So today when I was in church, a lady gave me a big hug and when she did, she immediately noticed that I was carrying my off-duty sidearm in an IWB holster. And not being shy about such things, she asked me why I felt I had to bring a gun into church.
"Well let me tell you," I said. I explained that I had not always done so, because it just didn't seem right to bring a weapon into God's house. Surely God can protect his flock, right? But then I thought about it one day, and I realized that maybe God's plan for protecting it was me.
I went on to explain to her that I was trained and commissioned to protect the public, both when I'm on duty and off. While I only get paid for 40 hours or so, I, like most cops, am never really truly "off duty" and I'm expected to take action when emergencies arise. Granted, serious crimes in churches are rare, but they're not unheard of in this country, especially these past few years. Armed crazies have attacked church congregations before, often with devastating results. And while such a thing will probably never happen in MY church, I could not live with myself if it did and I was unable to do anything about it because I'd made the decision to leave my primary lifesaving tool at home. Sorry, but as a trained professional, I owe a duty to the public and to those around me, and that includes my friends and fellow church members, and yes, even God Himself. I would not want to have to stand before Him some day and try to explain why I'd let His sheep get slaughtered by a wolf because I'd chosen to make His church the one place that I did not go prepared to respond to evil. By department order and by my own choice, I carry my firearm virtually everywhere else "just in case" and I'm always ready to defend perfect strangers if the need arises; how could I shirk that responsibility in a place filled with people that I know and love?
So yeah, I carry my pistol to church. I don't apologize for it, and I have it there so that I won't ever have to apologize for not having it there.
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