I had a long think about the title of this post. I could have called it the “Gun-Free Zone of the Day” or “Ostensibly Gun-Free Zone of the Day.” But we’re in the truth-telling business. There’s no sugar-coating it on these pages: so-called gun-free zones are actually target rich environments for criminals and psychotics. Anyone who posts a “no guns allowed” sign outside their home, business or place of worship is a candidate for a Darwin Award. We’re pointing that out in the [vague] hope that the perpetrators of these perp-friendly zones will reconsider their decision or, at least, take down the damn signs. Which, we hear, are going up at Episcopalian churches in Georgia. Check this out [via ajc.com] . . .

Episcopal churches in Middle and North Georgia have banned firearms from their sanctuaries after Gov. Nathan Deal’s approval of legislation that widely expands the state’s gun laws.

Bishop Robert Wright of the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta issued the directive Monday, telling church leaders and parishioners that the only exception to the policy will be on-duty law enforcement officers.

“My judgment and this policy are based on the normative understanding of the teachings of Jesus as the Episcopal Church has received them,” Wright wrote in a letter about House Bill 60, which takes effect July 1. “This matter and I hope this policy afford us yet another opportunity to live the words we pray each week.”

Someone with a better knowledge of religious affiliations than I might suggest that Episcopalians are about as controversial as Little Debbie’s Cosmic Cupcakes and, thus, unlikely to attract religious terrorists. But I couldn’t possibly comment. Except to say that crazy is out there somewhere. Maybe even looking for a place to attack innocent life without danger of lethal retaliation. Someplace like . . . a gun-free zone.

Wright was among more than 200 religious leaders in Georgia who opposed the measure, including Catholic Archbishop Wilton Gregory and Rabbi Peter Berg of The Temple synagogue in Atlanta.

Oh dear.

100 Responses to Target Rich Environment of the Day: GA Episcopalian Churches

    • So that they more effectively “deal with” shooters.

      The Episcopalians are a bit of an unusual bunch

    • Good question. Is he saying that the teachings of Jesus don’t apply to on duty police?

      • On-duty police responding to a crime cannot be barred anyway, so I guess he’s just recognizing that.

        • Who said anything about “responding to a crime?” The Bishop’s directive makes an exception for “on-duty” police officers, which is a much wider mandate than merely those responding to a crime. The Bishop expressly endorses a system of State-favoratism segregation and dedition before evil. It’s disgusting and un-Godly.

        • Paul? Hell if I know. Maybe every day. Maybe infrequently. Maybe never. Regardless, the frequency is always irrelevant. It’s like asking how often you’ve personally been attacked, as justification for allowing you to exercise your 2A rights. It doesn’t matter. Your God-given rights are your own and don’t have to be justified or authorized on any empirical basis. That line of reasoning subordinates civil rights to what’s practical, reasonable, or plausible in someone else’s eyes; namely the State’s. That kind of thinking is what got us may-issue licensing schemes.

          Whether cops show up regularly on duty is irrelevant. What matters is that this man believes in denying God-given rights to all but badge-wearing people, and that betrays his duty to God.

          Yes, yes, yes, I know, this is church property, so he has the right to exclude guns howsoever he chooses. I get it and I agree he has that right. I’m just saying that anyone who would exercise their property rights in this manner, creating a subclass of people who shall not be armed on the premises, is readily amenable to imposing disarmament and establishing second class citizenry throughout society. Don’t be fooled: his apartheid thinking doesn’t end at the church’s front door.

  1. Y’know, this article just made me think of this in a way I had never thought of before….

    The people that push for gun free zone signs are largely the same group of people that advocate placing a burglar alarm sign in your yard even if you don’t have one.

    How do you reconcile lying to gain personal security in one case but ACTUALLY giving up personal security in another?

    • Absolutely!

      But the collective we still may “Tsk, tsk…” in the same way as we would a smoker puffing away while pumping gasoline.

      If both cases, it’s best to be elsewhere.

        • Only under certain conditions, anyway, when the fuel-to-air ratio is just right. The flash point of motor gasoline is rather low, and the end of a cigarette is hot enough to sear flesh (~700 F).

          I’ve seen a 55-gallon drum of jet fuel put out a lit cigarette, though.

        • Usually not, but it will ignite gasoline vapour as would a glow plug; on a warm, still day the vapour rushing from the tank can get pretty thick.

