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(RNS) The way Rev. Jonathan Wilkins sees it, members of his Baptist church in Thomaston, Ga., should have the right to carry guns into worship services to protect the congregation. Wilkins’ Baptist Tabernacle and a Georgia gun-rights association are challenging a new state law that prohibits weapons in houses of worship. A lower court ruled […]

2 Comments

  1. RE: “You go into somewhere crowded, like a church, and there’s three people who have guns out that are shooting at each other,” he said. “How’s the police officer going to be able to discern who’s … the bad guy?”…

    If anyone, Jeffrey Hawkins should know that by the time the police arrive the shooting will be over, as it was in the Giffords shooting Tucson. Most church shootings, in the United States, anyway, are either robbery during office hours or — if during worship services — target a specific person, as in the George Tiller shooting. We are fortunate that we simply don’t see crazed terrorists indiscriminately killing congregants as we see in other parts of the world.

    Any trained, law-abiding CC-licensed person knows it is dangerous to let bullets fly in a crowded room. But banning handguns in a public place will not prevent an armed individual (or more) intent on committing murder from doing so, and could inadvertently allow it to happen more easily.

    Most churches have regular business hours and traffic other than Sunday mornings or scheduled events. Banning personal protection on church grounds also denies law-abiding citizens the right to defend themselves during those times as well as going to and from the parking lots.