Carrying a Gun in Church

This is a guest post by Scott SylvesterGetting Ready for Church

Shepherding the Flock  – Carrying a Gun in Church

Whether you are in law enforcement or a civilian with a concealed carry permit, you have earned the right to carry a firearm with you to most places. We all decided to carry because we want to be prepared to stop a lethal threat if it presents itself. We know from personal experience, facts, statistics and the evening news that bad things happen almost everywhere you go… but there is one place millions of Americans go every week and it is the one place gun owners usually do not carry their guns into: Church.

It is a sad state in America when we have to consider arming ourselves to go to a place of worship, but the facts remain, and despite what we wish was true, a church is a target of evil doers.

Carrying a firearm into church is certainly a controversial one. I’ve had this conversation in the past with a group of people who argue that there is no need to carry or have a gun in God’s house. Common arguments are, “God will take care of his own,” or “Don’t you have any faith,” or “Nothing bad is going to happen here,” and “God would never approve of that.” I usually translate that into, “I’m complacent,” or realize that my fellow believer forgot even Jesus’ disciples carried swords from time to time. It is not a lack of my faith in a Higher power, it is my lack of faith in mankind. To prevent, overcome and combat sin is one of the reasons we visit church in the first place. So we already acknowledge evil exists and has to be addressed. Finally, God’s approval is His to give, and I doubt a well-meaning follower is qualified to deny it should I decide to carry a gun into church.

If you look at active shooter situations, the one thing they all have in common is a larger gathering of people that are unarmed and in a confined area. A church is no different than a shopping mall, theater or school. In fact, just outside of the main Sanctuary of most churches, Sunday school is taking place. A large gathering of undefended children usually supervised by a well-meaning person who believes several of the arguments I listed above.

Please understand that I am not trying to demean my fellow believers, but tactics, security and personal safety is not usually high on the list of parishioners in America. Churches in more volatile countries have no problem posting men with AK-47s at the door to ensure worshipers are uninterrupted as they commune with God. But if America acted more like Israel, we wouldn’t have some of the domestic security issues we have. Besides, we’ll have plenty of time to talk to our attacker about God while we wait for the ambulance and police.

Think about your local place of worship. Is there a security person on site? Does your church have an active shooter plan? Have they shared that plan with the congregation? While the adults are in the congregation, who is patrolling the perimeter of the church or is watching the doors? Who is watching over the kids tucked away by age group in Sunday school classes? Like David who watched over his sheep, you are the shepherd of the flock? Just like the mall and the theater, you are the first responder.

If you are a concealed carry or law enforcement professional… you are the Shepherd. Consider what God says about our ‘brothers.’ 1 John 4:21 tells us that, “Whomever loves God, must also love his brother. Remember in Genesis when God asked Cain where Abel was? Cain replied, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” God asked Cain because he had an expectation that Cain was supposed to be watching out for and ‘keeping’ his brother in good welfare.

In the 23rd Psalm, God talks about being a shepherd and in verse 4 we are comforted by the rod and staff, the tools the shepherd used to guide, discipline, and defend the sheep. In Jeremiah 31:10 we are advised to gather those who are scattered and watch over the flock like a shepherd. I also like Luke 12:37 – It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watchful…” As a servant of God, we will have to give an account and we are to remain watchful over our brothers. John 15:13, one of the most popular verses for warriors tells us – “Greater love has no one than this that he lay down his life for his brothers.” Finally in Acts 20:28, “Keep watch over yourselves and all of the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own Blood.” (Also look at Titus Chapter 1:8- While it is talking about a church leader, it is a good description of what a concealed carry holder or a cop should be.)

I am not one to pass judgment on someone who has the right to carry a firearm and chooses not to. It is a personal choice and it is a choice that requires a lot of thought and soul searching. It will require additional thought and soul searching when carrying your firearm into a house of worship. Should you decide to carry, please take the extra time to make sure it is deeply concealed and you have trained to draw under these circumstances. I would never advertise that you are carrying or risk printing a gun, especially when picking your kids up from Sunday school. Ultimately, it’s your decision, I have made mine, pray about yours. Consider King David, and other warriors in the Bible. I bet they had a sword or spear in the temple. I’d be willing to bet, there are more guns in your church than you think.

I want to close by again making you think… If ne’er-do-wells decide to target your church and you stand and defend your flock like a shepherd defends his sheep, are you going to be heralded or scorned? You could save a hundred sheep from the lion, but that may not change the opinions of the sheep. Like every defensive shooting, there is an aftermath and not all of them are pleasant or well received. So consider this as well when you are deciding to carry or not to carry. Being a shepherd is a big responsibility, be ready.

Until next week, be safe, Godspeed!