          I saw the aftermath once in California as an EMT; that was especially bad as the fool was holding the vapour recovery hood back by hand to keep the pump going (early hoods were a PAIN) and the vapour was shooting out in a jet right at his face. Also, there wasn’t a real fire suppression system; this was long, long ago.

          Not saying it will happen, but it can – just like a church shoot ’em up.

          Ths gal got off really lucky:

  2. “My rod and my staff, they comfort me.” 😉

    “If a man comes to slay you, rise up and slay him first.”

    It is especially odd to see gun-control advocacy among Jews; it is a rabbinical legal dictum that against homicidal intent, self-defense is not only permitted, but required.

    The mind boggles.

    • You will find that most “Rabbis” who oppose armed self-defense are either totally ignorant or totally dismissive of Rabbinic teaching. The same applies to their parishioners [and I use the word advisedly].

      Incidentally, that “homicidal intent” should be modified to “probable homicidal intent.” And according to Rabbinic authorities, that means anybody except for your closest friends – i.e., someone you would trust with your life.

    • “But if someone has a gun and is trying to kill you … it would be reasonable to shoot back with your own gun.” – the 14th Dalai Lama

      • Hadn’t thought about that one in quite a while.

        He does go on to say that one should attempt to disable rather than kill, but still…

        • According to the TeeVee, in the Wild West the really good good guys could draw in a millisecond, shoot from the hip and hit the bad guy in the trigger finger.
          [EDIT]
          ‘scuse me – booger hook.

  3. “We’re pointing that out in the [vague] hope that the perpetrators of these perp-friendly zones will reconsider their decision or, at least, take down the damn signs.”

    I think not so much vague, as forlorn.

  4. hahaha quote of the day!

    “Anyone who posts a “no guns allowed” sign outside their home, business or place of worship is a candidate for a Darwin Award”

  5. I like the truth in the title. Thanks for giving it serious thought and putting it out there.

    That’s EXACTLY what “Gun Free Zones” are. Let’s just ask Susannah Gratia Hupp and Nikki Goeser how it worked for them and their families.

    As far as I’m concerned, the blood of every violent attack in every “Free Crime Zone” is on the hands of the person(s) who made the decision to pass that law or hang that sign.

    Yes, it is private property. No sweat there. But…they also bear the consequence of the decisions they make. This is especially pointed in the case where they are also NOT providing any kind of active security.

    At least the airlines went to the Air Marshal program. Planes are “gun free zones,” it’s just that the bad guy does not know who can fight back.

  6. I wonder if I’m the only one to instantly think of Dirk and Shannon upon clicking on the Little Debbies link?

    • (1) I am on a diet

      (2) I don’t like Little Debbie’s snacks (I got hazed while pledging in college by a frat brother who made me go get them for him)

      (3) I cannot express a desire to procreate with someone with visible cold sores.. . . . oops, did I let out her secret? And yes, there is proof. 🙂

    • Once, during the Twinkie drought, I bought a thing of Little Debbie Cloud Cakes, and they were better. The cake was firmer, with a more well-defined crumb and texture, and just barely perceptibly sweeter. The creme stuff was pretty much the same, but because of the firmer cake, didn’t squish out so bad.

      • The cake component of Twinkies, while having a pleasant, orangey flavor, are in reality only something to get a grip on, whilst sucking out the strangely-addictive, creamy vanilla filling.

        Years ago in the burg, there was a Hostess factory, and on the outside was a large pipe that said, “filling”, that tanker trucks would pull up to and pump that filling into tanks inside the factory….

    • They do. You couldn’t carry in Georgia churches until the latest law which makes it legal only if the church allows it.

  7. I think he might want to go back and do a little reading if he thinks Jesus isn’t down with the People of the Gun.

    “Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one.”

    • I believe there is scriptural impetus to being armed, but that’s not it. There is no literal command in the bible to be armed. That’s the one verse often pulled out of context (somewhat grossly) to suggest it. I’ll not bog down the comments with discussion, just know you can make theological arguments for being armed, but that’s not one of them.

  8. How does this nitwit get the authority to decide for so many other people what they may do? Does he personally OWN all these facilities? If it is because of his religious wonderfulhood, why doesn’t he go ahead and ban firearms in all the homes and businesses of Episcopalians in the area, and hey, Catholics and Jews as well? Why not? This is why concealed carry is good. Just ignore the jackass. And if you get the chance, TELL him you’re ignoring him.

