It is impossible to get better at something without deliberate practice. Even God’s word tells us that practice is necessary. In Philippians 4:9 it says this: What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. As a church protector you’ve probably heard the age-old adage, Practice Makes Perfect, but does it? In 1993, a group of researchers found that practice accounts for 80 percent of the difference between elite and average musicians. This finding, says the New York Times, kicked off the idea of the so-called "10,000 hour rule" - the time needed to expertly master a skill - as popularized by author Malcolm Gladwell. So, do you want to be an “average church protector? Or, do you want to move into the category of being an elite church protector, especially if, God forbid, you face an armed intruder at your church?
So, while practice won’t make you perfect, it will definitely make you better. When we are talking about handguns, and their carry and potential use in a church setting, I think it’s vitally important that we are as good as possible and as close to perfect as possible. It’s been my observation in the majority of churches that I travel to for trainings that armed teams are typically under trained and under prepared for an armed encounter beyond simply having the right tool available. I’ve seen poor carrying positions (ankle carry), poor holsters, poor firearm choices, and more poor techniques than I care to remember. Sadly, I’ve been in churches with armed protectors that have never “trained” beyond their initial state requirement for carrying. I’ve been in churches in “Constitutional Carry” states that have no state mandated requirements to carry a firearm.
There is an old saying that just because you CAN do something, doesn’t mean you SHOULD do something. I think that is very fitting when it comes to the carry of firearms especially by a protector of others. It’s one thing to carry concealed under the License to Carry (LTC) or Carry Concealed Weapon (CCW) laws of your state as long as you know those laws are to afford the citizens their rights, under the second amendment, to protect themselves and by extension their homes and family. This is for personal protection. The qualifications, if your state even has any, are grossly low and mainly made to extract some form of money to be paid to the government. These standards should not be the standards or qualifications your church adopts for the protection of others. I consider it grossly negligent to have such a low standard or qualification to be an armed protector of others
I’m a huge proponent of a church having a protector team, so why would I say something so confrontational? Because it’s true. Let’s think about what an armed encounter could look like in a church: Intruder comes on campus ready to kill as many people as possible (typical desire of most armed attackers). They start shooting indiscriminately as much and as fast as possible, while moving. The church protector must now, draw his firearm safely, move in the direction of the shots as safe as possible (moving with a loaded firearm), under stress and duress, must close distance with the intruder, locate him and engage the shooter with accurate fire all while members of the church are running and screaming, or sitting motionless and crying, or some amalgamation of the two. The chaos that ensues in this situation quickly gets overwhelming and then to try and take an accurate shot with all of the chaos around you to subdue an active shooter, who will typically be moving and maybe shooting at you is about as difficult as threading a needle while riding a horse bareback in a hurricane, even for qualified, trained shooter, let alone someone that barely qualified by state standards, however many years ago.
I get it, I understand – a church active shooter is only slightly more likely than being struck by lightning. So why then, do we carry guns in church? Why do we have armed protector teams? Because the world has shown us time and again, that it is necessary for the protection of the flock. We see in the Bible that it is good to have a weapon. Take a look at Luke 22:36 He said to them, “But now let the one who has a moneybag take it, and likewise a knapsack. And let the one who has no sword sell his cloak and buy one. Or, to paraphrase: let the dude that doesn’t have a Glock go on GunBroker and buyith one.
Of course, you’ve probably also heard it said that: I carry a gun because a cop is too heavy to carry around (some more than others, but that’s a sermon for another day). That is very true of course and the underlying sentiment is that calling 9-1-1 is a fantastic secondary or tertiary option after you’ve protected yourself. However, the main reason we carry firearms should be based on the level of threat we want to be able to respond to. If you want to be able to respond to an active shooter or an assailant with a firearm then you need to have a firearm.
If your church does make a decision to allow for armed protectors then that level of responsibility comes with a huge burden of risk. If you’ve been with us for a while at Protector’s Toolkit, then you know risk must be measured and managed. Allowed to sit on it’s own, risk will attract more risk.
Our Protector’s Toolkit Insider members receive Protector Plans to document and assist with training their team. Over the summer they received an entire plan consisting of ideas and thoughts on carrying a firearm as a church protector and some great handgun drills for team training. Consider joining the membership for more tips, tricks and tactics to help build, develop and grow your Protector Team.
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