Scott Sylvester is the founder of One Weapon, Any Tool. Upcoming classes are posted on his Facebook page and at the web site: www.oneweaponanytool.com

Comments

  1. Don’t forget to check your local laws as well, it is illegal in some places so if you decide to carry in those places-be sure of what you are getting in to.

    • Good point. My state says when a meeting is being conducted. That could mean a lot of things. Board meetings can get heated. I don’t consider normal church a meeting so I do deep carry a small pistol. No one would or has ever mentioned it and I will never tell. If I have to use it the last thing I will be worried about is that law.

    • I lead the security team at church. Most of us do carry but is not required. Some have asked me why we need security when God will protect us. I ask them that if a bad guy comes in to do harm, do they think God will send a lightning bolt? What God does do is lift up people in the church willing to be the sheepdogs and protect his flock.

      • Captain Danny says:

        What GOD really does is leave you with his words from Luke 22:36 where Jesus clearly tells us we need to be armed. Do you have a sword? Then sell your cloak and buy one. Those are the worlds of our Lord Jesus Christ.

    • Ronald W Nixon says:

      Whoa there buddy boy. The Second Amendment means it is LEGAL for me to carry my gun ANYWHERE in these here United States of America, including YOUR house. If you don’t like it pal, you can move to China, where Obama and his buddies can lock you up in a gender re-education camp. Maybe that’s why liberals like you HATE freedom and personal responsibility.

      There is NOTHING about a gun that’s designed to hurt people. Stop repeating that liberal LIE. As a Christian, and as an American, my gun is covered by BOTH the First AND the Second Amendments there buddy. If you insult the American flag, I will be FORCED to defend her from all enemies, BOTH immigrants AND liberals. Betsy Ross was a virgin when she made that flag buddy, and you don’t get to go around saying I can’t bring my gun – or TEN GUNS HOW YOU LIKE ME NOW – anywhere I want in these here United States of America.

      Just because Obama cheated in the electrical college doesn’t give you ANY right to try to restrict the freedom that was given to ALL Christian Americans in the Second Amendment, The First Amendment protects my religion. Guns are part of American Christianity. The Second Amendment means all members of the Christian Race can LEGALLY own a gun and CARRY it ANYWHERE, ANYTIME pal. The Fourth Amendment means you don’t have the right to LOOK for my gun. So there you go buddy, THREE of the Ten Commandments of this here US American law mean that you can’t touch my gun. If I want to bring my gun to church, I can.

  2. Very good article, Mike. I would like to make a copy of this in Word and Pdf to upload to a Bible based concealed carry group so that the members can download and share.

    May I have your permission.

  3. Thank you for the comments. Aric is right, always check your local laws before carrying a firearm into certain places. Willie, thanks for passing it along, and Mike, thanks for posting and supporting One Weapon Any Tool.

    I’d love to hear more feedback… keep the comments coming.

    • Frank Ulery says:

      Both my wife and I carry concealed. I am a retired deputy and she has her CCDW. We carry everywhere. Church, shopping and around the house. It is not that we feel threatened in church as much as we do not feel it is tactical to leave the firearm in the vehicle and then rearm when we get outside. Vehicle break-ins occur just about everywhere. Local ordnances notwithstanding, we carry. If you are proficient at carrying concealed, the only thing that is going to give you away is your own actions and a metal detector.

    • Fred Freshwater says:

      In my own personal experiences, I have never heard of it being illegal to conceal carry into a house of worship (and I do all of the time in PA). Most often, one is prevented from carrying in government buildings, such as court houses, etc., except, of course for the chosen few in the government ranks – judges, police, etc. The government has no qualms about protecting its own; it’s you and me that they cast a doubtful eye upon and deny us the same RIGHT!

  4. I live in a state where it isn’t legal to carry in a church, but for the last 6 years I have been carrying religiously when I go to church (pun intended) I am very discreet about it and always dress accordingly. Ever since I read the book “on Combat” by Lt Col (ret) Grossman. In the book he mentions an incident where an off duty police officer was at church and a gunman came in and started shooting. The police officer had elected not to carry that day and all he could do was cover his dying son with his body.The thought of the guilt that is going to haunt that officer because he chose to be a sheep that day will, in all likelihood, haunt him till his dying day. I was impacted greatly by this story and decided then and there that I was going to carry wherever I could. I know I take a big risk by carrying into church, but like the article above states, evil loves going to places where there are unarmed people, in their naivety, assuming they are safe because they are in a church. I carry because of my wife and my 2 daughters, I don’t ever want to be somewhere and have to live with myself if they get killed because I didn’t have my firearm with me to protect them. When evil knocks we don’t get to pick the time and place, all we can do is hope we’ve trained well enough and have enough ammo to see ourselves and loved ones through safely.

