The Sunday massacre at the Texas church

The Sunday massacre at the Texas church should give pause to pastors of souls.

I don’t know if that Texas church had signs at the doors indicating a “No firearms” policy, however, I know that a lot of churches do have those signs.   They strike me, and apparently nut jobs, as an indication that, here, they will find little resistance.

If I am not mistaken, an armed citizen played a role in subduing the perp who shot those innocent people in Texas.  It was a good thing that he was there.  After all, when seconds count, the police are only minutes away.  God love ’em, law enforcement officers.  I have the deepest respect and gratitude for them, but they can’t be everywhere.

Once again, I urge everyone to develop strong situational awareness skills.   Watch what is going on around you and think about what you see.  If there is something “wrong” say something.    Look at your surroundings.  Really look.

We are probably going to see more of this sort of thing.  There is also right now a strong up tick in requests for exorcisms.   Coincidence?  I think not.   In addition, watch the tone and the targets of civil unrest.   Watch and ponder the tactics of the Left… even the catholic Left.  All these things are part of an interrelated matrix.

I’ve been on the road and watching much news, but did I really see protests against protestations of prayers for the victims of the shooting?

Si vis pacem para bellum.


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. There are folks in my parish who have valuable expertise. I just got off the phone with one of them, and he and I will be meeting next week.

  2. F-14_Dave says:

    Until 2016, Texans with concealed carry permits were prohibited from carrying in places of worship, regardless of the individual church’s position. Beginning 1/1/2016, Texans can carry unless the individual church posts a notice to the contrary.

    I regularly carry at church in my home state of Pennsylvania, where the only major restriction to carrying is in any learning institution up to and including 12th grade, regardless of whether it’s public or private. Parking lots are ok.

  3. KT127 says:

    We had the Knights at Mass last Sunday, with their swords and all. They were very impressive. But maybe they should turn in their swords for more modern defenses. A row of armed Knights in the back pew would discourage many violent souls.

    I have no doubt many are carrying, but why not be more open about it. Let people know we protect our own. Let the parish know what direction to move in and who are the people they should be sure to get out of the way for.

    Being unprepared does not make us lovers of peace, it makes us sitting ducks.

  4. AlanLins says:

    According to the Archdiocese of San Antonio, it is a violation of Texas state law to conceal carry inside a church:


  5. mharden says:

    Sadly, here in the Archdiocese of San Antonio, concealed carry is prohibited by direct order of the Archbishop:

    So…anyone killed after a mass shooter stops to take time to reload…because none of them are carrying their own weapons in self-defense…died as a result of this policy.

  6. Gus Barbarigo says:

    There was only one exit at the place of the shooting, and the militant atheist controlled that exit (I’ve read). I’m told knowing where the exits are, and taking a moment to image getting there in a hurry, is a big part of being situationally aware (I hear this has saved lives in fires, and in at least one plane crash).

    I really hope the Knights of Columbus has parish security on its radar, and are planning to regularly deploy members to Masses and other Church events.

  7. LarryW2LJ says:

    This is a sad course of events. We must pray for protection for ourselves and our families and friends. Unfortunately, I fear that it is only going to get worse. As much as I value science and logic, there are supernatural forces at work and that cannot be denied.

    When you purge God from the culture. by, among (many) other things:
    1) Removing prayer from school
    2) Prohibiting posting the 10 Commandments in a public setting
    3) Insist on the removal of crosses, as they are offensive
    4) “Boo” God, not only once but three times at a major political convention
    5) “Bleep” out Jesus’ Name from a TV program, because it is offensive.
    6) Promote aberrant behaviors, fornication and contraception and abortion as societal norms.

    What else can you expect? When you reject Love and Everything that is Good; darkness and evil will rush in to fill the vacuum. And there’s no sign that the secular society is going to repent and reform anytime soon. I know we must take the lead and set a good example; but sometimes I feel like that child on the beach, trying to empty the ocean with the tiny bucket.

  8. bigtex says:

    Who cares what Church policy is, so long as concealed carry is legal. You have a right to protect your family. Just don’t go brandishing your Berreta 92fs around at coffee and doughnuts.

  9. ASPM Sem says:

    Father, what’s your opinion on priests carrying? Some seminarians argue priests can carry except when performing the sacraments, others say it’s entirely contrary to the nature of the priesthood to carry, etc. Aquinas suggests that priests shouldn’t carry swords, and the 1917 code said they shouldn’t carry firearms except in cases of extreme danger; though the equivalent 1983 canon merely says priests shouldn’t do anything unbecoming to their state in life. Rather vague.

    [I don’t see anything wrong with priests “carrying”, where it is legal to do so and provided they have proper training, like everyone else, and that they also have made sure to have insurance, and so forth. As far as “performing the sacraments” are concerned, I don’t a problem. Frankly, it would be really difficult for a priest who is, say, baptizing or saying Mass, to get at what he would be carrying, if he is properly dressed.]

