Church Security & Legally Armed Parishioners

Some people, mostly in gun-happy parts of the country, do. Other areas? Not really.

Trust me, in places in the country that are not gun-happy, most people take the notion that people won’t bring weapons into Church as a given, just as you do. Some places in the country still seem to feel that they are in the Wild West, however.

No one ought to imagine a gun in Church. That ought to be some terrible bad dream that someone has or something.

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If that is how you see the other parts of the country where you do not leave, you are sadly misinformed by stereotypes. The ease at which such prejudices develop is why the Church allows for local bishops to make most decisions.

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How do they check for a mental illness history? If you get diagnosed, do you go on a database or something? Isn’t that private and doesn’t that discourage people from getting help?

At minimum, one could check the database that is available. My state has such a database. Most of the people who are most dangerous are in it.

Don’t they have to have been convicted of a crime to be on such a database?

No. The database is of those who receive treatment from the state run mental health program. It is necessary to assume when they enter our largest mental health facilities, which in this case is a prison or jail, they receive mental health care immediately for their well-being and prevention of suicide.

The problem comes with how far is justifiable with such a database. Personally, I would have no problem with everyone who applies for carrying a concealed weapon undergoing a check through that system, or if that is not prudent, requiring one pass a psychological evaluation. Everyone that carries a gun under the color of law has to have passed such a test. It is consider necessary if one is capable of exercising control over deadly force. I see no reason to exempt citizens.

I mean that would help keep guns out of the hands of the ones who are licking-the-wall-crazy, but isn’t the nature of mental illness that it is inconsistent? A lot of people will feel perfectly fine one day and not even remember that two days ago they were looking for a spatula as they ran naked across the interstate. I’m not saying I’m against the idea, but I wonder how it would work. What about situations where a person loses a few of their marbles due to some sort of acute trauma or chemical exposure, but then gets treatment and is fine years later? Is there a way for a re-evaluation to get them off the list?

There is always a balance, isn’t there. I really do not see the problem though with a required psychological evaluation. Every police officer has to pass one. My opinion that if someone’s capability to carry a fire arm safely due to mental illness is in doubt, that society err on the side of not arming such a one. We also do not allow felons, or those with a misdemeanor assault to be armed. One way to accommodated temporary mental illness would be to use the system already in place for law enforcement officers.

Don’t law enforcement get reevaluated regularly? I would think that’s a good idea given the traumatic nature of their job. Is it reasonable to ask citizen to be reevaluated that frequently?

We don’t have any requirement for reevaluations.

No, I only see the parts of the country that are gun-happy, still fairly commonly walk around (at least partially) in dated-since-the-late-19th-century attire (particularly that hat), and act as if it is some sort of wrongful affront to them that the rest of the country is not always so keen on them waltzing into establishments (outside of their states) with guns on their person.

My neck of the woods now has its culture, dialect, and (in some cases) traditional attitudes generationally moribund. The Midwest has overwritten those things in our area for most of the youngest generation (and, in significant parts of the region, those in my own generation–the second youngest generation).

This country is not supposed to be one homogeneous blob with some provincial divisions contained with it. States are individual, semi-autonomous entities with our own unique histories, cultures, and attitudes.

So I can understand many being hostile to us “Yankees” seemingly attempting to impose our attitudes and culture on you, and not wanting to have those things usurp that of yours. But it is simply unreasonable to think that one ought to be able to go throughout the country and expect to see lax gun policies be fairly uniform whichever state one is in.

Please don’t get me wrong. I strongly support bishops being the authority over their bishoprics. But diocesan policies are still simply that: diocesan policies.

So you recognise that guns are tools of death, then?

I used to think so, and I think that there used to be, but the events of the last decade have made me seriously question that.

The far left in the country has pushed further and further for their ideology to reign supreme, with no dissent accepted from anyone, but so has the right wing. The radical pushes from the right wing to have guns be carried by teachers in schools throughout the country, pushes for guns in churches, and the push to bring the death penalty back into actual use federally (and in areas where it was still in use, to use it more) are some examples of this.

Even more mad, I daresay, have been the cries of some on the particularly far right to have actual insane asylums re-erected to house those who have supposedly “untreatable” degrees of mental illness.

I don’t know what the term “insane asylum” is intended to imply, however it is arguable that those with certain mental illnesses could receive better care in hospitals for the mentally ill, as compared with alternatives (self care at home or in the street). Of course, the former is far more more costly to government.

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“I find it terrifying that people are discussing this in the context of a church getting shot up. Maybe I’ll start a thread: of your church was getting shot up during mass, and you could stop the shooter using violence, would you? Or would you smile, pray, and happily be a victim? Sadly some would be the latter.”