    • You get a big amen from me brother… David’s men was competent to fight with the sword in both hands. That does not happen overnight. Our inability to defend and apose the evil verbs that a single mans heart can produce in the 21st century, is because our theological backbone has become brittle. Making us spineless paralysed pacifists stuck in ablivion sphere of complacency and tolarance with the violence of evil crimals, and then presume that the consequences suffered makes us pious. The judgment of God will be greater on the negligence of the shepherds to protect, than on the offence of the criminal.

  5. Joe Jack says:

    “Nothing wrong with being a sheep, it’s just not what I choose for myself as a free man”..

  6. On Sheep, Wolves, and Sheepdogs – Dave Grossman
    By LTC (RET) Dave Grossman, author of “On Killing.”
    Honor never grows old, and honor rejoices the heart of age. It does so because honor is, finally, about defending those noble and worthy things that deserve defending, even if it comes at a high cost. In our time, that may mean social disapproval, public scorn, hardship, persecution, or as always,even death itself. The question remains: What is worth defending? What is worth dying for? What is worth living for? – William J. Bennett – in a lecture to the United States Naval Academy November 24, 1997

    One Vietnam veteran, an old retired colonel, once said this to me:

    “Most of the people in our society are sheep. They are kind, gentle, productive creatures who can only hurt one another by accident.” This is true. Remember, the murder rate is six per 100,000 per year, and the aggravated assault rate is four per 1,000 per year. What this means is that the vast majority of Americans are not inclined to hurt one another. Some estimates say that two million Americans are victims of violent crimes every year, a tragic, staggering number, perhaps an all-time record rate of violent crime. But there are almost 300 million Americans, which means that the odds of being a victim of violent crime is considerably less than one in a hundred on any given year. Furthermore, since many violent crimes are committed by repeat offenders, the actual number of violent citizens is considerably less than two million.

    Thus there is a paradox, and we must grasp both ends of the situation: We may well be in the most violent times in history, but violence is still remarkably rare. This is because most citizens are kind, decent people who are not capable of hurting each other, except by accident or under extreme provocation. They are sheep.

    I mean nothing negative by calling them sheep. To me it is like the pretty, blue robin’s egg. Inside it is soft and gooey but someday it will grow into something wonderful. But the egg cannot survive without its hard blue shell. Police officers, soldiers, and other warriors are like that shell, and someday the civilization they protect will grow into something wonderful.? For now, though, they need warriors to protect them from the predators.

    “Then there are the wolves,” the old war veteran said, “and the wolves feed on the sheep without mercy.” Do you believe there are wolves out there who will feed on the flock without mercy? You better believe it. There are evil men in this world and they are capable of evil deeds. The moment you forget that or pretend it is not so, you become a sheep. There is no safety in denial.

    “Then there are sheepdogs,” he went on, “and I’m a sheepdog. I live to protect the flock and confront the wolf.”

    If you have no capacity for violence then you are a healthy productive citizen, a sheep. If you have a capacity for violence and no empathy for your fellow citizens, then you have defined an aggressive sociopath, a wolf. But what if you have a capacity for violence, and a deep love for your fellow citizens? What do you have then? A sheepdog, a warrior, someone who is walking the hero’s path. Someone who can walk into the heart of darkness, into the universal human phobia, and walk out unscathed

    Let me expand on this old soldier’s excellent model of the sheep, wolves, and sheepdogs. We know that the sheep live in denial, that is what makes them sheep. They do not want to believe that there is evil in the world. They can accept the fact that fires can happen, which is why they want fire extinguishers, fire sprinklers, fire alarms and fire exits throughout their kids’ schools.

    But many of them are outraged at the idea of putting an armed police officer in their kid’s school. Our children are thousands of times more likely to be killed or seriously injured by school violence than fire, but the sheep’s only response to the possibility of violence is denial. The idea of someone coming to kill or harm their child is just too hard, and so they chose the path of denial.

    The sheep generally do not like the sheepdog. He looks a lot like the wolf. He has fangs and the capacity for violence. The difference, though, is that the sheepdog must not, can not and will not ever harm the sheep. Any sheep dog who intentionally harms the lowliest little lamb will be punished and removed. The world cannot work any other way, at least not in a representative democracy or a republic such as ours.

    Still, the sheepdog disturbs the sheep. He is a constant reminder that there are wolves in the land. They would prefer that he didn’t tell them where to go, or give them traffic tickets, or stand at the ready in our airports in camouflage fatigues holding an M-16. The sheep would much rather have the sheepdog cash in his fangs, spray paint himself white, and go, “Baa.”

    Until the wolf shows up. Then the entire flock tries desperately to hide behind one lonely sheepdog.

    The students, the victims, at Columbine High School were big, tough high school students, and under ordinary circumstances they would not have had the time of day for a police officer. They were not bad kids; they just had nothing to say to a cop. When the school was under attack, however, and SWAT teams were clearing the rooms and hallways, the officers had to physically peel those clinging, sobbing kids off of them. This is how the little lambs feel about their sheepdog when the wolf is at the door.

