Some pastors aren’t willing to see their congregation led like lambs to the slaughter buy some murderous psycho.
It’s one thing to be ‘persecuted for the gospel’s sake’. It’s quite another to have some criminal thug treat a house of worship like some carnival shooting gallery.
Those who care for the souls of the faithful are taking an interest in their physical safety as well.
One thing that almost all of these shootings have had in common, is they were attacks of opportunity where the victims themselves posed no meaningful threat to their attackers.
Whether look at the examples of Sutherland Springs — where two dozen were shot dead as the killer walked unhurriedly among his victims — Tree of Life in Pittsburg, Christchurch, or any number of other examples, those gathered were helpless until help arrived. And in every case, it arrived too late.
Doesn’t it make sense to have help on-site, so nobody has to wait for it to arrive?
Some churches think so:
Acrid gun smoke clouded the sunny entrance of a Texas church on a recent Sunday.
Seven men wearing heavy vests and carrying pistols loaded with blanks ran toward the sound of the shots, stopping at the end of a long hallway. As one peeked into the foyer, the “bad guy” raised the muzzle of an AR-15, took aim and squeezed the trigger.
The simulated gunfight at the church in Haslet was part of a niche industry that trains civilians to protect their churches using the techniques and equipment of law enforcement. Rather than a bullet, the rifle fired a laser that hit Stephen Hatherley’s vest — triggering an electric shock the 60-year-old Navy veteran later described as a “tingle.”
It’s an exercise put in a Texan church by ‘Sheepdog Defense Group’
The 46-year-old police officer said that he and a colleague had the idea for the company after the 2012 mass shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut. They started doing firearms trainings with parents and, after Riggall became certified under Texas law to train security guards, transitioned to churches.
The company incorporates Christian teachings into its courses and more than 90 people at 18 churches have completed the 70 hours of initial training and become state-licensed guards through its program, Riggall said. The so-called sheepdogs are insured and technically employed by the company. But they volunteer doing security at their own churches, which in turn pay Riggall.
…”It really just comes down to caring about the people in that building,” Faulkner said of choosing to guard his small Baptist church.
Faulkner said his congregation re-evaluated its security after recent mass shootings and went with Riggall’s company as a cost-effective option. “This is a good balance between the cost of paying professionals and relying on untrained volunteers,” he said.
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