Church Security & Legally Armed Parishioners

It’s not delusional to recognize that, unless you live in a high crime area, have a risky job or there’s a specific threat or threatening person putting you at risk, your odds of dying in a shooting are pretty low compared to all the other things that might kill you on any given day. I have a limited amount of brain space to worry about dying anyway so I tend to leave that stuff up to the Lord.

I don’t mind legal, responsible gun ownership, but unless I was living in a very unsafe area like a war zone or a bad urban neighborhood, I would not want to feel dependent on having a gun on me just to be able to walk around doing normal daily activities, including going to Mass.

BTW, I had a friend who escaped the Dayton shooting by minutes, my mom was in the middle of a workplace shooting decades before they were newsworthy, and I had PTSD for a year a long time ago after being strong-arm robbed (no gun, I was looking to see if he had one but no). It doesn’t change my mind.

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Nobody would probably ever know if it was well-concealed, but since the parish is less safe as a result of somebody with a gun being present (including a law-abiding citizen) the bishop has ruled against that.

So the OP would be disobeying his bishop if he brought a firearm, which is difficult to justify.

“Common sense” has become a radical progressive buzz phrase for agenda promotion. It is used by a certain class to assert authority over another class.

I was in law enforcement for 31 years. Guess what? In the US, the police have no responsibility to protect your life. Zero. From assailants bearing knives (easily available with zero restrictions), clubs, blunt object, sexual organs, you name it. You are on your own.

Does anyone ever think to ask why there are so many robbers and murderers running about? They are a moral evil and inanimate objects are not.

Recent tragic shooting in Seattle. The men involved had about 80 arrests between them - many felonies, some of them violent. And these were guys in their 20s! NEVER should have been out in public, but it’s those demon gunzzz!!!

“Common sense” would incarcerate repeat, habitual violent felons out of justice and protection of innocent human life. Incarceration saves lives but we are loathe to use it.

Ah, but it’s so much easier to blame the inanimate object.

Like in London, where a rash of stabbings is occurring. So bad that there is a call for a ban on “pointy” knives.

Beam me up, Mr. Scott!

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This is actually called being prepared and responsible.
I’d much prefer to carry a gun and not need to use it than to need one and not have it.

Sorry to argue, but I fear but 2 things this side of the grave, those being any harm to my wife, or separation from her against my will. I spent wayyyy too much time deployed to want anything to do with her being "out of reach: ever again.

As for driving her, that started in order that I, as I’m retired at age 50, could get 15 mins more time with my beloved before her shift, and see her 15 mins sooner after. Being armed and keeping her secure ended up a bonus. And this coincidentally started around the same time, not because of, the Dayton & El Paso shootings. She works retail so of course she felt safer with me doing this.

So, I realize that my wording plus the fact ya all dont know us personally can make my statements sound perhaps irrational, depending on your own background & political leaning, but i assure you theres nothing irrational about being situationally aware and able to respond per the law to any lethal threats.

In any case, when it comes to my wife, I’ll keep her safe regardless.
I’ll try to mind the bishop and church teaching. Maybe I will schedule a meeting with him. But in my marriage I have 1 rule that doesnt bend, wiggle, or change - thou shalt not endanger or disrespect my wife.
Of course my response levels are appropriate, but that’s the rule. I will NOT have her messed with.

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I understand your point of view.

And yes, I think if it bothers you a great deal it wouldn’t be any harm to contact the diocese to talk about it.

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@po18guy

U r soooo totally on point right sir. Police are indeed not obligated to protect citizens from violence.

And, I keep waiting for a ban on kitchen cutlery, or licensing for claw hammers, cause either can make quite a mess…for my child who shouldnt have a firearm at 23, I provide her with a Louisville slugger for her rental’s defense…

So true it’s not the object chosen, but the person using the object. I’ve yet to witness one of my firearms just up and shoot anyone or anything all by itself…

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If you have a concealed weapon permit and are legal to carry wherever you go, I do not understand why this is an issue… and I probably do not understand what the Bishops are saying. areas where it is common to carry , perhaps to hunt or keep safe, understand guns differently than city folk.
But, if you carry concealed, why would you be under obligation to talk to anyone about it? If the situation arose where you needed to use it, I can’t imagine anyone objecting that you saved lives. peace.

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The problem arises due to a dumb state law.
It IS legal to carry concealed in a place of worship ONLY IF one has been granted permission by the person in charge.

BUT, the archdiocese doesnt allow our priests to grant permission.

On the flip side, they dont search parishioners at the entrances…

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Perhaps you could compromise by bringing a non-firearm weapon. A taser, a cannister of bear mace, or a knife won’t provide the same defensive capability as a firearm, but it’s better than nothing.

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Although I do very much appreciate that logic, as well as u taking the time…because most modern firearms can fire at least 1 rd per second, to at least 50 yards, so these dont match up to any but the shabbiest guns. Mass shooters dont use double barrel shotguns to inflict many casualties, else a person might stand a chance of getting into range and thrashing them.