    Look at what happened after September 11, 2001 when the wolf pounded hard on the door. Remember how America, more than ever before, felt differently about their law enforcement officers and military personnel? Remember how many times you heard the word hero?

    Understand that there is nothing morally superior about being a sheepdog; it is just what you choose to be. Also understand that a sheepdog is a funny critter: He is always sniffing around out on the perimeter, checking the breeze, barking at things that go bump in the night, and yearning for a righteous battle. That is, the young sheepdogs yearn for a righteous battle. The old sheepdogs are a little older and wiser, but they move to the sound of the guns when needed right along with the young ones.

    Here is how the sheep and the sheepdog think differently. The sheep pretend the wolf will never come, but the sheepdog lives for that day. After the attacks on September 11, 2001, most of the sheep, that is, most citizens in America said, “Thank God I wasn’t on one of those planes.” The sheepdogs, the warriors, said, “Dear God, I wish I could have been on one of those planes. Maybe I could have made a difference.” When you are truly transformed into a warrior and have truly invested yourself into warriorhood, you want to be there. You want to be able to make a difference.

    There is nothing morally superior about the sheepdog, the warrior, but he does have one real advantage. Only one. And that is that he is able to survive and thrive in an environment that destroys 98 percent of the population. There was research conducted a few years ago with individuals convicted of violent crimes. These cons were in prison for serious, predatory crimes of violence: assaults, murders and killing law enforcement officers. The vast majority said that they specifically targeted victims by body language: slumped walk, passive behavior and lack of awareness. They chose their victims like big cats do in Africa, when they select one out of the herd that is least able to protect itself.

    Some people may be destined to be sheep and others might be genetically primed to be wolves or sheepdogs. But I believe that most people can choose which one they want to be, and I’m proud to say that more and more Americans are choosing to become sheepdogs.

    Seven months after the attack on September 11, 2001, Todd Beamer was honored in his hometown of Cranbury, New Jersey. Todd, as you recall, was the man on Flight 93 over Pennsylvania who called on his cell phone to alert an operator from United Airlines about the hijacking. When he learned of the other three passenger planes that had been used as weapons, Todd dropped his phone and uttered the words, “Let’s roll,” which authorities believe was a signal to the other passengers to confront the terrorist hijackers. In one hour, a transformation occurred among the passengers – athletes, business people and parents. — from sheep to sheepdogs and together they fought the wolves, ultimately saving an unknown number of lives on the ground.

    There is no safety for honest men except by believing all possible evil of evil men. – Edmund Burke

    Here is the point I like to emphasize, especially to the thousands of police officers and soldiers I speak to each year. In nature the sheep, real sheep, are born as sheep. Sheepdogs are born that way, and so are wolves. They didn’t have a choice. But you are not a critter. As a human being, you can be whatever you want to be. It is a conscious, moral decision.

    If you want to be a sheep, then you can be a sheep and that is okay, but you must understand the price you pay. When the wolf comes, you and your loved ones are going to die if there is not a sheepdog there to protect you. If you want to be a wolf, you can be one, but the sheepdogs are going to hunt you down and you will never have rest, safety, trust or love. But if you want to be a sheepdog and walk the warrior’s path, then you must make a conscious and moral decision every day to dedicate, equip and prepare yourself to thrive in that toxic, corrosive moment when the wolf comes knocking at the door.

    For example, many officers carry their weapons in church.? They are well concealed in ankle holsters, shoulder holsters or inside-the-belt holsters tucked into the small of their backs.? Anytime you go to some form of religious service, there is a very good chance that a police officer in your congregation is carrying. You will never know if there is such an individual in your place of worship, until the wolf appears to massacre you and your loved ones.

    I was training a group of police officers in Texas, and during the break, one officer asked his friend if he carried his weapon in church. The other cop replied, “I will never be caught without my gun in church.” I asked why he felt so strongly about this, and he told me about a cop he knew who was at a church massacre in Ft. Worth, Texas in 1999. In that incident, a mentally deranged individual came into the church and opened fire, gunning down fourteen people. He said that officer believed he could have saved every life that day if he had been carrying his gun. His own son was shot, and all he could do was throw himself on the boy’s body and wait to die. That cop looked me in the eye and said, “Do you have any idea how hard it would be to live with yourself after that?”

    Some individuals would be horrified if they knew this police officer was carrying a weapon in church. They might call him paranoid and would probably scorn him. Yet these same individuals would be enraged and would call for “heads to roll” if they found out that the airbags in their cars were defective, or that the fire extinguisher and fire sprinklers in their kids’ school did not work. They can accept the fact that fires and traffic accidents can happen and that there must be safeguards against them.

