Well, this blog is mainly about “sorting out the crazies”…so I have to report on “the crazies”. Security or no security, we have had houses of worship for millenia and never had the need for “security” in a church, temple, mosque or other places off worship. This, in my opinion is quite weird.
If you’re like most Americans, there’s probably been a time in your life when you’ve been sitting in church, listening to a particularly ennui-inducing homily or enduring another warbly version of “Holy Holy Holy” and thought, “Man! I could really reach for some steel right now, squeeze off a few rounds, and let these fools know what the score is!” Well, in Louisiana, Governor Bobby Jindal has recently signed into law a measure that would allow you to at least feel comforted by the presence of your gun in the house of the Lord. From the New Orleans Times-Picayune:
Gov. Bobby Jindal has signed into law one of the more controversial bills from the recent legislative session, one allowing guns to be carried into houses of worship.[...]
[State Representative Henry] Burns’ [R-Haughton] bill would authorize persons who qualified to carry concealed weapons having passed the training and background checks to bring them to churches, mosques, synagogues or other houses of worship as part of a security force.
I am only too sure that a law allowing mosque-goers to carry guns to service will not rile up Louisiana’s paranoiacs at all!
Some restrictions apply. The “head of the religious institution” would have to “announce verbally or in weekly newsletters or bulletins that there will be individuals armed on the property as members of the security force,” and those lucky individuals would have to receive “eight hours of tactical training each year.”
So, why is all of this necessary? Basically, Representative Burns is concerned about a possible “First Sunday scenario“:
Burns contended that religious institutions in crime-ridden or “declining neighborhoods” need the added protection to ward off thieves and muggers.
The Times-Picayune notes that the same law permitting houses of worship to gun up also allows them “hire off-duty police or security guards to protect congregants” which, on balance, would seem to be the saner option.