  10. tzard says:

    In this regard, concealed carry has the advantage in that the attacker doesn’t know who or how many or how few are armed. Then again, a line of parishoners with AR-15’s also would provide a nice visual deterrent.

    Psalm 143 (Douay) ” Blessed be the Lord my God, who teacheth my hands to fight, and my fingers to war.”

  11. misternaser says:

    We should also look at additional ways for civilians to prepare for these types of situations. Several of my coworkers are instructors for ALICE Training, and many local organizations, including my parish, have gone through the training. I recommend it as one resource.

  12. LarryW2LJ says:

    I don’t own a gun and really don’t have a desire to own one – although that may change sooner than I’d like. But what I DO carry (and I know Father Z. does as well) is an IFAK, an Individual First Aid Kit designed for and equipped with the necessary tools to stem catastrophic bleeding. I was trained by military medivac techs as part of my county’s ongoing CERT training, and when I was trained, I had to sign an agreement that I would keep my IFAK within reach at all times as long as I am a volunteer with my county.

    You don’t have to be a First Responder or a volunteer to receive the proper training. Many local gun clubs, shooting ranges and even some motorcycle clubs offer these kind of training sessions. Please consider looking into receiving this training. It’s not as difficult as you might think. Like many people, I thought that I might get squeamish about dealing with a massive bleed. But a person with an arterial bleed can die in as little as four minutes and when your adrenaline gets pumping, all your fears about dealing with blood promptly vanish. You CAN be a life that saves a life, without carrying a gun, if you choose not to.

    [IFAK! YES!]

    Fr. Z's Gold Star Award

  13. Fern says:

    I find it interesting that no one posting has called for or demanded the St. Michael prayer be returned to the end of “every” Mass and gathering of Catholics in a parish. Now days, for some reason, spiritual warfare is the last on anyone’s list if even mentioned at all. Very Sad!

  14. TheDude05 says:

    The Dioceses of Dallas and Ft. Worth have signs posted against concealed and open carry in accordance with Texas law. I’m hoping that their Excellencies will reconsider after this tragedy, but they seem content with making us sitting martyrs to reactionary policies.

  15. Suburbanbanshee says:

    During his interview with Steven Crowder (available on YouTube), the gentleman with the AK who stopped him attributed his coolness during the firefight to the Holy Spirit coming upon him, including showing him the gap in the body armor.

    This is not how we normally think of the Holy Spirit’s “good counsel,” but it seems pretty orthodox in this case. He does help us use our gifts according to God’s will.

    (He also noted that he was not a member of the church, but usually acted as their Santa Claus to deliver presents to poor kids in the area. His beard is being grown out for this purpose.)

  16. iamlucky13 says:

    @ LarryW2LJ

    Do you have a specific kit you recommend?

    Regarding training, many workplaces also offer first aid training, especially in construction and manufacturing. We have annual courses anyone can sign up for in both first aid and CPR.

    @ bigtex
    “Who cares what Church policy is, so long as concealed carry is legal.”

    Obviously, you’re not likely to be caught, but be aware that the law generally makes the property owner the authority on the matter. If your pastor or bishop says firearms are forbidden, then it is generally a form of trespass to violate their policy.

    Regarding the USCCB’s suggestion that more effective background checks are needed, a law was passed in 2007 after the Virginia Tech shootings specifically to deal with the failures to identify people illegally buying firearms, in particular by funding work to get old records entered in the federal database and streamline the reporting of people newly ineligible. It was widely supported including by the NRA, passed by unanimous voice vote in Congress, and was signed immediately by the president. Implementation was scheduled to being in 2009.

    The NICS Improvements Act never received more than a pittance of the planned funding, despite being under the charge of an executive who had promised to look for effective ways to fight firearms violence in ways that would not affect the law-abiding.

    It seems like nobody is talking about this. Congressmen on both sides of the aisle who set the final budget, and the president who creates the original budget request completely dropped the ball.

  17. jaykay says:

    Fern says: “I find it interesting that no one posting has called for or demanded the St. Michael prayer be returned to the end of “every” Mass and gathering of Catholics in a parish.”

    I think one could take it for granted that practically everyone posting here, in this or other threads, does indeed support the St. Michael prayer being recited again. Many of course are fortunate to be able to attend TLMs where it is, naturally, recited – and even at some NO Masses (including in my own Parish – at some). However, it was/is never recited at the end of “every” Mass, only Low Masses.

    LarryW2LJ – yes, excellent point.

  18. Reginald Pole says:

    I never strap on my sidearm without first reciting the St.Michael Prayer. I ask St. Michael to protect and guide me if I am ever called upon to protect others.

  19. Suburbanbanshee says:

    I forgot to mention that the gentleman who stopped the shooter is not having the easiest time, with his stress after the fact or with all the intrusive paparazzi and stupid Internet comments.

    We should pray for him and his neighbor with the car.

    Of course, we should also pray for the souls of the dead, including that of the shooter. (Although yeah, not much hope that he saw the light in that final second, it’s still possible.)

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