THIS will be the first of three posts on putting the scattered pieces of the enigmatic puzzle that the Sutherland, Texas Baptist Church mass shooting represents. Maybe I am waxing melodramatic here, but, for heaven’s sake, here we are, heading pell mell toward the end of 2017 (this is November 6), and I believe we are at a point in time where no one can feel truly safe anywhere. Not in a mall; not at a concert; not in an elementary, middle, high school or college. And certainly not in a church, temple, synagogue, mosque….not anywhere.
So, you may have asked yourself, a police officer, your spouse, is there anything I can do to minimize (eliminate?) the chances I or my loved ones will be the next victim(s)?
FIRST, LET’S TACKLE THE SUTHERLAND BAPTIST CHURCH DEBACLE
Using this tragedy as a teachable moment, we need to understand that, more likely than not, your local place of worship, your school, your sporting event locale, are all what we (experts, et al) call SOFT TARGETS (ST). I talk about ST’s in my 2nd book (Super Secret Police S**t That Can Save Your Life, on Amazon) and promote ways of making these locales Hard.
It is my opinion that by taking a few simple steps to harden the target (the church), probably only a few – instead of 26, a number that will likely grow, not to mention the 20-something church-goers who are wounded – would have been shot. Perhaps none.
The shooter was dressed all in black combat gear, was armed with an impossible-to-hide semi-auto long gun and was loping across a street from a service station where he was parked. Well placed security and/or well-placed cameras would have spotted the gunman a good 25-yards from the church. If armed, security could have either stopped the attacker cold or at least slowed him down long enough to warn and alert the congregation. If not armed, security could have warned worshippers, who, instead of being sitting ducks, could have scrambled for cover, could have locked down the church, prevented the miscreant, who commenced shooting as he approached, from entering….maybe…
Understand this. I posted a few years back about the vulnerability of Baptist congregations. They comprise the largest incidents of church-related killings. This is not the time or place to go into how & why, but the fact is, they are. A church with a Hard-Target Mentality might do what Daryl Kennedy, Security Expert, and member of the Calvary Baptist Church, Easton, Pa. has sought to do and that is to make his leadership and congregations aware of the potential dangers, both inside and outside (parking lot, exits, entrances) of the church.
Daryl and I are now working on a book about church-related killings, which, by the way, are legion in the U.S. We can learn a lot about making ourselves safe in potentially unsafe environments through some simple, common sense methodology, including, but not limited to some of the tactics and principles I will go into in the next two or three posts.
- Mental Conditioning, or Survival Psyche.
- Selectively Arming & Training Members.
- Selectively selecting & training a dedicated security staff.
- Periodic Monitoring of Congregation Members (domestic, psychological issues, etc).
- Understanding the Left of Bang (security) Mentality.
Until the next post, stay safe.