COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO. - It's become fashionable among gun control proponents to mock Republican politicians who offer "thoughts and prayers" in the wake of every shooting.
Their point is that thoughts and prayers are not a substitute for action that could save lives. Of course, there is the innate offensiveness to people of faith when prayer is mocked as meaningless. People of faith hold all kinds of views on guns but they're united in their belief that prayer isn't silly or useless.
There are people of faith who are also people of action. The congregation at New Life Church in Colorado Springs is a good example of that. When a shooter walked into that church a decade ago, he was met by a woman with a gun. Jeanne Assam was a volunteer security guard who shot the gunman and pinned him down to prevent more than the two deaths that happened.
The church's senior pastor is Brady Boyd. He says churches need to understand they're a target.
"We're not living in Mayberry anymore," he said. "America is a violent place and we have a proliferation of guns that are made for the military that is in circulation all over our country."
For that, Boyd said all churches need to have a police presence during services because they're public meeting spaces.
"You don't go to a mall, you don't go to a Broncos game, you don't go to an outdoor concert where there's not security," Boyd said. And to him, churches are no different and all of them need to have a security plan in place. For the record, Boyd practices what he preaches.
"If someone who has ill-intent comes on to our property, the first thing they're going to see is a police car," Boyd said. "If they walk in our lobby, there is an armed police officer in our lobby and it gives our people at New Life a sense of assurance that we're taking security seriously."
Boyd said if a church can't afford to have a police officer on site during its service, they should have a security guard or a volunteer from the congregation.
"There just needs to be some kind of security presence in every church of every size," he said. "That will go a long way in deterring these violent acts, in my opinion."
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