Update: After merely eight people clicked on this post, it was trashed. I didn’t do it. Who did? Why? I’ll put it back up every time. Original post follows:
What with church / synagogue attacks coming along fast and furious, I thought it might be a good idea to instigate a push for more security by all believers. After Mass Thursday I dropped by to have a chat firstly with the Sheriff of Graham County, requesting ongoing involvement not only with presentations to security teams of the various churches (itself an encouragement for all churches to rustle up security teams if they don’t already have them), but also to have someone be a training and range officer say once a month or every six weeks for those on security teams who are voluntarily armed. Our insurance, for instance, does not permit mandated armed security, only volunteers. All that got an enthusiastic response from the Sheriff, who told me that, in fact, just some hours before, a Powerpoint presentation was sent out at State level (North Carolina) to all county Sheriffs that they might use as a template to tweak for local presentations to the ministers and their security teams. He’s enthusiastic to do something with this, and, beyond that, to take up the suggestion for ongoing guided range time. He agreed that without continuous practice, no one is going to be frosty and edgy enough to be able to do the necessary in stopping the threat of an active shooter.
It’s true that a bunch of ministers went down to Georgia from WNC for a presentation quite a while back, but as one significant LEO commented afterward, that presentation was worth no more than being preparation for a clean up operation after all the slaughtering was done. In other words, the security learned was just enough to get everyone killed so that the crime scene wouldn’t be disturbed. A bit cynical, perhaps, but honest. And if we want to save lives, we have to be honest. Kudos to him for that honesty.
After heading to a nursing home / rehab in another county, I went to another Sheriffs Office to push for the same program. Believe me, no one in law enforcement is saying to just leave it to the professionals. They know that every split second of inaction in a house of worship means another person dead or wounded, you know, when help is minutes or longer away.
- Are YOU part of a security team in your parish, your synagogue, and yes, your mosque (think of New Zealand)?
- Do you even have a security team?
- Not everyone has to be armed to be on a security team. Remember Hacksaw Ridge? Do you have people who are trained up in first aid, familiar with defibrillators, tourniquets and such? There can be those who simply help others (1) to get out (flight), or (2) get down under the pews (hide, giving clear access to those with stop-the-threat capabilities), or… (3) resist (fight) in whatever way.
If your Sheriffs Office isn’t pushing programs for all the ministers and their security teams, then you do something. And you absolutely can do something. Need some materials and direction? Behold: