Guns in Church

For centuries, churches have been safe havens. In recent years, hundreds of America’s faith based sanctuaries have been turned into crime scenes. In 2014, 176 deadly force incidents were documented at churches and faith based organizations in the U.S., claiming the lives of 74 people.
Guns and churches are two words normally not found in the same sentence. In today’s world, especially lately, that has changed. Local pastors aren’t turning a blind eye to these disturbing events. Just ask J.L. Franklin, pastor of Morning Star Baptist Church in Gulfport. “It’s a terrible thing because we are people of faith, precisely because we operate by faith, we live by faith, we don’t live in fear,” said Franklin.
House Bill 786, known as the Mississippi Church Protection Act, would allow Mississippi’s churches to designate members of their congregation to carry guns. The aim of this bill is to protect church goers, especially in the wake of shootings like the one last June in Charleston where a gunman killed nine people at a church, including the pastor.
The bill narrowly passed through the state Senate, 36 to 24. Pastor Franklin does not want to resort to this gun-toting measure. “We have a lot of space here. So, we’ve beefed up here and around our campus here at the church. We want to make sure we’re able to see and watch.”
Morning Star Church operates 24 security cameras. They have plans to install eight more security cameras in the next several weeks. “In today’s culture, the way we’re living now, it is probably a necessity,” said parishioner Katherine Zanders.
One thing is certain, whatever happens with bill 786, these parishioners are standing fast, choosing to walk each day by faith and not in fear.

Categories: Local News, Mississippi State News, News

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