More than 20 innocent people were killed today in one of the deadliest church shootings to date. This can happen anywhere and is a dark reminder of the violent world we live in. The small size of this specific church allowed the shooter to maximize his destruction. As with the NYC terrorist attack we saw last week, these types of attacks are near impossible to predict, but they can be planned for.
I’ve brought this subject up in the very church that my family attends and discussed carrying concealed inside the church, designating first aid/trauma kit locations and ‘locking down’ specific doors once the service starts.
We’ve talked in several articles before about what to do in the wake of violent attacks like this, which majority of the time deals with the bloody aftermath and dealing with massive trauma. Here is what I discussed with the church leadership where my family attends.
Concealed Carry – We have several guys that do have their concealed carry permits, but prefer not to carry or leave their firearms inside their vehicles so that they don’t offend anyone. Although they are all good men, I don’t agree with that mindset. We identified a small group of guys that were willing to carry, practiced at the range regularly and carried in a low vis way as not to alarm anybody who is sensitive to the subject of guns. Our church chooses not to post anything specific to concealed carry which releases the church from any legal liability and puts the responsibility on the individual person carrying concealed. Me personally, I’m carrying a tourniquet, concealed Glock 26 with spare magazine, a partially serrated Emerson knife and handheld flashlight.
Medical – We identified several locations within the church to stage firs aid and trauma supplies. Those are the main church office, kitchen and a few of the classrooms. This puts first aid and trauma gear close by almost every location within the church to deal with everything from a cut to traumatic bleeding. Be sure you have documented those who are first aid/cpr certified as well as those that are doctors or nurses and put that into each kit. This gives anybody who opens the kit a list of whom to call for if they do not feel comfortable rendering aid. Another suggestion is to have those that are teachers get their first aid/CPR certifications. This just adds another layer of preparedness to your church.
Unattended doors – Our church has doors at both the front (main entrance) and rear. Once the service starts we lock the doors at the rear of the church, preventing any visitors from sneaking in through the back. This forces people to use the main front doors if coming in after the start of the service. Generally we have 1 or 2 guys walking the church during the service and keeping an eye on the front doors.
Use these basic considerations to start building a plan with the leadership of your local church in order to be prepared ahead of time for a violent attack. If you’re looking for a security company offering church protective services training that will come onsite to offer a threat assessment, solutions to implement in order to mitigate any risks and offer training to those that are willing to step up to provide security, check out LionHeart Security.
If you are part of a church security team we’d love to hear some suggestions of what you do to mitigate these types of violent attacks.
*Photo courtesy of HarvestArmy Youtube channel