Unit 1012 Cover Photo

Unit 1012 Cover Photo

Friday, November 17, 2017

CHURCHES AND GUNS CAN BE COMBINED






We will not bow down to other enemies.


“Jesus says, ‘I did not come to bring peace but a sword,’” Chuck Huyck, a retired federal law enforcement officer, said Thursday. “In order to have peace, we have to kill the evil.”

  

In wake of church shooting, Utah evangelicals — some of them armed — prepare to face ‘any and all threats’
By Peggy Fletcher Stack
Thursday November 9, 2017

Nothing will stop a murderous shooter like the one who gunned down 26 worshippers at a Baptist church in Texas, insists one Utah evangelical Christian, but a bullet to the head.

In other words, a good guy with a gun.

“Jesus says, ‘I did not come to bring peace but a sword,’” Chuck Huyck, a retired federal law enforcement officer, said Thursday. “In order to have peace, we have to kill the evil.”

And next month, Huyck will offer a workshop next month to teach Utah Christian congregations how to do just that — develop a security plan to respond to “any and all threats.”

The tough-talking trainer runs Soldiers of God Missions, which, according to its website, “calls all men out of their comfort zone, and equips them to stand against the enemy, both physical and spiritual.”

At a Thursday news conference, Standing Together, a consortium of Utah evangelical churches, introduced Huyck and his upcoming training, tentatively set for Dec. 16.

A dozen or so pastors stepped up to the microphone to condemn the violence and to express their collective “sympathy, sorrow and solidarity for the families and communities who have lost loved ones to senseless and random violence, death and destruction.”

In a news release, the ministers called upon all “like-minded churches and faith communities to set aside a short portion of their weekly worship service this coming Sunday to pray for the families of the victims in Las Vegas, New York and Sutherland Springs [Texas], for their comfort and that they might experience the healing power of God’s presence in their lives.”

They further asked believers to pray as well that “this violence in our society would end and that these types of mass shootings would cease in our nation.”

The group of pastors noted that the Huyck workshop on dealing with potential assaults will be open to all communities of faith, not just evangelical churches.

“Unfortunately, this is our new normal,” lamented Pastor Greg Johnson, the consortium’s director. “It grieves our hearts that we have to be carefully thinking of security and security teams. The last thing we want to do is put metal detectors at our front doors. That is not the image we want to be part of a church experience.”

About half the evangelical churches in the Salt Lake Valley, Johnson said, have armed security teams at services already.

Life Church in West Valley City, he pointed out, has hired police officers, whose patrol cars are there for every meeting.

“If I’m a shooter and I see a police officer’s car,” he said, “I’m going to avoid your church.”

Other Utah faith communities across the religious spectrum have also hired armed security personnel and made the guards visible in hopes of scaring off any would-be attackers.

Even those without such protectors, Johnson said, have members who carry firearms to church.

“We don’t have gun-free zones in most of our evangelical churches,” Johnson said. “Most pastors are comforted by that.”

On the flip side, Utah’s predominant faith, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, has taken steps under state law to bar guns from its meetinghouses.

In his workshop for pastors, Huyck will outline ways to identify weaknesses in a church building, to defuse potentially dangerous exchanges, and to assess the presence of unfamiliar attendees.

“The only thing that is going to stop an active shooter is if he runs out of ammo,” he said, “or if somebody puts a bullet in his head.”

Escalating violence is happening because the devil is unleashed and the end is near, Huyck added. “We have pushed God out of the equation.”

With such murderous attacks “getting more and more frequent,” he said, “we have to be ready.”

 
Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one. – Luke 22:36 (KJV)

Editorial: Churches, guns can be combined
Posted November 11, 2017 08:56 pm
By Amarillo Globe-News

Churches and guns do not seem a fitting combination. A place of worship? And a weapon? Sacrilegious, right? Not in Texas, thankfully.

While churches and guns do not seem to fit, the reality is they do — legally — in Texas.

The recent mass shooting at a church in Sutherland Springs — the worst mass shooting in Lone Star State history — has put the focus (once again) on gun control.