Thx again for the thoughtful suggestion.

BTW, I always also have a SOG AO tanto blade clipped inside my front pocket…and a tac light, a spare mag for each of the 2 pistols I carry, etc. Sometimes more, sometimes less…

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Now I understand better. I don’t know what our Diocese allows but I know there has been a threat not long ago.
I am not sure how to reason your situation. I keep going back to if there was a an incident and someone saved lives, who could or would complain?
I reference the Catholic Catechism

Legitimate defense

**[2263 The legitimate defense of persons and societies is not an exception to the prohibition against the murder of the innocent that constitutes intentional killing. “The act of self-defense can have a double effect: the preservation of one’s own life; and the killing of the aggressor. . . . The one is intended, the other is not.”

**[2264 Love toward oneself remains a fundamental principle of morality. Therefore it is legitimate to insist on respect for one’s own right to life. Someone who defends his life is not guilty of murder even if he is forced to deal his aggressor a lethal blow:

If a man in self-defense uses more than necessary violence, it will be unlawful: whereas if he repels force with moderation, his defense will be lawful. . . . Nor is it necessary for salvation that a man omit the act of moderate self-defense to avoid killing the other man, since one is bound to take more care of one’s own life than of another’s.

**[2265 Legitimate defense can be not only a right but a grave duty for one who is responsible for the lives of others. The defense of the common good requires that an unjust aggressor be rendered unable to cause harm. For this reason, those who legitimately hold authority also have the right to use arms to repel aggressors against the civil community entrusted to their responsibility.

**[2266 The efforts of the state to curb the spread of behavior harmful to people’s rights and to the basic rules of civil society correspond to the requirement of safeguarding the common good. Legitimate public authority has the right and duty to inflict punishment proportionate to the gravity of the offense. Punishment has the primary aim of redressing the disorder introduced by the offense. When it is willingly accepted by the guilty party, it assumes the value of expiation. Punishment then, in addition to defending public order and protecting people’s safety, has a medicinal purpose: as far as possible, it must contribute to the correction of the guilty party.

Two thoughts (from a non-American, so maybe that’s impacting my views on this?):

  1. I can see an argument for permitting law-abiding civilians to bear arms in public, including in Church.

  2. I am honestly concerned to hear you say this:

Why is your wife so afraid of this? Does she know a fellow parishioner who she suspects to be violent? Has she suffered violent abuse or trauma in the past? Has a church shooting recently occurred in your city?

Yes, I know the news media broadcasts stories about mass shooting events, including in churches, and these are real. At the same time, unless you live in (e.g.) the Middle East, they are rare. Is there a concrete reason you fear that your life is at risk inside your particular church building?

I don’t mean to dismiss your fears. At the same time, it’s hard for me to relate, and I’m having a hard time following what you’re saying. I live in a large city, I’m a woman who lives alone, travels on public transit, has to walk through sketchy areas of town, and (obviously) I go to Mass every Sunday, as well as all sorts of places. And I’ve never held a gun in my life. And I’m not afraid.

Sure, someone could technically kill me… but I could also die of a brain aneurysm, or heart attack, or a car could smash into the bus. All these risks are just statistically so low (at least where I live: Canada), that I just sort of… live without fear. After all, I’m right with the Lord. What do I have to fear from death anyway? He’s already conquered it.

So basically I guess I’m saying, I wouldn’t mind a church letting you carry your gun if it helps you feel more secure. But I’m sincerely concerned for you that you (and your wife) seem to live in such a state of fear about this, and I would honestly suggest that you take that to prayer with God, because as Catholics we’re not supposed to be this afraid of dying. Jesus commands us not to be anxious. Maybe that’s a scripture you might spend some time with? Matthew 6:27

“And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?” – Jesus

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I cannot abide and am 100% opppsed to the whole “if I have to die, best do it in church” attitude.

Since when are Catholics supposed to stand around like a bunch of cows and let a gunman shoot up a church and kill the faithful?! As it is a church during mass is the quintessential easy target - and a Catholic Church has Jesus in it too! Are we supposed to allow the body of Christ to be defiled by having a church shot up while Jesus is present?

I for one think armed security is coming; I’d welcome it; and I’d feel safer knowing that other random people worshipping at mass were armed. An armed society is a polite society.

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Fortunately I have no such restriction on my permit. In my state, it’s up to each county’s sheriff.

Law abiding citizens create an unsafe condition??!! Evidence, please.

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Perhaps a counselor at the VA could give perspective on hyper-vigilance.

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There is no scripture where God says that you don’t have the right to defend your life or the lives of your family.

God gave us a free will and a brain.

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The map on the linked page shows that most states have no CCW ban on carrying in a church. Even true for some sickeningly “progressive” states like mine.

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Right. Self-defense requires shooting until the assailant is no longer a threat. No more, no less.

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