    Their only response to the wolf, though, is denial, and all too often their response to the sheepdog is scorn and disdain. But the sheepdog quietly asks himself, “Do you have and idea how hard it would be to live with yourself if your loved ones attacked and killed, and you had to stand there helplessly because you were unprepared for that day?”

    It is denial that turns people into sheep. Sheep are psychologically destroyed by combat because their only defense is denial, which is counterproductive and destructive, resulting in fear, helplessness and horror when the wolf shows up.

    Denial kills you twice. It kills you once, at your moment of truth when you are not physically prepared: you didn’t bring your gun, you didn’t train. Your only defense was wishful thinking. Hope is not a strategy. Denial kills you a second time because even if you do physically survive, you are psychologically shattered by your fear helplessness and horror at your moment of truth.

    Gavin de Becker puts it like this in Fear Less, his superb post-9/11 book, which should be required reading for anyone trying to come to terms with our current world situation: “…denial can be seductive, but it has an insidious side effect. For all the peace of mind deniers think they get by saying it isn’t so, the fall they take when faced with new violence is all the more unsettling.”

    Denial is a save-now-pay-later scheme, a contract written entirely in small print, for in the long run, the denying person knows the truth on some level.

    And so the warrior must strive to confront denial in all aspects of his life, and prepare himself for the day when evil comes. If you are warrior who is legally authorized to carry a weapon and you step outside without that weapon, then you become a sheep, pretending that the bad man will not come today. No one can be “on” 24/7, for a lifetime. Everyone needs down time. But if you are authorized to carry a weapon, and you walk outside without it, just take a deep breath, and say this to yourself…

    “Baa.”

    This business of being a sheep or a sheep dog is not a yes-no dichotomy. It is not an all-or-nothing, either-or choice. It is a matter of degrees, a continuum. On one end is an abject, head-in-the-sand-sheep and on the other end is the ultimate warrior. Few people exist completely on one end or the other. Most of us live somewhere in between. Since 9-11 almost everyone in America took a step up that continuum, away from denial. The sheep took a few steps toward accepting and appreciating their warriors, and the warriors started taking their job more seriously. The degree to which you move up that continuum, away from sheephood and denial, is the degree to which you and your loved ones will survive, physically and psychologically at your moment of truth.

  7. My pastor saw a post that I shared on facebook and commented that he knew of a couple that carry concealed and was grateful that we do. The Church is about the most vulnerable place for an attack, a place where peaceful people go and worship. I carry everyday, from 5:45 am to the time I go to bed, my EAA Witness P carry .45 is on my side just in case.

  8. You lost me at “earned the right.”

    • Shawn… Thank you for catching the terrible oversight. It is a God given right that is natural and is not earned. I mis spoke/wrote that in the article. Thank you for pointing that out.

  9. I am a CCW instructor in the State of Missouri. I teach the bulk of my classes for church groups and have certified parishioners, elders, and pastors. In Missouri, Churches are on the no carry list, however Pastors have discretion and can grant permission to carry into the church (private property, after all). Many pastors it seems want some responsible, armed worshipers at their services, for all the reasons stated already stated.

    Violent Evil is loose in the world and Churches are vulnerable targets.

    “Rescue the weak and needy; Deliver them out of the hand of the wicked.” Psalm 82:4

    “…fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your houses.” Nehemiah 4:14

  10. As a minister I approve of (and do) carry in church.

  11. I’m a pastor and I carry in church, in schools, the state capital and everywhere else I go except for through airport security, in federal buildings or where judges preside. Oregon has pretty lenient laws about concealed carry as long as you have your Oregon Concealed Handgun License.

  12. Christians are what radical muslims want to do harm to. Where are Christians? In church.

  13. Shepherd boy says:

    In Utah, it is legal to carry anywhere except where a property owner disallows carrying. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the predominant religion here and asks that anyone but law enforcement officers refrain from carrying in Church buildings, so I respect that right and I don’t carry. That isn’t to say that I am completely unarmed, I just don’t have my firearm when I am in Church.

  14. Carrying in church need not be controversial. There were “armed” Temple guards during the time of Christ. Luke 22:36 is something to take into consideration. It can easily be argued in favor of. Those with an abnormal/irrational fear of weaponry are never going to be convinced … ever! I’m a clergyman and grew up around firearms, and hunting. In this era, however, I’m looked upon as an oddity, or worse, because I’m comfortable with firearms around. We are called upon to reason things out, not simply react emotionally. There are many out there who are emotionally, spiritually, morally, and mentally “undisciplined”. Some would even qualify as “defective”, and yet others could even be considered “feral”. These are the ones who hold grudges, nursing their animosities, full of resentment toward others for various reasons. Some may even be capable of murder merely because it’s a thought passing through their minds at that moment. I’m a former peace officer, so perhaps I see things a bit differently than many. Church security should be in place to make your act of worship safe. Because of counseling married couples, sometimes a spouse prone to anger and violence issues figures to make you pay for suggesting a separation while they seek counseling, even though it’s actually done for both their safety. Some ex spouses come looking for payback. Every church can run safety and security however they see fit. As for me, I prefer trained, and armed, men guarding the sons and daughters of The Most High while they are focused on Him in worship and prayer.

