Recently, an evildoer attacked a synagogue in San Diego, killing one and injuring three others. Another tragedy that adds to the growing list of attacks on churches, synagogues and mosques over the past six months. As we mourn the innocent victims of these tragedies, this most recent attack is yet another reminder that crazed criminals continue to see our places of worship as soft targets. So-called “gun-free zones” are not the answer.
If it weren’t for the bravery of veteran Oscar Stewart and off-duty U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agent Jonathan Morales, who chased the attacker, who knows how many more lives could have been lost.
In response to these horrific attacks, some state lawmakers are introducing legislation recognizing Americans’ God-given right to self-defense in their places of worship. In Indiana, for example, Gov. Eric Holcomb recently signed a law allowing people to carry concealed in churches with connecting schools. In Texas, the state Senate passed a bill to codify Attorney General Ken Paxton’s official opinion that licensed handgun holders can carry in places of worship.
Florida Seeks New Gun Laws
In Florida, legislation passed the state House of Representatives — now under consideration in the state Senate — that would allow people to concealed carry during church services. The bill’s sponsor, Erin Grall, urged the Senate to pass this bill in the wake of the San Diego shooting.
“We all want to have the ability to not only protect ourselves but [also] those [who] may be attacked while we are worshiping,” Grall said. “So, I believe that one of the few ways to stop somebody who looks to harm with a weapon like a gun is to respond in kind. I believe we shouldn’t have a tragedy happen here in Florida before we make this good policy happen.”
The Florida state House of Representatives also passed legislation this week allowing teachers to carry weapons in schools. The bill, which came at the recommendation of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission, passed the state Senate in April and will now go to Gov. Ron DeSantis’ desk. He is expected to sign it. As one Florida State Representative put it, “These gun-free zones, these soft targets are the problem … this is the ultimate school-hardening law.”
The passage of this bill also comes after Parkland shooting survivor, Kyle Kashuv, called for armed teachers. Kashuv claimed, “We need to get rid of gun-free zones. All gun-free zones do is create a soft target, and school shooters know that … so we need to arm our schools. And yes, that includes giving teachers and school staff the ability to carry a concealed weapon.”
When Will More Lawmakers Wake Up?
Too often our schools and places of worship are seen as soft targets by murderous maniacs determined to commit unspeakable atrocities. These types of common-sense measures are a step in the right direction toward empowering responsibly armed and law-abiding citizens to protect themselves and their neighbors. The best defense against a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. It’s time more of our lawmakers realized this if they truly want to keep our communities safe.
Quote of the Week
“It allows the good guys to stop the bad. The bad guys will never know when the good guys are there to shoot back … The guardian is the last line of defense. He or she will be there when a police officer is not.” – Florida State Rep. Chuck Brannan, a retired law enforcement officer, on the Florida state House’s passage of a bill allowing teachers to carry firearms in schools (The Associated Press)
Data Point You Should Know
Firearms are still prohibited in places of worship in at least eight states and Washington, D.C. (The Associated Press)
About Tim Schmidt
USCCA President and Founder Tim Schmidt received his B.S. in mechanical engineering from Michigan Tech University. Following his time working for a medical equipment company and a computer hardware company, Tim started his first successful business, Schmidt Engineering. In 2003, Tim Schmidt and Tonnie Schmidt began publishing a self-defense magazine focused on responsible firearms ownership. This grew into a national association — the USCCA — providing self-defense education and training to its members. Tim enjoys boxing, running, reading, shooting and riding motorcycles.