News over the weekend, which was accompanied by footage streamed on Youtube, is haunting America’s churchgoers as a gunman opened fire on a congregation in White Settlement, Texas, before being expertly dispatched by a church attender with his own firearm. Before it was over, a half-dozen firearms were raised by the congregation.
There were more than 240 worshippers present at the West Freeway Church of Christ at the time of the shooting.
The church members who returned fire and others who drew their firearms but did not pull the trigger were not paid church security, but an unpaid volunteer security team made up of congregants. It is likely that some others seen pulling their firearms were not a part of the security team, but ordinary armed civilians.
A Texas state law went into effect in September 2017 that permits churches to have armed volunteer security. The law also allows handgun owners to bring firearms into a place of worship as long as the church allows it. Another law passed earlier this year required churches to give notice to their congregations if they want to ban guns.
Churches, synagogues, and mosques were previously off limits to gun owners, but lawmakers decided to lift the restriction in response to the 2017 Sutherland Springs church shooting.
Ironically, Democrats were calling for gun bans in churches immediately following the shooting.
Senator Beverly Powell called for more anti-gun legislation.
Beto O’Rourke echoed sentiments for more gun control.
Julian Castro did as well.
At the time the law changed in Texas to allow congregants to carry sidearms, current Democratic Primary candidate, Joe Biden, claimed such a move was “irrational.”
“Dealing with firearms, it is irrational, with all due respect to the governor of Texas, irrational what they are doing.On the very day you see a mass shooting … and we’re talking about loosening access to have guns, to be able to take them into places of worship, it’s just absolutely irrational. It’s totally irrational.”
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