prepare. As the saying goes, a shepherd must tend to his flock and Abundant Life is doing all they can to prepare for the worst scenario.
Do you support their preparations? Should guns have a place in houses of worship? Let us know in the comment section below!
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