Tennessee Church Shooting Once Again Highlights Second Amendment Discussion

“Regardless if it is one or not, that does not change the fact it happened, and that an armed usher was able to stop it before the police could respond.”

With the shooting in Tennessee on Sunday September 24, with one person killed and seven wounded, it brings to the forefront a couple of issues. The first is that the person accused of the shooting comes from Sudan, one of the countries on President Trump’s travel ban. It is reported he came to America over two decades ago.

But more importantly, this shooting brings to the forefront the need for laws allowing people to be armed in places of worship if they wish. This shooter was stopped by an usher named Robert Engle who is 22 years old. Engle had to go to his car to retrieve his firearm. Once he returned to the church he was able to confront the shooter and held him at gunpoint until police arrived, undoubtedly saving lives in the process.

What many people do not realize is in some states it is illegal to take your legally licensed concealed firearm into your place of worship. In my state of Florida it is legal, but then a lot of churches, mine included, have a private school on the same grounds. This creates a grey area where some think that it prevents the legal carry of firearms on the entire church grounds. To clear this issue up, this year a bill has been filed in the state legislature to allow licensed carriers to carry in church if the school is a private one run by the church. This only makes sense.

At my church we have a “security team” of volunteers who are training and learning how to respond to different events. Fires, medical events, and yes, even an armed attacker, are all considered. And yes, many of us on the team are armed, legally licensed and lawfully carrying of course. We must do what we can to protect the flock.

We need laws to protect lawful, legally carrying citizens from being arrested for doing nothing more than trying to protect themselves and their fellow citizens. There should be no such thing as gun-free zones, with only rare exceptions.

The shooting in Tennessee is being investigated as a possible civil rights violation or hate crime. Regardless if it is one or not, that does not change the fact it happened, and that an armed usher was able to stop it before the police could respond. Yes #gunsense and Everytown for Gun Safety, good guys with guns do stop mass shootings, this is just another incident that proves it.

If you are legally allowed to carry a firearm or licensed to carry a firearm in your state, do so. Get training to be proficient with your firearm of choice. And make sure that you are ready to provide a safe and secure environment for your family and fellow citizens.

To review previous reporting on this topic please read my articles title Being a Responsible Firearm Owner Requires Constant Training and a Willingness to Learn and Prepare Both Physically and Mentally, Your Life Will Depend On It


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Chris Wagoner

Chris Wagoner is a U.S. Army Veteran and has been in law enforcement the last 35+ years. He specializes in LE Firearms Instruction, and is in charge of a large Police Academy in North Florida. In his spare time Chris is a freelance writer and posts his articles on "Down Range with Chris Wagoner".

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