Jerry and I sat in our motor home and listened in horror as this story was breaking yesterday. Because we are closely associated with churches, and churches historically are open to the public, in recent years as there are more instances of shootings in group gathering places, we have become aware of challenges that were developing in this area. “It would be so easy for someone to walk into a church service and open fire,” I said to Jerry.
At that time I did not know this particular church, because of such security concerns, had arranged for armed guards at their facilities. Now we learn that indeed it was a brave security guard who shot the killer yesterday in Colorado Springs and who surely saved the lives of many people.
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Jeanne Assam is hailed for saving countless lives in shooting a gunman outside her church, but the volunteer security guard insisted that her steady hand was a matter of divine guidance.
The 42-year-old former police officer was part of a small team of church members pulling guard duty Sunday at the New Life Church when 24-year-old Matthew Murray opened fire outside the building.
Because I have lived in urban areas for years and do a fair amount of traveling, I am accustomed to routine security checks and to observing armed guards in myriad places. But I really have never considered having armed guards in churches or other religious meeting places. While it may be necessary, and according to these reports, such actions saved many lives yesterday I admit to being uneasy with this.
What are your thoughts? Is this something we must now consider in our churches? Is it morally right? Is it any more or less right just because it is in a church?