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Carol Perkins: Ideas on being safe in church services

Carol gives her personal opinions on how those gathered to worship their Creator can protect themselves
You can listen to Carol Tuesdays on The "Susan & Carol, Unscripted" show, live. FM 99.1 radio

Next earlier column: Carol Perkins: Scavenger hunt & sorting leads to treasures

By Carol Perkins

After the shooting spree at the church in Texas, congregations are discussing how to keep something like that from happening in their places of worship. No gathering place is safe from lunatics or the mentally ill, but being aware of the possibility can keep them from being successful. I came up with a few of my own ideas.

Lock the church doors five minutes after time for service. That brings up the problem of those who aren't always on time. If the doors of the church automatically lock the way school doors do, someone will always have to be running to open the doors. That's a lot of trouble.

An undercover person carrying a gun (legally) meets and greets those entering and then stays by the door during the service. More than once has a stranger (usually homeless) walked into churches in our area at which time curiosity (and concern) caused heads to turn to the back door. Never sure what the purpose of the visit makes us a little more than nervous.

Every person with a conceal carry license bring their guns to church. The problem with that idea is those who might have a "happy" trigger finger or grow nervous under pressure might shoot at the wrong time. If one person fired would the entire piston packing congregation follow? I don't trust everyone with a gun even if he/she is carrying it legally.

In narrowing down that possibility, I decided that because as many women have guns in their purses as men have them home under lock and key, that we need the women to be our protectors. "You really have a gun in your purse?" I asked a friend. "Sure do; always carry it." When I discovered there were several ladies carrying guns, I felt left out. "Guy, if I take the training will you help me select a gun?"

"Sure. I wouldn't worry about your shooting anyone because after you shot yourself the first time, you'd put that gun away."

My final thought was to install bulletproof entry doors. Every life would be worth the cost. Even with the bulletproof doors (that automatically lock), someone would need to be at the back to keep them open for members, guests, and late arrivals until an appointed time.

Never do we think we will be a target, but neither did those in Sutherland Springs. That church consisted of families who had worshipped together all their lives. Couples who were married there and raised their kids there. Babies and teenagers. Sounds like your church and mine.

What is really sad and almost annoying is that on this fall afternoon instead of basking in the beauty of the land outside my window, I am thinking about how those who gather to worship the Creator of it all have to be prepared for potential violence coming inside the walls. We don't know who is holding a grudge against somebody or who is just looking for innocent targets. For whatever reason, we have to be prepared to protect each other. I'm going to sit next to one of my women friends carrying a gun in her purse.

This story was posted on 2017-11-15 11:22:28
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