Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Suspect Advice to Churches

In a Washington Post article entitled Training helps churches prepare for violent attacks Fear, headlines give rise to new training sessions, from December 1, 2017, we read:
At the recent two-hour training offered by the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office, officials gave tips to the audience, which included organ players, pastors, clergy, choir directors, ushers, church trustees and secretaries, along with Sunday school teachers.
If a gunman enters a church, they were told to throw hymnals at him or stab him in the shin with a letter opener. Those little pencils in the back of each pew? Use them to stab the gunman in the neck.
“I realize I’m asking people who preach compassion, love and peace to pick up a pen and try to stop a shooter if you have the opportunity,” said Sgt. Michael Zepp, who led the training and oversees the sheriff’s SWAT team.
But it’s the reality of the times. “You can be a saint, and you can be a sinner,” he said.
To be sure, Zepp said while some of the tips might sound trivial, they should be thought of as an interruption. Throwing a hymnal at a shooter, he said, “may not stop him but it may limit the casualties, and it’s better than sitting there waiting to get killed.”
I'm sure the good law enforcement officers of Carroll County Sherriff's Office mean well. They're helping some learn that "lockdown" is no longer a good option. And they're even conceding that fighting back might help deter, delay, or even stop an attacker.

But let's consider -- will someone who has a fear of firearms suddenly --in a moment of extreme stress -- be able to wield a letter opener or a pen with such violence that an armed assailant will cease his attack?

Which is more likely to end an attack -- two well-placed shots by an armed civilian or ten pokes with a letter opener?

Which is the better choice: Preparation, training, and effective firepower or a frenzy of tossed hymnals?

Of course, Maryland has no state constitutional provision granting a “right to bear arms.” Maryland is one of the few holdouts of "We'll let you know..." approach, as an application for a permit to carry a handgun is made to the Secretary of State Police with a notarized letter stating the reasons why the applicant is applying for a permit. The State Police will then decide if you can or can't exercise a basic Constitutional right.

The questions sound silly because the premise is silly, and I'm certain that members of the Carroll County Sherriff's Department who attend church services prefer to attend armed.

The Assertion that Firearms are designed to kill

A common "talking point" circulating in the "gun control" debate is: "Firearms are designed to kill." I have s...