I understand what it is like to want to be in control. I struggle with anxiety almost daily. Through prayer and scripture, I have learned that anxiety is essentially fear of the unknown and/or of not being in control. This thread is really about wanting contol (of a life threatening situation such as a Mass mass shooter).
In the name of Jesus, I pray for us all brothers and sisters, come Holy Spirit, grant us the gift of fortitude so we may receive the strength to surrender to (and do) God’s will in spite of our own natural weakness and limitations. Come Holy Spirit, grant us the gift of wisdom, so we may be guided and guide others toward a life of holiness and worship. Holy Spirit, please open the minds and hearts of all who are participating in this discussion, especially as we read your Word (below) and discern how it relates to this topic.

Philippians 4:6-9
6 Have no anxiety about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
7 And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will keep your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
8 Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
9 What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, do; and the God of peace will be with you.
Truth & Life RSV-CE

Ok, sorry, I must break my silence here.

Would you feel better if those carrying in church were the lunatics trying to kill you, or would you rather they be duly licensed and trained individuals?

It’s not “everyman having a gun”, it is individuals who care enough to protect your life who have been duly licensed, trained, and are responsible human beings.
No, not kidding you at all. Are you kidding me that you wish to be in a building with a sign on the door that says, essentially, “none of us are armed, come on in Mr. Mass Shooter”??

Oh well thank you for graciously allowing for hunters. You’re too kind. Us hillbillies need to be able to kill some food after all.

How? By realizing they have taken the time to do it legally, and they are, it would appear from your post, likely 100 times more aware of their surroundings and can protect you if, God forbid, some lunatic comes in with the actual intent of harming you, rather than there simply being legally armed folks close to you.

How kind of you. IF we want to have armed guards it’s ok with you.

Let’s be realistic here. The ONLY way to keep all firearms out of a building is by using armed guards and metal detectors like at a courthouse or airport. You think that’s going to happen at any parish? And if it did, how well do you think the parishioners are going to like having to go through the x-ray etc. every time they go to mass. We do have mass daily after all. Do you think any parish is going to get that on the budget?

What I am wondering about is, where is everyone’s sense of personal responsibility for themselves, their family, and those around them? I’d readily place myself between a gunman and a felllow parishioner, whether I were armed or not. I would, however, prefer to be armed so that I could stand a single chance of stopping the said gunman from harming others…

Lastly, tell me this: Without the 2nd, how do you propose to protect the rest?

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Well…seeing as we’re talking about the US…yes it’s getting to be a necessity to carry a gun most everywhere you go…and it’s pretty sad that this country has come to that…I doubt people in any other western country even think about carrying guns to church…or anywhere else.


How many school shootings took place because the kids of so called responsible gun owners had access to their parents’ forearms?

Yup, we are indeed talking about the USA. Guns have been part of our culture since we gained that name, “The United States of America.” We used them against the Brits who, at the time, were oppressing us.

The founding fathers of our country did not even want a standing army, but found it necessary “to a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed,” thus making every man of age to be a soldier, able to readily own the tools needed by a soldier, one of those being a firearm.

Bet most here don’t realize that until the late 30’s, you could buy a full auto “tommy gun” at the local hardware store… hmmm.

But I wasn’t talking about having ushers toting full auto M-4’s, or having a vehicle mounted 50 cal in the parking lot…simply saying that legally armed parishioners should not be denied the right by a bishop or anyone else of carrying a firearm, legally, in any building of the United States, for the purpose of self-defense. This is especially true when recent history shows that, and “no carry” signs point to churches being targeted by these criminals because they figure they’re less likely to catch return fire. I’m stunned at the lack of preparedness on the part of my countrymen. There was once shooting competitions held at - AT - high schools with .22 LR rifles. I used to take my 12 gauge and hunt rabbits before leaning that shotgun against the barn and walking across a few fields to elementary school in 3rd-6th grades. Heck, that shotgun was kept loaded in my closet bc my dad worked 3rd shift and he made me responsible for any break-in’s. I have never, ever hurt anyone with a firearm as a civilian. But apparently men like me are becoming an anomaly and a danger to people’s emotional “safe spaces” or something, I dunno and don’t care. I swore to protect and defend. I did it as a soldier, and I shall continue as a husband and father + citizen. It’s ludicrous that ever be challenged by my fellow citizens, or by my government. I’m not delusional, don’t think I’m LE or that I can save everyone, or that I’m just the toughest dude ever - far from it. However…

There is a whole lot of area between these two dichotomies. Jesus choose not to defend himself, as have many saints and martyrs. Now being happy is rather weird, but it is not sad to emulated Jesus and the saints. Furthermore, one might choose to sacrifice oneself to save others.

Just fyi, the quoted text in the 1st paragraph at the start of my post was written by VonDerTann. I do not know how to get the text/quote in the gray box with the author.

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