Many States allow concealed carry of handguns in Churches. Where this is permitted, I think it is a good thing for concealed carry permitees to carry their guns into their Church services. Pistols In the Pulpit talks about pastors and deacons taking formal steps to increase security of their parishioners. That is all fine and good, and I am glad to see that pastors are taking such measures more seriously. But crime can happen anywhere, at any time, and the pastor or deacons can not be everywhere at all times. In my Church, meetings are often held while the congregants meet for coffee and fellowship after the service. Our choir practices evenings when nobody else is there.
Unfortunately, here in North Carolina, our State has seen fit to deny many Church goers the opportunity to arm themselves against an armed person intent on murder and mayhem by declaring that carrying on school property, whether public or private, whether K-12 or college, is a felony. Further, they have declared it a felony anytime of day, any type of "school." A lot of churches have some sort of "educational facility" on church property, or attached to the church itself. These facilities offer child care, as well as K-6 instruction. Frankly, their students often outperform public school students at the same grade level, so I encourage church groups to offer these schools. On Sunday however, when church services are held, is it a school or a church? In the evenings when choir practice is held, is choir practice a school event or a church event? The law is vague enough to give pause to any concealed carrier who doesn't want to go to jail.
An article appeared yesterday in the National Catholic Register that speaks to the loss of religious freedom here in the United States. The article, Papal Nuncio: Catholic Division Undermines Religious Freedom points to a split between lay catholics and by extension the Catholic Church, and their political leaders. Nancy Pelosi, John Kerry and others come to mind. But, for whatever reasons, the Church is under attack, and its practice of religion is being curtailed. This is public, and anyone paying attention knows it is happening. Go read the whole article, then come back.
When the government is seen as attacking an institution like the Church, it emboldens those who have an animosity towards the Church, for whatever grievance, to begin doing more than just grumble to whoever will listen. Some may be emboldened to physically attack the Church and its members. These events are likely to accelerate in the future. With our new three star governor in place, I hope Grass Roots North Carolina will seek to clarify this in the law, as well as go after Restaurant Carry again. We were so close.
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