U.S. houses of worship increase security after shootings

"In the U.S., FBI hate crime statistics show that incidents in churches, synagogues, temples and mosques increased 34.8% between 2014 and 2018." - BPNews

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Bert Perry's picture

My church has an active security program, but this podcast from The Art of Manliness might be of interest.  More or less, a lot of people who would attack another group of people tend to set a pattern of "stalking", and being usually on a "yellow" state of alertness will allow churches to document what's going on and respond to it, often before it turns especially dangerous.

For those of you who have daughters (as I do), this is also a great way of dealing with someone who keeps showing up around them.  You document the events and then, when you have a pattern, you present that to authorities.  They're getting better and responding to this, apparently.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

dgszweda's picture

This church is paying $20K a month, they said?  That doesn't make any sense.  For Sunday morning we have 3 uniformed police officers in the lobby and entrances of the church.  That costs $1,125 a Sunday morning.  They have the training to engage a shooter or other disruptive guests, and they have arrest and detain powers, along with the appropriate equipment.

I was at one church a while ago, and they were saying that they allowed their "Guest services" team to carry firearms.  I was talking to one of the guys and he was touting that he was carrying a .45 caliber handgun and that it would stop anyone.  At that moment, I realized that they had no clue what they were doing and they had just enough power to be dangerous, maybe even more dangerous than an active shooter.  Too many people have no clue what they are doing with a gun, and having your church filled with a bunch of cluelessly people with firearms is a recipe for disaster when the moment arrives.

Bert Perry's picture

The church spending that much was more or less had been victimized by a shooter, and if you take a look at the street view, the architect put a lot of little "nooks" on the outside of the building (presumably the inside as well) where someone can hide.  Hence I'm guessing a lot of that budget is a few dozen cameras at a few grand a pop with someone watching them, plus a very visible set of paid security staff.  I'm guessing their budget will drop in a year or so as people recover and the cameras are paid for.

It seems excessive until you take a closer look, IMO.

Regarding the guy bragging about his gun, agreed to a degree.  One of the key issues with concealed carry is that it is important that a person who might attack that he doesn't know who might be armed, and hence he doesn't know what angles he needs to cover.  So if you're too open about the matter, that actually makes things a lot more dangerous.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

dgszweda's picture

Still $20K every month doesn't make sense.  Just wonder what they are doing.  Hiring 25 off duty police officers every single service is cheaper than $20K.

My concern wasn't the bragging.  My concern is that you get these people who like to think they know guns and they choose a .45 because that can really stop someone, and they have absolutely no clue that a .45 should never be used in active shooter situation where innocent people are all around.  It is stuff like that, that sometimes makes me very scared to sit in church knowing a bunch of people are armed.

Bert Perry's picture

I guess for active shooter, you want something that the shooter can control that won't over-penetrate, and .45ACP is actually pretty easy to handle, and penetration is only a little bit more than 9mm.  I guess if you want to be super safe, you'd go .380 ACP or .38 special, which have even less penetration, but at the cost of some accuracy since they're usually a pretty short barrel.

And then the other factor is "what portion of active shooters will give up when they see another gun?"   My overall take is that .45ACP is OK as long as the person can control the gun and understands basic tactics.  Probably best not to go with .454 Casull or .480, though!

Agreed that the church's spend appears high, but if we go with "total security cost" instead of simply "cost to hire guards", and then assume capital's part of that, it's not quite as high.  Probably a lot of handholding with the Chinese church that was attacked so they didn't end up killing it off.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Dan Miller's picture

Did you guys read about the details of the Indiana mall shooter?

The mass shooter had a semi-auto assault riffle and over 100 rounds in magazines. He was stopped by a 22-yo kid who I think was taught to shoot by his grandpa. He was at the mall with his pistol (he has a CCWP). Apparently, this kid took out the mass shooter 15 seconds after he started shooting. He connected with 8/10 rounds from a distance of 40 yards. That's really impressive shooting. 