  9. This is one thing that consistently bugs me about Christianity. A lot of different denominations seem like they’d rather be weeping martyrs and sheep rather than warriors. That and its slave morality have forever turned me off and kept me from considering it as a religion I’d adopt (or re-adopt).

    At least the Roman and Germanic pagan religions valued heroism, strength, bravery and honor. Do you think they had a fear of weapons?

    • While I don’t expect my thoughts to sway you toward Christianity I would like to point out that many denominations are quite far from following the Bible and/or Jesus’ teaching both in this area as well as many others. I grew up in an Episcopal church and have since found a non-denominational church that simply tries to study and follow the Bible, keep Jesus as the focus with a goal to model our church as it was in the book of Acts (ie: pre-denominational splits). You’d never see a “No-Guns” sign on our church and most of the Christians that I know who actually believe the Bible very much value; heroism, strength, bravery and honor.

      There is a great website that lays out the actual scripture in regards to self defense, (no I don’t run it). http://www.biblicalselfdefense.com/

      The Episcopals (& many others) have a pick and choose approach to scripture, which is a poor way to study the Bible.

      Just my thoughts…

      • Well said Chris. Also, I would point out that there is no Biblical doctrine that would support “denominations”, as these are inventions of men.

        Further…. He took a cord, knotted it up and beat the money changers (Bankers). Panty wetting leftist pacifist? I think not.

      • Hmmm….the tree of Judeo-Christianity is very broad and rich. I think time has demonstrated that it’s broadness has borne many kinds of fruit with spectacular value.

  10. Proverbs 27:12 (NLT) A prudent person foresees danger and takes precautions. The simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences.

  11. Maybe they are confused. The original bill (HB 875) required churches to opt-out of allowing licensees to carry if they didn’t want them to be able to carry in church. That was ultimately changed, and the compromise bill (HB 60) requires churches to opt-in if they want to allow licensees to be able to carry during church.

    • The intent of the action is to prevent subordinate churches from voting to allow carry. The Bishop can impose the order upon them and did so in a preemptive strike.

  12. We at Everytown for Gun Safety™ applaud the Episcopalian Churches for having #gunsense and standing up for those #gunbullies in the #OogaBoogaNRA who want #GunsEverywhere.

    After all, as peirsonb so adequately said, nobody ever wants to attack a religious building for any reason, ever.

    • I’m going to blush….

      Please tell me that #OogaBoogaNRA is an actual, active Twitter hashtag….

      • It is, but only used condescendingly and mostly by @bigfatdave and @bhrondeau. I like to think I started #OogaBoogaGuns, because I like it so much.

        • Hmmm…..maybe I’ll have to start taking it back like folks have done with #gunsense.

        • @peirsonb: When I said “condescendingly,” I meant that they use it to mock anti-gunners who blame everything on the NRA.

  13. On the political scale, Episcopalians are definitely more left-leaning than, say, Baptists. Not as far left as Anglicans and a little farther than Catholics.

    • Well Jim R, remind me never to take anything you say about religion seriously. Until recently Episcopalians were sole representative of the Anglican Church in the United States. The traditionalists split off to form the Anglican Church in North America. While the official body under the Archbishop of Canterbury still nominally recognizes the Episcopal Church as a member of the communion the American church is considered way out of the Anglican mainstream.

      I grew up as a member of the Episcopal Church but was/is a Lutheran theologically so about 15 years ago I joined Pastor Paul’s version of that denomination.

  14. The penalties for getting caught obeying these signs far exceeds the penalty for being caught ignoring them.

  15. The new Georgia law allows individual churches to opt out of the “guns everywhere law” so while not wise the Bishop is exercising his legitimate authority under the Canons of the Episcopal Church. This may not be a wise decision but it is within the good Bishops authority to do so.

    Now Virginia has an opt in policy to carry. Under the law carrying a firearm into a public worship service, not the church itself for any other function, is against the law unless there is good and sufficient reason, i.e., you are woman be stalked, etc, or if you have the Pastor’s permission. I have my Pastor’s permission but usually don’t carry because I am uncomfortable doing so under normal circumstances.

    • Has that fool Herring countermanded Cuccinelli’s AG opinion that self defense constitutes “good and sufficient reason?”

      • Not that I know of but he probably will get around to it. It really is up to the Pastor. If he oks it then you aren’t in violation of the law.