  15. And so I assume that none of you who carry into church (or anywhere else for that matter) have any psychological issues of your own. And I also assume that you are able to be in all places at all times so that when you are standing next to your wife in the sanctuary and a gunman starts shooting in the nursery you have superpowers that will still save the children. And finally let’s continue to assume that because you as a citizen who has this humanly ordained “right” to carry a weapon has been through the class and paid your money to be able to carry your weapon anywhere you want that you actually do possess the mental fortitude and sincere discipline that police officers and law enforcement agents spend so many hours earning. Because it’s not just those off duty officers who are standing next to you with their guns tucked away – it’s Tom, Dick and Jane who got scared from reading these articles and went out and bought guns too powerful for them to handle and spent a few weeks in a safe, controlled classroom and shooting range “training” to be effective in situations they cannot possibly really imagine in the real world. Those are the folks these articles are encouraging to be sheepdogs in the battle and frankly I’d prefer to put my faith in a crisis in the hands of God over Tom, Dick and Jane. The real sheepdogs in the battle – those TRULY trained law enforcement officers who will actually know what to do in that moment have my gratitude and prayers for great wisdom in those trials – because they are the ones who have completely committed to protecting us from evil by so ending their time and their lives REALLY training themselves – their physical bodies, their minds and their instincts over and over and over again day in and day out. They are the ones who have cried over the violence they’ve seen first hand and they are the ones who fully understand the mental, emotional and physical toll one knee jerk reaction can have on themselves and the community of sheep they protect – they have EARNED the right to be the sheepdogs and God forbid should I find myself standing next to one if you in the terrible aftermath of violence I will spend my time and training caring for you and your loved ones. Tom, Dick and Jane please keep your weapons to yourselves.

    • Amy,
      Wow, so many assumptions topped off with a little ad hominem for good measure. It appears you have taken the mass media stereotype of gun owners to heart to form the basis of your reply. I won’t make any wild assumptions about you since you’ve done enough of that pertaining gun owner. What I do find interesting is the contempt you show to the people who choose to actively take measures to protect themselves and their loved ones. Is it because guns scare you? Maybe it’s because you’ve bought into the media driven hype of “guns are bad!”, even though, in reality our modern American diet is responsible for more deaths than guns ever will be.

      I can’t speak for anyone but myself but I will tell you that just because I am not a “Law Enforcement Officer” doesn’t mean I have any less training or haven’t cried over the violence I’ve seen firsthand. 12 years of military service including multiple deployments overseas, 1 being to Afghanistan has taken that luxury away. Instead of knee jerk emotional attacks, Amy, why not educate yourself by reading some fact based reports. I will help you by leaving this link to the FBI study on active shooters.

      http://www.fbi.gov/news/stories/2014/september/fbi-releases-study-on-active-shooter-incidents/pdfs/a-study-of-active-shooter-incidents-in-the-u.s.-between-2000-and-2013

      To make it easier for you, go to page 20 of the report and you will find the statistics pertaining to citizens dealing with active shooters. Take notice the average time it takes for police to arrive on scene. Oops, Spoiler, it’s 3 minutes. Now set a stopwatch for 3 minutes and take note of how long that actually is and just imagine the amount of evil one deranged individual can do in that amount of time. You want to put your faith in God? That’s great! God has given humans free will and some of us have chosen to use that wonderful blessing and be proactive when evil knocks.

      News flash Amy, not all police are steely eyed, highly trained, pipe hitting super cops and not all armed citizens are bumbling doofus’ just itching to blast away at anything and everything. Before firing up your tier one typing skills and embarrassing yourself more by painting with such a broad brush take a little time and research facts and fallacies of gun control arguments.

      To finish things off, I kindly request you set aside your prejudice for a few minutes and watch this last video, it speaks volumes as to why we decide to carry weapons and take active roles in protecting ourselves and our loved ones.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6sEYGcXSmpQ

      And yes, if I find myself standing next to you during the act of unspeakable violence I will protect you as well. Don’t worry, I’ve got years of weapons handling training and have survived my fair share of firefights. Plus I even have tactical combat casualty care training, I am a REAL sheepdog, Thank you very much.