Bert Perry's picture

And he didn't even apply for a permit--he was carrying because Indiana has gone "Constitutional Carry", and he did so with, I believe, a Glock 19.  We are not talking about a serious target pistol here.  I also took a look at the mall layout, and assuming that the perp was in the hallway leading to the bathrooms, 120' is not that far off for the distance.  

I'm personally torn on "Constitutional carry" myself--meaning anyone 21 or over without a disqualifying conviction or mental illness can carry in allowed places.  Carry permit holders have gotten a (deservedly IMO) good reputation because of the training requirements, and these laws seem to reduce the perceived need for this.  You will get good stories like the one from Indiana, and you're going to get really bad stories as people pretend they're qualified when they're really not.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

dcbii's picture

EditorModerator

Bert Perry wrote:

And he didn't even apply for a permit--he was carrying because Indiana has gone "Constitutional Carry"

I've read conflicting reports on this.  The early reports claimed he didn't have a permit, but the most recent ones are saying that according to Dicken's lawyer, he did, but that it was irrelevant due to Indiana now having Constitutional Carry.  Either way, not many of us that carry would likely be as cool as he was in that situation.

I try to get regular range time like anyone else who is serious about concealed carry, but it's not the same as an active shooter course, and most ranges (at least where I live) do not allow shooting from a draw, changing positions, etc., so even after taking a course, it's not easy to practice those skills, if we don't live somewhere that it's easy to do.

Although there is some conflict with the constitutional language, I also am not personally opposed to the idea of regular training for those that carry in public.  I understand the reasons that it isn't required, but I also have a hard time seeing how training being required of those carrying in a crowd represents a serious "infringement."  So, like Bert, I'm kind of ambivalent on "Constitutional Carry," even though in theory, I like the idea.

Dave Barnhart

T Howard's picture

I'm not sure what Indiana law is, but in Ohio a CCWP (which, btw, you're no longer required to have) doesn't allow you to carry on mall property because malls are typically private property. And, most malls do not permit their patrons to conceal carry.

Now, in this case, I doubt the mall will press charges against the guy since he saved a lot of people's lives by his quick actions. However, he may still face some legal repercussions.

 

Dan Miller's picture

T Howard wrote:
I'm not sure what Indiana law is, but in Ohio a CCWP (which, btw, you're no longer required to have) doesn't allow you to carry on mall property because malls are typically private property. And, most malls do not permit their patrons to conceal carry.

Now, in this case, I doubt the mall will press charges against the guy since he saved a lot of people's lives by his quick actions. However, he may still face some legal repercussions.

I'm wondering about the "mall will press charges" part. I have a sign in my office saying no cellphone usage (or I did-not sure if it still is up). Can you really "press charges" for violating a private facility rule?

I would think it would be similar to a stop sign on a private road.

dgszweda's picture

Dan Miller wrote:

I'm wondering about the "mall will press charges" part. I have a sign in my office saying no cellphone usage (or I did-not sure if it still is up). Can you really "press charges" for violating a private facility rule?

I would think it would be similar to a stop sign on a private road.

Regardless of any state law on carrying, if a private facility notes that no firearms are allowed, than you must follow it.  Worse case if they press charges, it is a trespassing charge.  If they call the police, the police will ask you to leave kindly.  If you refuse to leave, they will arrest you for trespassing.

Bert Perry's picture

What I'm told is that it's like Minnesota.  Trespassing is only established once you are asked to leave and refuse to do so--the posting is informative, but ignoring a posting does not prove trespassing.  I view the signs as "owner is telling me that criminals know I'm not armed", and I try to avoid such places where possible for that reason.

Regarding the specific case, the mall has publicly thanked Dicken for his actions, so I would be very surprised if any legal action against him were taken.I would also be surprised if the mall remained posted, given what's happened.  Might lead to a confrontation with the managers at Dick's Sporting Goods (300' from where the incident occurred or so), but that's my nickel bet.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.