As we reflect on the killings this weekend in Pittsburgh, we need to remember that places of worship are soft targets for killers just like our schools.
There are always going to be evil people in this world who want to harm others, and it is up to us as citizens to protect ourselves and our neighbors from this evil. Putting a sign in front of a school saying “Gun Free Zone” is not going to deter anyone from entering a school, armed to the teeth, intending to slaughter innocent people who have no means to protect themselves. In fact, it reassures the perpetrators that they will have no armed opposition to worry about.
We have seen little or no progress to deter these perpetrators of death, yet each time there is another slaughter, everyone is up in arms about guns. Guns are tools with no inherent good or evil nature. Any good or evil done with them is inherent in the people who use guns, not the guns themselves
It is no different for other gathering places like churches and synagogues, where we don’t expect to find violence, but just the love of God. Unfortunately, those who wish to do us harm see these gathering places as soft targets where an armed perpetrator can enter at will and wreak havoc upon unsuspecting people gathered in peace to practice their freedom of religion. If we do not protect ourselves from this evil, we become complicit. This may seem crass, but it is true. We employ armed guards to protect money in banks, jewelry in stores, airports, sports events, concerts, and courtrooms, but we fail to protect the most precious of all, the lives of those we love. Why is it that we protect our possessions, but not those we love?
About six months ago, I told your radio audience that our church had instituted a security patrol during our Sunday services, and how we trained the people who patrol. Most of our parishioners do not realize that we have these patrols, nor do they need to know, but it is a great comfort to me, and it should be to all who attend our church, that we have taken action to protect those who are gathering in peace for a religious service.
We know the government cannot defend us against these horrible crimes in what we imagine to be safe havens. It is up to us as citizens of this great country to take advantage of the God-given rights recognized in our constitution, because if we don’t we will continue to see slaughters like the one this weekend by sick, evil predators. The police investigate crimes after the fact and contribute some deterrence value by their presence, but even in a police state, the police cannot be everywhere, and the court has ruled they actually have no legal obligation to protect us. It is time for the people of this country to wake up and take responsibility to protect ourselves, our families, and our neighbors with our 2nd Amendment rights.