And since churches (along with schools) are often targets for evil and insane acts of violence, it needs to be pointed out that churches in Texas have had the ability to protect their members — with guns — for quite some time.

State Rep. Matt Rinaldi, R-Irving, is credited for spearheading a bill allowing places of worship (for example, churches) to have armed volunteer guards. The bill became a state law that took effect in September.

According to the Texas Legislature website, there were similar bills in the 85th Legislature, one authored by state Rep. Four Price, R-Amarillo (HB 981). HB 421 was authored by Rinaldi and had several co-authors, including state Rep. John Smithee, R-Amarillo.

Previously, a member of a religious entity could carry a firearm to a worship service, provided this person was licensed to carry a gun by the state of Texas. However, these individuals could not serve as security. Rinaldi’s bill changed that as of September.

Those who attend larger churches in Amarillo have no doubt seen members of Amarillo Police Department on church grounds during services. However, smaller churches may not have the resources to compensate law enforcement personnel to provide security during their services.

So where does this leave such churches? Rinaldi’s bill addresses this problem.

Tom Nichols, a professor at the Naval War College and the Harvard Extension School, offered a different perspective recently in Los Angeles Times: “The desire to bring guns to churches is not about rights, but about risk. You have the right to carry a gun. But should you? If the main reason you’re holstering up in the morning is because it’s a family tradition where you live, or because you have a particular need to do so, or merely because you feel better with a gun, that is your right. But if you are doing so because you think you’re in danger from the next mass shooting, then you should ask yourself whether you’re nearly as capable, trained and judicious as you think you are — and why you are spending your days, including your day of worship — obsessing over one of the least likely things that could happen to you.”

In Texas, those who want to carry a gun legally must be licensed by the state, and complete the review process to be licensed. This license allows Texans to protect themselves — and others — by legally carrying a firearm.

If the state determines a person is capable and responsible enough to carry a gun, why should this right cease to exist at the church door? And if a church — or any place of worship — has members licensed by the state to carry a gun, the church should be able to extend this right to protect its members.

Russian Orthodox Priest firing his Kalashnikov automatic rifle.
 
Pastors, parishioners learn gun techniques to keep churches secure
Posted: 11/12/2017 2:16 AM

SUTHERLAND SPRINGS, TX (KABB/KSAT/CNN) - Pastor Brian Ulch is a gatekeeper, a volunteer trained, licensed and insured to protect his church by the Christian Security Institute.

“We have a responsibility to every single member that walks into a safe haven, that walks into a place of worship, and wanting a place of peace, to provide the protection,” Ulch said.

Will Chadwick and his father, Chuck, created the Gatekeeper Program more than a decade ago just outside of Dallas. Chuck Chadwick said back then, business wasn’t flourishing.

“It was so hard in those early years to even get somebody to spend $20 on a subscription to our website,” he said. “Now, we have thousands and thousands of churches that are part of our national organization."

And in the last week, following the deadliest shooting in a house of worship in US history, the Chadwicks’ phone has been ringing off the hook. From New York to Hawaii, churches call, wanting to learn how to protect themselves.

“We take people that have absolutely no experience and we pride ourselves on really being able to really hone these skills,” Chuck Chadwick said.

In a six-day course, volunteers are taught defensive tactics modeled on professional security and law enforcement standards, but tailored to challenges a church ministry could face, like how to interact with an unruly parishioner and how to use a gun against an active shooter.

“Being able to place your mind in there and see how you’re going to react is important,” Will Chadwick said.

Pastors are given psychological evaluations and undergo background checks, too. Pastor Ulch, like many other gatekeepers, didn’t have any prior security training. Seven years ago his church in Denison, TX, discussed hiring a private security company, but they needed more.

“When you look at the outside private security sector, they have dynamic resources, but they don’t know your congregation,” Ulch said. “They don’t know the heartbeat of your ministry. But when you look at bringing your volunteers through, they not only know your campus, know your community, know your members. They can identify things that don’t look right.”

Ulch said like most people, the shooting at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs left him shaken.

“Once I really absorbed it, I was going, ‘I sure wish they had a Gatekeeper.’”
Copyright 2017 KABB, KSAT via CNN. All rights reserved.