Think it can’t happen at church?
by Thunder Bearer
The “Dark Night Massacre” or whatever you wish to call it, was a horrible thing for a number of people, and may yet impact how our society progresses in America. We need to remember, however, that these incidents are not isolated, but occur frequently at other places all around the country. One of the most notorious “gun free zones” that you might think about is none other than our churches.
My family attends a small church (less than 100 adults in service). The church has a security team. I’m the leader of the team.
Wait a second? Did Thunder Bearer really say that? 100 people, and they have a TEAM of security people? Yes. Each with their own role, duties, and more. Some of them are merely greeters and ushers that understand that the team exists, and how each person interacts with the other portions of the team for effective coverage. We hold semi-regular meetings and discussions, and we plan how we can make our church a safe sanctuary.
Why? We have distinctly encountered a number of lower level threats, and have taken them seriously. The largest threat thus far was a mere disruption that escalated into a little shoving and pushing, and a lot of profanity, but we recognized it as something that could have become much worse. Each church across our country is a potential target for the next active shooter, and that includes yours. April 23rd, 2012, there was a church shooting in Aurora, Colorado, unrelated to the James Holmes event. It was stopped by an off-duty cop who was carrying a gun. In 2007, New Life Community Church security team members held their ground against another shooter that could have done serious damage as well. These are just two that existed within Colorado, that came to mind immediately. This is a story that rings out in every state.
Our team prepares for the worst case scenario… another James Holmes, or Kip Kinkel, or whatever else. Every year, a number of churches experience “active shooters”, and the statistics that I have been given say that shooters don’t discriminate or favor one church over another. Not size, not statement, not racial makeup, not location, none of that. Oddly enough, if we prepare for the worst, then we’re prepared for anything short of that.
Medical problems? Yep, got those under control, as that portion of the team is prepared for far worse.
Fire problems? Trained people on fire extinguishers, and expanded our scope to include potential for active arson.
Child issues? We’ve got the mechanisms in place to respond, and we will respond quickly and efficiently, rather than panic.
Do you have something like this in your church? If so, great! Please keep up the good work. If not… WHY NOT? There are countless reasons, even for the pacifists, to be prepared for an attack on their own. Even if you take no violent action, you can at least be prepared to evacuate, move people out, coordinate the emergency responders as well as the response from your team. If you are a prepper, then you are already in the category that is prepared for a variety of issues.
Given our preparation, we need to pursue the concept of how we can serve others better. Perhaps you have a CCW, or another talent that is useful for the Church Emergency Response Team (based on the concept of a Community Emergency Response Team). If so, and you are appropriately and spiritually mature, you should approach your pastor, priest, rabbi, or other clergyman title that I have missed, and seek guidance and responsibility.
Besides… guess where I met some other preppers? Yep!