Tintinnabulations & plinking: Shootings in churches and synagogues

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The forest in the background is very near the hermitage. It’s where I also go to plink, that is, practice with the Glock 19. A friend in the parish gave me a couple of oversized targets he was discarding anyway, so I put one up at 75 feet out. No center-10-X…. Hmmm… But I have another to put up perhaps this coming Tuesday. I almost never put a target out so far as that involves work in climbing the ridge. There’s no flat area. A detail:

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Low and to the left. Hmm. The black is from an oversized marker that indicates shots already taken. This was more than one magazine, obviously. So, now you know how bad I am at some distance with a pistol. Yet, with a bit of practice, I might be able to keep it within the “9” range (for these targets). The distance is more than three times the normal civilian qualification. I was happy to note that at seven yards out, after the above exercise, the groupings were much tighter on the little foam pie plates that I use for the pre-2001 Federal Air Marshal Course, with just two out of thirty wide, giving me a 96.6% on the reduced targets, though overtime on a couple of stages. But it’s fun for me to try to keep edgy.

The reason I rarely practice at 25 yards out is because I just don’t think it’ll be a very necessary skill to have. If you’re that far away, you can hide, escape, at least in most cases, perhaps, depending. Most incidents are at close range. The incident in which I had to start drawing up with my Glock was a car-jacking which I couldn’t let happen as my passenger was a disabled cop I was bringing to the hospital. He would have been a great hostage for this guy who had just taken down the rest stop on the highway. The distance on that occasion was four to five yards. The cop exclaimed: “This is a car-jacking.” That’s not what you want to hear. Thankfully, all the LEOs in the region arrived just at that second.

If I now and again put up a post like this, it’s just to say that priests are people too. Some of the most violent places in the world are not only our schools, but also our churches. Look up the incidents. Factsandtrends has the following:

“HOW COMMON ARE U.S. CHURCH SHOOTINGS? – May 21, 2018 – By Aaron Earls

[…] Here are the locations of all the fatal church shootings since Columbine.

  • 1999 Wedgewood Baptist Church in Fort Worth, Texas
  • 2001 Greater Oak Missionary Baptist Church in Hopkinsville, Kentucky
  • 2002 Our Lady of Peace Catholic Church in Lynbrook, New York
  • 2003 Turner Monumental AME Church in Kirkwood, Georgia
  • 2005 Living Church of God in Brookfield, Wisconsin
  • 2005 World Changers Church in College Park, Georgia
  • 2006 Zion Hope Missionary Baptist in Detroit, Michigan
  • 2006 Ministry of Jesus Christ Church in Baton Rouge, Louisiana
  • 2007 First Presbyterian Church in Moscow, Idaho
  • 2007 First Congregational Church in Neosho, Missouri
  • 2007 New Life Church in Colorado Springs, Colorado
  • 2008 First Baptist Church in Maryville, Illinois
  • 2009 Reformation Lutheran Church in Wichita, Kansas
  • 2012 World Changers Church in College Park, Georgia
  • 2015 Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina
  • 2017 Burnette Chapel Church of Christ in Antioch, Tennessee
  • 2017 First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas
  • 2017 St. Alphonsus Church in Fresno, Texas

[…] As of last year, Chinn identified 617 people having been killed in deadly force incidents since 1999 at faith-based properties, including churches.

Despite these numbers, many churches do not make security a priority.”

Of course, there have been more since. I call to mind the Synagogue in Pittsburgh, the Tree of Life. Seven killed. Seven injured. Yep.

Our little church is only about eight yards, maybe ten, front to back, not twenty five. If a shooter came in and started up and he was wearing armor, I’m guessing I could get an accurate head shot at that range and instantly stop the threat. I would never have the chance, however, as about everyone else in the congregation would stop the threat quicker than I could begin to stop to the threat.

Tintinnabulations and plinking are not mutually exclusive.

It’s an act of charity to serve and protect. See:

3 Comments

Filed under Guns, Terrorism

3 responses to “Tintinnabulations & plinking: Shootings in churches and synagogues

  1. sanfelipe007

    Let me quote you: “The use of force* in the defense of the innocent is always a positive contribution to the virtue of Justice.”
    * sometimes you add: “, even lethal force,”

    • Father George David Byers

      Such terminology refers to hypothetical possibilities which one never wants. It’s about aiming for the minimum to just stop the threat. If you miss and the noise makes him stop, then you stop. But it’s still called lethal. Then there is less than lethal like tasers.

  2. sanfelipe007

    Yes, that is my understanding as well.

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