  16. Luke 22:36
    New International Version (NIV)
    36 He said to them, “But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one.

    They didn’t have pistols back then, but I imagine the same could just as easily apply. Jesus seems to not have a problem with defensive arms after all!

  17. As a matter if FYI…

    In 1979 the Episcopal Church’s general convention stipulated that each local congregation’s property is held in trust for the national church body and the congregation’s diocese.

    So, yes, an Episcopalian Bishop does have the authority to say what this bishop said.

  18. Sent a comment to their site this morning pointing out that they were making a target of their congregations and informing them that all mass firearms murders except two since 1950 have been in “Gun Free Zones.”
    Then I pointed them to resources where they could connect with reality.
    No one has right to “turn the other cheek” on behalf of another person! I don’t care if you’re a president or pope, you don’t have the right to tell me I cannot defend myself.

  19. Ok I’m a bit confused as to the purpose of the included video. Was what he said some code that founds his decision theological grounds? As far as the gun free zone signs, there are those round here that are fairly well armed that have been talking about putting up the signs. I’m guessing as bait but who knows…

  20. I fully respect their right to decide for themselves, but why announce it? This is one of those rare stories that makes me more concerned than angry. I’d really hate to see some nut drawn to the church for no other reason than that he knows it’s ultra-soft, defense wise.

  21. And the liberals speak……..So be it.
    The boys have always carried in church and they always will. Law or no law. The Bishop knows this full well. Just political posturing.

  22. “Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves” Matthew 10:16, may God protect them, because they have chosen not to protect themselves.

  23. I say we ask the bishop how tithes compare after July 1st when other churches pull on the victim enhancement zone argument. . . . .

    I also think it is stupid they are even making their policy apply to off-duty police. Yeah, I understand they are not “special” but the sheeple at least seem to understand that a cop is always a cop.

  24. Being a devout Christian and knowing my bible. I have to completely disagree with this bishop’s interpretation. There was a reason Jesus told his disciples to carry swords, for their protection. He is obviously mixing in the “turn the other cheek” (which is talking about being insulted, not being attacked) and the “he who lives by the sword shall die by the sword” (which is to resort to violence) and making it out that Jesus says for us to be completely helpless. He is dead wrong!

    • It would be fitting if Jesus came back to smite this Bishop mightily upon his red nose. But I really couldn’t blame him for never coming back.

  25. There are some denominations in the USA which are becoming worldly. Instead of proclaiming Christ risen and the Gospel, they look for ways to receive worldly approval in their doctrine. This almost always requires editing Christ, because we know from 2000 years of experience that the world and Christianity are not exactly compatible.

    It’s not a new problem; but this is how it looks today.

    Disarming for Church is at least a very old Christian tradition, so while I can understand trusting in the Lord for my protection there, I’d rather mister Smith and mister Wesson were invited to the party.

  26. I am an Episcopalian, so all of you haters are going straight to hell. Just kidding. Anyway, during mass, there was a guy in a baggy hoodie who was fidgiting etc. An older parishoner came up to me and said, “Jay, see that guy, he’s nuts and we might need some of your MP skills…” To which I replied, “I’m not an MP but I have a Glock in my car.” I didn’t bring the Glock into the church but remained ready to bumrush the crazy dude had the need arose. Further, just because it is a sanctuary doesn’t mean the need for self defense doesn’t exist there. Theologically, I do not see how concealed weapons are counter to the Bible. It is “thou shall not murder” not “kill.” Murder is a defined term. With thou shall not murder, it absolves self defense and Soldiers from killing whereas the “kill” term is a lot looser.

    • A Virginian goes up to his Rector and says “Mr. Smith, can a non-Episcopalian get into heaven?”

      Mr. Smith replies thusly: “I am sure he can, but no gentleman would admit to it..”

    • Jay, what was the outcome, if you can tell?

      George Tiller was gunned down in a church service. Jeanne Assam stopped a premeditated mass shooting at a church. Not to be alarmist, but how long until Islamist crazies shoot up an Easter or Christmas service? They do it in Iraq, Syria and Egypt.

      • What’s more likely (for now) is a muzzie invading a church during services, spreading out his prayer rug in the sanctuary and then reciting Shahada & other muzzie chants which have the instant effect of making said church a mosque under muzzie ownership forever.

        Happened in UK & France; no reports of police intervention or parishioners ejecting the muzzie.