    • Why do you think that no one but a police officer has the mental/emotional fortitude to do what is necessary if carrying a gun in Church and some deranged person comes in and starts shooting people indiscriminately? When I was in the United States Air Force they trusted me to have a nuclear warhead between my hands to guide it safely into the missile I had checked out. People like you claim that if private citizens have taken the education and shooting training to get a concealed carry permit that they will be running wild in the street shooting at many people indiscriminately like the cowboys in a western movie. It never happens though does it? You say we should keep our weapons to ourselves; try saying that to the woman who watched her mother get shot and killed because the daughter left her legally carried gun in the car because they were only going into a McDonald’s.

      Most of what you say is also illogical but that is too much to go into here.

    • You think all citizens are Homer Simpson because you have been indoctrinated to scoff at any American having any ability or authority unless he is from the Government.Concealed carry citizens KILL AND CAPTURE MORE FELONS THAN THE POLICE,The citizen is at the forefront of the fight against crime.Three people at every crime scene,criminal victim and cop.Guess who gets there last?WE ARE THE FIRST RESPONDERS AND WE DO VERY WELL THANK YOU.Please come out of your lambskin,you know you are a sheeple,quit confusing the rest of us with the wolves.We are sheepdogs,American sheepdogs who can and do kill the wolf.

    • Poor Amy. How awful that you, 1) believe police are perfect, and 2) believe a citizen is incapable of being safe and defending themselves. You’ve bought lock, stock, and barrel into the silly liberal agenda. Police are far from perfect, and hardly well disciplined. Most, I believe, try to uphold their oath and duty, but they fail just as any human does. More than two million times a year, average, law-abiding Americans use a firearm to defend themselves, or others, and sometimes without even firing a shot. Your complete lack of understanding, or real knowledge on this subject is troubling.

    • Say, baaaa. Police officers can serve you, however only under strictly limited circumstances can they protect you. I don’t know about you, but I am not able to carry a police officer on my back 24 hours a day so that he can protect me. Always remember, when seconds count, the police are only minutes away. Live well and be safe.

  16. Wow. While there are some appropriate points made by the last commentor several notable assumptions are also made about LEOs.

    While I have a deep respect for the men and woman in the LEO community I similarly know the realities of policing. Perhaps only one in 20 actively shoot on their own. For the large majority this is simply a part of the uniform donned everyday but rarely truly exercised.

    I further understand from first hand experience that putting on a uniform doesn’t mysteriously transform a man or man. Without a strong personal commitment to developing their mindset to execute under pressure along with shooter skill development they may or may not be any more prepared than someone who’s made the personal decision to be a sheepdog without wearing a “uniform”.

    I would hope those that choose to carry – particularly in a church setting – understand the inherent risk, responsibilities and liabilities – and don’t do this casually. At the end of the day there may not be a perfect response on the part of someone initially reacting to an active shooter – a uniform wearer or not. However since I have earned the right to be the defender of my family – not something suddenly bestilled upon receipt of a CCW permit – I’ll take all appropriate means and measures to do so…. and done so also in a prayerful and responsible manner. I’ll also defend you.

  17. I somtimes carried in places that are not welcomed cause i know criminals dont obey the laws i’ll deal with arrest but ill and and others would be still alive i leave you with this “I rather be judged by 12 rather than be carried by 6….. Merry Christmas!

  18. Pastor Scott says:

    I have personal friends who were wounded and /or killed by a rogue shooter while attending a church youth rally at the church I attended, and served as a chaplain to a local hospital while in Seminary.

    I thank each of you who carry to church to protect the body of Christ from evil, as do I. I have coordinated a personal action plan with a law enforcement officer who is a member, and tasked him with developing a comprehensive crisis management plan..

    Anyone who believes that a shooting could never happen at their church does not understand the nature of sin. The shooter at Wedgwood Baptist Church had no previous history with the church. They don’t have to be angry with your church particularly to attack it. Be prepared for anything.

  19. John Langan says:

    At our church, the pastor quietly encourages both off-duty LE and permit holders to carry. Once our new church is done, a formal security policy will be instituted including classroom and range training

  20. I think most churches have at least some people that carry – and a plan in place with some of the people who carry to protect the pastor specifically. This has nothing to do with faith. There are places in the Bible where God had his people use lethal force to stop evil. If we were to carry out that train of thought, no Christian would ever carry. They’d just have faith that no good people would ever be harmed by a bad guy with a gun. Because we live in a world of free will, good AND bad people are victimized every day.

  21. WHY would I need to be “deeply concealed” if I choose to carry ar church? There’s some twisting of scripture here I believe and that argument is not backed up at all.

  22. “God will take care of His own”. Yes He will, that’s why he sent me. I never discuss my carry status so it will never become an issue unless there is an incident.

  23. Albert Robinson says:

    Well done..
    We can be victims or not.. Our choice.. i choose not to be a victim.. I’m going to copy this and talk to our Pastor..
    Thank you

  24. If I can’t legally carry my sidearm in any building, business establishment, Starbucks, Safeway, or church, I don’t go there. “Gun Free” zones are killing fields waiting to happen. Wise up folks.

