Local Churchgoers Take Proactive Approach To Thwart Church Shootings


In an age of dramatically increased attention and awareness of mass shootings, many individuals and organizations have begun to take steps to prepare potential victims to survive such horrifying and deadly occurrences in the unlikely event that they ever find themselves involved in such a situation.

While for many on the left, the solution to mass shootings is further efforts to undermine the Second Amendment and disarm law-abiding citizens, others have taken more proactive steps that don’t include restricting the citizenry’s constitutional rights.

Some businesses and schools have engaged in active shooter drills or hired armed guards to help protect innocent people, and even some churches have gotten into the mix as well, in an effort to keep members of the congregation safe from potential harm.

WJBF in Augusta, Georgia, reported on a recent self-defense seminar at the Whole Life Ministries church in Augusta, a seminar open to any who are interested from the surrounding Central Savannah River Area, which encompasses parts of Georgia and South Carolina.

The report noted that since 1999, there have been at least 18 church shootings across the United States, three of which occurred in Georgia and one which took place in South Carolina.

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“Sitting at church, anything could happen and we all have the same feelings, the same questions, because what makes this situation different than others like schools and government buildings is we have to find balance between an open-door ministry — which is what the church is — as well as a safe environment for those that choose to worship and to worship without threat or distraction,” said Zachary Goodwin, a member of The Hill Baptist Church.

“When it happens, it happens, and that’s why we have these types of seminars, is to get a routine of what to do in that situation,” Goodwin continued. He later added, “It’s important for us to remain situationally aware in a world that is changing.”

Check out the WJBF report here:

The seminar was held on March 2, and involved not only frank discussions of the potential threat churches face, but also tactics and techniques congregation members could utilize to keep themselves safe or even fight back against an assailant or shooter.

Aaron Cohrs, head of the security detail at Whole Life Ministries, said the threat is real.

“I think Christianity has been under attack since Jesus walked on the earth and I think just as time has sped up and things have gone on, it’s become more and more under attack.

“I think the church just has to stand up for what we believe in,” he added.

When it came to how to fight back against an attacker, the seminar largely focused on unarmed fighting techniques, specifically the Israeli style of self-defense known as Krav Maga.

Self-defense expert and instructor Tony Price said, “It’s a no-nonsense system. It’s a gross motor skill system, so what that means is it’s very easy to learn. It’s very easy to remember and, most importantly, it’s easy to perform under stress.”

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Should more churches be proactive about defending themselves?

Cohrs noted that the ultimate goal would be to peacefully resolve or neutralize a potential threat to church-goers, but acknowledged that it would be a good thing for the congregation to be prepared for any eventuality by having some self-defense training to fall back on in such a situation.

This is incredible, as these church-goers aren’t demanding that other people be stripped of their right to keep and bear arms or cowering in fear of a potential shooting, but instead are proactively taking steps to better defend themselves in such an unlikely eventuality.

Learning self-defense techniques, in addition to having some people armed with concealed firearms, is an excellent way to not only help keep church-goers safe, but empower them with the confidence to look after and protect themselves, rather than wait as sitting duck targets for the cavalry to arrive while a shooter takes his time murdering innocent people.

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Ben Marquis is a writer who identifies as a constitutional conservative/libertarian. He has written about current events and politics for The Western Journal since 2014. His focus is on protecting the First and Second Amendments.
Ben Marquis has written on current events and politics for The Western Journal since 2014. He reads voraciously and writes about the news of the day from a conservative-libertarian perspective. He is an advocate for a more constitutional government and a staunch defender of the Second Amendment, which protects the rest of our natural rights. He lives in Little Rock, Arkansas, with the love of his life as well as four dogs and four cats.
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