With the increase of shootings at places of worship, across the world, the question that gets asked every time afterwards asks if guns should be allowed into worship area.
Years ago, the need for an armed security at a place of worship was extremely unnecessary.
Since post 9/11, there has been a major spike in shootings happening at places of worship.
The response to the ongoing question of if guns should be allowed in a place of worship has always been split down the middle, where half believe there should be armed security and the other half believe there should not be anyone armed.
Places of worship that have someone armed believe that if there is an armed good guy present, they would be able to stop a shooter.
Before we get that far, we must go over the process of decision making that transpires before the choice is made as not every place is the same.
When making that decision, the pastor and/or congregation must weigh in on the size of the building, location of the building, and the budget needed to make it happen before any changes are made. Another factor to consider is the current insurance plans in place. Many insurance companies have a disclaimer, where additional coverage would be needed.
Some churches, such as McAllen First Baptist Church in Texas, has members of the congregation sit in certain areas while armed.
Pastor Shannon Talley has also created a way for all the members that are carrying to know who each are, according to Beliefnet, a faith, belief, and spirituality website.
Pastor Brady Boyd of New Life Church in Colorado Springs, Colorado has also decided to be proactive, but has taken another route.
He is allowed military veterans to carry as well as having a paid officer wait outside during the services.
Pastor Boyd has learned the hard way of what happens when someone decides to shoot people within a church.
He was in a church 10-years ago, that lost two of its members after someone opened fire.
He is not the only pastor to decide to arm their religious institution after a massacre.
Joyful Heart, in 2017, decided to arm its congregation, as well as have private security officers on site, a day after a nearby church was shot up.
The church was 10 miles away and there were 26 people dead.
Pastor Noah Tillman-Young said:
“It’s nothing you ever imagine could happen, but when it hits so close to home, you have no choice — you can’t ignore it and you have to prepare,” Tillman-Young said. “It’s the reality that houses of worship are increasingly becoming targets.”
The other side of the argument raise questions such as:
Would Jesus kill to save someone innocent? Which can be disputed by the flood being ordered to Noah.
What if there is a case of mistaken identity? There are laws protecting against mistaken identity.
What if there is friendly fire? Before obtaining a gun, one must take a class to legally obtain a gun and will learn how to prevent friendly fire. Would it be safer to have someone skilled owning a gun or wait 10 plus minutes for law enforcement to show?
What if a weapon is mishandled? Same as above, to get a gun a one must learn how to properly handle, use, and store guns.
In February, a security guard in Pennsylvania had a weapon accidentally discharge and ricocheted off the ground and hit another security guard in the face.
Depending on where you live, there is a law favoring one side of the argument, and possibly both sides.
In Florida, you are allowed to carry a gun onto places of worship property, as long as it is not being held at a school.
There currently is a bill filed to change this to allow religious institutions that have services in schools to allow members to carry.
“Right now, if a church was located on the same property as, say, a preschool, and that preschool met from Monday through Friday, people at that church would not be allowed to carry concealed on Sunday and Wednesday night during those services, and this bill would change that,” bill sponsor Jayer Williamson, R-Pace, said, according to Naples News.
FBI statistics gathered between 2014 to 2018 show a 35 percent increase in hate crimes at churches, synagogues, temples and mosques, according to Washington Post.
So the question remains, should guns be allowed in places of worship?