“2 victims in the Texas shooting were members of the church security team. So much for church security.”
As I have been developing a research project on congregational security, a number of people sent me comments about or links to the story of the murder/counter-murder event (H/T Tactical Professor) at West Freeway Church of Christ in White Settlement, Texas at the end of December 2019.
This quote above is from a text message that was among the first personal responses I received. Don’t shit-talk the author. It was from my mom. What is significant here is how profoundly people’s pre-existing views influence their interpretation of events, especially where guns are concerned. Like a Rorschach Test, we learn more about the person interpreting the event (the inkblot equivalent) than we do about the event itself.
I suppose it is just my naive optimism that makes me think a potential mass public killing that was stopped by an armed citizen caught on live video could actually lead to some productive dialogue. But other immediate responses, like one by the founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, dissipated my hope.
I think reasonable people of goodwill can disagree about the propriety of allowing guns in houses of worship — many houses of worship have been discussing this very question — but to suggest that a law allowing the carrying of guns in churches facilitated this church shooting seems profoundly wrong to me.
I was also struck by a Washington Post editorial on the Freeway Church of Christ shooting that concluded with a hyperbolic and false dichotomy: “Instead of turning churches and schools into armed camps, we should do a better job of keeping guns away from people who shouldn’t have them.”
First of all, nothing I have seen or heard about Freeway Church of Christ suggests its members felt their congregation was an “armed camp.” Second, why can’t there be armed church security AND doing a better job of keeping guns away from people who shouldn’t have them?
Like Rorschach’s inkblots, alas, people see what they want to see.