by Stephen Bryen
Now it is a church in a rural area southeast of San Antonio where an Active Shooter, dressed in full combat gear, burst into the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs and killed 27 congregants and wounded more than 20 others.
At the time we write this, we don’t have any idea of the motive. The mass shooter has been identified as a 26-year-old US Air Force veteran and Bible study teacher. He was dishonorably discharged from the Air Force.
None of this matters so much as the awful pain and sorrow this lone shooter caused to people at the Church.
It is unimaginable, but so too were all the other shootings and bombings and truck murders in this country. Whether we are speaking of San Bernardino, Las Vegas, New York City or Charleston, the result is the same.
Churches, synagogues and mosques have for the most part been reluctant to secure their houses of worship, preferring to take their chances.
That policy is unsustainable, erroneous and wrong. While places of worship want to be welcoming, welcoming also means looking after the security of congregants and visitors.
The Federal government puts almost no real effort in helping churches, synagogues and mosques. The amount of money in the form of grants is so small that many who get up enough gumption to ask for help are turned down. Just a few weeks ago, a synagogue I know in Rockville Maryland asked for help for a second time. Even though they really needed it, they were summarily rejected.
Why? Because there is not enough money to go around? That’s a plausible reason and the one we have to accept. But why are Members of Congress sitting on their hands and not helping by providing sufficient resources to protect congregants?
To me that is a fair question and definitively a criticism. Even worse, not much is being done at all by State and local authorities. They talk a lot about homeland security, and put on a lot of meetings, but when it comes to providing real and tangible resources or better police protection, don’t expect any. It is not a priority.
I have been working on homeland security linked questions for some time, and have assisted in a small way in developing protection against the Active Shooter threat. But unless we pressure our leaders to finally invest in security, we won’t have much.
Everyone wants to talk about gun control, which may be important but it is for sure second fiddle to guarding the gates and keeping out the infidels. Anyone with half a brain can figure that out. Why isn’t there any action to fix the problem?
A billion dollars would go a long way to prevent these tragedies from happening and giving those who believe in God a chance to do so in peace and security.