        • I thought in France it was the authorities (law enforcement) that removed the muslim. It was on Easter Sunday.

    • Fellow Frozen Chosen here. Somehow I don’t see the Atlanta Diocese’s directive (or anything similar) going over particularly well in my diocese.

      (And if this sort of thing gets brought up at General Convention next year, we need to be contacting our delegates to let them know our thoughts.)

  27. BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY!!! BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY!!!

    Write to each of the Episcopalian pastors who have signed on to this drivel, and offer them an opportunity for their flock of sheep to “properly dispose of any unwanted guns in a safe and legal manner”. Offer a $25 gift card at a store of their choice to anyone who wants to “safely and legally dispose of a gun”. Tell them that any guns turned in will be disposed of by any of several safe and legal methods, including melting them down, welding them into an art project, cutting them up, or other safe methods of disposal. Be sure to get a bill of sale from the people who turn them in to you.

    Did I mention that putting them in your gun safe or selling them to a legal buyer was a safe and legal method of disposal? (You may want to keep them at your home for a year or so, just so it isn’t too obvious.) I am sure these wonderful anti-gun clerics could find a few suckers (oops, concerned citizens) that you could help.

    [Note: the author is not a lawyer nor a resident of Georgia, the preceding is offered only as a sarcastic bit of humor, and is no way intended to represent legal advice or encouragement to do anything that might be illegal of offensive yadda yadda.}

  28. So I assume they are pacifists who eschew military or police service and self-defense in general…?

  29. The Bible in 1 Samuel 13:17-20 refutes everything that these so called ministers and rabbis of God (actually ministers of government) teach about gun ownership

    “And raiders came out of the camp of the Philistines in three companies,one company turned to the way that leads to Ophrah unto the land of Shual. And another company turned toward Beth- Horon, and another company turned toward the border which overlooks the valley of Zeboim toward the wilderness.
    Now there was no blacksmith found throughout the land of Israel for the Philistines said lest the Hebrews make them swords and spears. So all Israel went down to the Philistines to sharpen every man his plowshare and his mattock and his ax and his sickle.”

  30. +1 Hannibal. No shortage of armed individuals at the large Baptist church we’ve been attending. You takes yer chances.

  31. A 100-150 years ago, that’s fine. No guns in the church sanctuary. The thing is, even (most of) the bad guys had enough fear of God to follow that rule. Violence in the church or was one of the most heinous crimes imaginable.

    Today? Not so much.

  32. This reminds me of a National Review cover from about 20 years ago: “Are there any Episcopalians in foxholes?”

  33. There are churches that have security teams. Trained plain clothes off duty police officers and CCW permit holders. Who qualify 4 times a year on a course similar to that used by the US Secret Service, because one of the team leaders is a retired USSS agent. Those individuals also do shooting competitions, Front Site, and practice hand to hand combat. Should an emergency arise, they can provide an armed response. All members are required to carry a handgun between 9mm and .45, handcuffs, flashlight, knife, radio with surveillance kit, ID, and ID pins.

    The church has a specific manual outlining use of force policies and emergency procedures. Team members have communication with on duty police officers, who also provide outside traffic control. Should a shooting incident arise, team members will deploy their uniquely issued DSM banners to be recognizable to responding law enforcement members. Team members are also trained in CPR and First Aid, and have access to stretchers and AEDs.

    • FOUR TIMES a year? That seems a bit extreme, besides being a major time drain. Or is the training so poor that it’s forgotten in only 3 months?

      Imagine having to qualify on a bicycle every 3 months.

  34. It would be lovely if Churches were truly treated as sanctuaries from violence by even the basest criminals. To the degree that that was ever a reality, that ended before the 16th century. Partially due to the lessening of adherence to the faith (the paradoxical thug who acknowledges he has chosen the bad part, but respects the faith enough to cross himsel as he passes by a Church) and partially due to the decrease in enforcement of the taboo of violating such spaces. In the high middle ages, a man who committed homicide was excommunicated and not even allowed into Church unless he confessed the crime publicly (lest another be charged for it) and repented. And even many without the intent to repent respected the fact of their estrangement. Besides, Churches had a minor order of porters (lowest of the clergy) whose job was basically security…to keep those who would do harm out.

    Sadly that is no longer the case. The Catholic Church I went to for Easter recognized that, and being in a not so good neighborhood had armed security and at least one of the priests I know supports CCW among the congregation.

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