This evening, I will be presenting a seminar at a local church on the topic of church order and safety. During my research for this seminar, I found a resource from a gentleman, Carl Chinn, who has been tracking violent incidents on church property since 1999.
Of major interest to me was the following, tracking incidents from 1999 to the present:
Attacks resulting in the death of others: 168 Not all of those attacks involved someone rushing in to kill people, and some involved seemingly random events that just happened to take place on church property.
Number of those attacks stopped short by the authorities: 5 (less than 3%)
Number of those attacks stopped short by others: 7 (a little over 4%)
Number of those attacks that did not stop until the attacker was finished: 156 (almost 93%!)
In 93 percent of those cases, the attacker decided when to start the attack, who to attack, and then, when to finish. Many churches refuse to talk about security, for whatever reason. That doesn't make the risk go away. Churches who depend entirely on good will and a good name to protect them from violence are being foolish.
Violence does not make an appointment, nor does it respect. When the attack comes, those at risk are already behind the curve. All the arming, training, and preparing we do is simply to allow us to catch up a bit faster than the attacker can react.