Two members of a Texas church died two weeks ago after an armed gunman entered that house of worship and opened fire.
But thanks to two armed members of the congregation, the assailant himself was shot and killed within seconds before the murderer could take any additional lives from among the approximately 240 parishioners who were inside the sanctuary at the time.
The West Freeway Church of Christ, in White Settlement, Texas, just eight miles west of Fort Worth, is a church with an active security team in place ... with a gutsy member who knew what to do if some deranged fruitcake with a death wish were to show up and go off the deep end.
For that church, that day of unimaginable evil came on Sunday morning, December 29, 2019.
The shooter can be seen on the church’s videotape walking in, sitting down on a pew, then getting up and talking to someone before pulling out a gun and opening fire in a cold-blooded murder. One of the heroes who took him down can also be seen springing into action on that same videotape. Four other permitted, gun-carrying church members were also on their feet and had weapons drawn.
Once again, good guys with guns saved a lot of innocent people from being killed by a bad guy with a gun.
Within six seconds, the incident was over, and while, sadly, two innocent people died, imagine how many more could have been killed had those permitted gun-carrying members of the congregation not been present, ready, willing and able to respond ... immediately and decisively.
Those folks, who are heroes in every sense of the word, did absolutely the right thing and, listen to me, readers, this should be a wake-up call for churches and schools across America: every church and school, no matter how small or how large, needs people in place who are trained and capable of taking such retaliatory action in a split-second, should such a horrific thing occur there.
Our police forces do a heroic job of protecting us, but folks, be honest — if an “active shooter” were to invade YOUR church or YOUR child’s school, how long would it take the nearest law enforcement department to arrive on the scene? A few minutes? Longer?
In such cases, forget “minutes” ... seconds matter, and matter in a big, big way.
The police cannot be everywhere at once, nor are they equipped with Star Trek-type transporters to “beam them up” in the blink of an eye from one place to another.
Many school systems have SRO’s on campus, and my hat is off to those awesome men and women, but usually, there’s only one SRO per campus and if some psychotic thug starts shooting on the other side of the school, how long will it take that lone SRO to get there, and, will that SRO be armed with the appropriate firepower needed to deal with the situation at hand? Even if he/she calls for backup, how long will it take reinforcements to get there?
Or the police to a local church on a Sunday morning?
In this case, two innocent people died in that Texas church within a six-second period before the shooter himself was taken out.
Imagine the staggering death toll had those armed members of the church not been present.
Every church and school in America has people who are experienced lifelong hunters, active or retired law enforcement or military, who would probably quickly step forward and volunteer to be trained for such roles.
The key is having people in place ... people who are willing to volunteer to go through the proper training ... people who are willing to be evaluated, licensed or certified to “carry” ... and people who are willing to make that split-second decision to do whatever is necessary to save lives.
This is where, right here in Tennessee, our State’s General Assembly needs to stop talking about it and approve legislation authorizing such a system of evaluation, training, and certification on a statewide basis, and to also pass an ironclad companion “shield” law that would protect from legal liability any such trained volunteer — private citizen — who, in the course of carrying out such duties, one day has to take a life in order to save others.
A bill that would have allowed arming teachers was defeated last year in Nashville.
That is inexcusable.
This isn’t a left vs. right, black vs. white, young vs. old, or Republican vs. Democrat issue.
This affects us all, every single one.
We can argue the pros and cons from now until the Lord comes back, but folks, at what price will these delays and excuses come should such satanic evil thrust its ugly head in our own communities?
Every church, every school, needs armed personnel on campus to deal with such emergencies and the time to do so is BEFORE something happens, not AFTER.
An armed teacher, coach, counselor or principal in every wing of every school, and an armed security team member in every church worship service, would be a real deterrent.
I am saying this as a concerned daddy, granddaddy, ordained minister, and also as one who is proud to be a legal gun owner and carry-permit holder.
If I had school-age children of my own in today, I can tell you, I would feel much better about their safety knowing that trained, willing personnel at strategic points around campus were packing heat ... just in case.
I also know several revival preachers who have led many crusades with a .22 or .38 tucked underneath their coats. Some might react with shock at that, but let me tell you, not all shootings are the result of “terrorism” ... even the smallest, rural churches in many communities are not without their own share of drama ... families torn asunder by drugs, alcohol, violent divorce or child custody cases, long-standing family feuds, and unstable, on-the-edge folks who may be going through some really tough “life crisis” that pushes them to the brink of doing something really, really stupid that they might not otherwise do.
It’s a dangerous world, my friends, getting even more so by the hour, and unfortunately, churches are not immune to evil acts committed by evil people.
And please, let’s not poke our heads in the sand and fool ourselves into thinking it can’t or won’t happen here.
Eventually it can ... and likely will, based on what we see in the news on an almost daily basis.
Small, rural communities and towns such as Rogersville, Surgoinsville, Bean Station, Church Hill, Eidson, Mount Carmel, Kingsport, Bulls Gap, Sneedville, Thorn Hill, Kyles Ford and others are not as isolated, safe and immune to such horrific acts of violence as we might like to think.
As was clearly the case in that small West Texas community on Sunday, not all shootings happen in huge, metropolitan cities.
Evil never takes a holiday, and as the years roll on by, we had best take to heart Biblical prophesy that we haven’t seen anything yet. Jesus Himself warned that things aren’t going to get better with the passage of time, they’re going to get worse until He returns and forever straightens out this convoluted mess brought about by that little three-letter word ... S-I-N.
More gun control laws are not the answer. The existence of a “law”, any law, won’t stop such crimes and bloodshed from happening. Never have, never will.
Laws are only respected and followed by law-abiding people with consciences.
The only thing that will stop an active shooter is another human being who is trained, armed, and willing to do whatever is necessary to save innocent lives.
The time for flimsy excuses and meaningless babble is long past.
Tis much better to prepare now than to be sorry later.
Once we are standing over graves, grieving and asking why didn’t somebody do something, it will be too late to bring those innocent loved ones back to life.
Churches, schools, General Assembly ... is anyone listening?
That’s my view.
What say you?