… oh, heck, everyone knows the rest of this: Do not mess with Texas. Even if – especially if — you are a transient loner with a long record of offenses against the laws of man and God, hopped up on murderous rage against something or other, and looking to take it out on whomever you assume will not retaliate … because word has gotten out. It’s gotten out for quite some time, although I venture a guess that it has not made it as far as the Transient Weirdo Loner With Mental/Rage Issues Community, unless those Transient Weirdo Loners are also set on a variant of ‘suicide by cop’ and the new hotness among them is ‘suicide by volunteer church security’.
I think that the Sutherland Springs church massacre must have been the occasion which got a lot of parishioners in Texas into considering sanctuary defense, although there might have been some creative and soft-pedaled thinking along those lines after the incident at the New Life Church in Colorado Springs, Colorado in 2007. After the Colorado thing, and most definitely the Sutherland Springs church massacre – I saw a lot of chatter in blog comments among the regular church-attending and concealed-carry community about the vulnerability of congregations, and testimonials among the CC license holders of the various means and stratagems by which their own home churches were protected, either by official church sanction or quietly by individual volunteers. As was pointed out a good many times in the aftermath of Sutherland Springs – normally, the congregants are focused on the front of the sanctuary, the ritual, the hymns, the fellowship, the sermon. They are all, as the many CC license holders pointed out, innocent sitting ducks for the malign, the armed, the murderously inclined. Of whom there are actually not many around, statistically speaking … but that statistic is cold comfort when it suddenly happens in your church on an innocent Sunday morning.
And so – quietly and without making very much of a fuss, a fair number of church congregations began to make plans for security; I know that they did long before Sutherland Springs and in another state; the Lutheran church which was Mom’s religious home in Southern California locked the doors after the congregation had assembled for the midnight Christmas Eve service and this at more than a decade ago. In Texas, it appears that religious communities have taken ‘he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one.’ to the ultimate logical extent, advice which hints that one might have jolly good need of a sword.
Or a sidearm of the 9mm or higher capacity; which congregations in Texas look to have taken to heart, if the brief and awesomely professional display of readiness at the West Freeway Church of Christ in White Settlement, a suburb of Dallas-Fort Worth. Startling to me, the deceased shooter was not a person of color named Mohammed or Abdul, although the lag-time in which his name and race were reported in the national media did lead me initally to assume such.
And I am reminded to sign up for the class next month to get my concealed carry license renewed. One never knows when all that might come in handy.