  25. I see nothing the matter with carrying in church. Some churches even have security details in which they request certain members to carry, and have security plans in place. I would just recommend checking with the Pastor to ensure the church itself is fine with your own personal carry.

  26. Consider the Fact that a lot of Cash is readily available at most larger churches (collection). 1 Timothy 5:8 and this http://www.lewrockwell.com/2013/10/laurence-m-vance/must-a-christian-be-a-pacifist/

  27. Edwin T Lee says:

    I disagree with your opinion that church carry is optional. Any Muslim, Christian, Jew, or Sikh who makes exceptions to his or her duty to be able to effectively protect others from immoral attack is a heretic. The more innocent and beneficial the target, the more infamous the attacker and the more points with Satan (“badass” gangs and terrorists want creds). Just as the recent attack on worshippers in Jerusalem and Dr. Baruch Goldstein at the mosque/synagogue at the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron decades ago, worshippers are special targets. Freedom of religion has been won by violence against violence.

    I carry to protect the good. And I
    carried during the Cold War to protect the priniciple that diplomacy is good when I was a vice consul on a terrorist group’s hit list. That time it was with local law enforcement approval, but official approval or disapproval does not trump God’s commandment.

  28. Especially with the number of anti-Semites extant, where better to carry a gun than in temple?

  29. I recall two cases where carrying in church saved the day. One was in South Africa where a couple of armed marauders expected easy pickings except for an armed member of the flock who sent them packing. The other instance was in Colorado Springs where the attacker came in with carnage being his intent. The lady with a CCW terminated his adventure.

  30. While I agree with the overall intent of the article, I must make comment regarding the first sentence: As stated: “Whether you are in law enforcement or a civilian with a concealed carry permit, you have earned the right to carry a firearm with you to most places.” I do not need to ‘earn’ the right to personal protection of me or my family. I am endowed with this right. Regardless of whether you consider it a ‘natural’ right, a ‘philosophical’ right, etc. it is none the less true that I have the right to protect my existence with the force consistent to the threat.

  31. Prospector Paul says:

    A local lady asked our pasterof his belief in the 2nd Ammen. He advised he believed in it including concealed carry. She asked if he carried in the pullpet He replied “no” She asked why not? His final response. “Because I have 11 other members covering me”

  32. I am the pastor of a large church in a small town. I encourage our “concealed carry” permit holders to carry when they worship. I carry every day, including Sunday mornings. We have hosted concealed carry classes. Our state (Wisconsin) also allows open carry and I frequently open carry during the week. However, I do encourage our “open carry” members to conceal on Sunday mornings for the reasons outlined in the article above.

  33. My pastor and.I carry in church. I am in law enforcement. My pastor came to me.one day and asked if I carried in church. Asfar as God taking care of his own, also remember God helps those that help themselves……
    I do not know where the author if this article is from, in Texas a couple of years ago a guy went into a church and killed kids and adults. Church, another place there are few to no guns and a target rich environment.

    I owe it to my wife to make sure she is safe and it is my job/obligation to give my life to protect hers. My promise or comittment to her is that if anything happens I will do whatever it takes to protect her

  34. For those who claim that God will protect them, I am always thinking about the fact that it is folly to tempt Him…

  35. Church is one place where I carry 100% of the time without exception (I know that I should all the time…working on it…) Precisely because of the point made in this article that it seems to me to be high on the list of potential targets for a psychopath.

  36. Steven Mead says:

    Many churches in TN have “security committees” who review church security readiness and many of those ensure that some number of armed members are around for every service to the extent possible.

  37. I have had my CCP for about a year and have been carrying everywhere that does not ban firearms legally and that includes the church I attend. I strongly believe that those places labeled as gun free zones are basically hanging a sign saying come shoot us.. I would like for each state to have the ability to overturn schools as gun free zones thus allowing parents and teachers to carry as long as they meet the same criteria as the local law enforcement.

  38. anyone needs specific permission from the church or whatever religion’s head minister,m priest or whatever it happens to be for that sect. Preferably in writing. (You never know if the pastor in question is the target of a whackjob). That is FEDERAL LAW. and good practice (but do not share your permission with anyone)

  39. Hello, thanks for the read. I pastor a small church in the inner city in southern ca. I do not have a ccw. I have been thinking about keeping a gun in a safe that would only be accessible to me behind my pulpit. Do you know if that is legal in ca?

  40. Dr. Stephen Hoemke says:

    I carry EVERYWHERE that it is legal, including places that post “NO CONCEALED WEAPONS”. This is legal in Colorado. There are too many instances, including in churches, where people are not prepared to protect themselves and others take advantage of it.

  41. Ron Harwood says:

    Priest. Michigan. Each church needs approval?

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