QUESTION #3: Do you think people should carry a concealed weapon to a public event or church service, and how can we reconcile our duty to trust the Lord while preparing to defend ourselves in the event of an attack?


Huascar Rivera:

“Well, certainly if someone wants to protect themselves with a firearm they certainly have the right to do so, but I believe it is very important that if a person chooses to do so in this fashion that they should do so only after the proper training experience, I believe I alluded to this earlier, and also after obtaining the proper permits for their jurisdiction. In other words, I don’t think people should just run to a local gun shop and purchase a firearm. That’s not enough. Improperly handling a firearm could lead to unintentional injury to self or others, so you’re actually becoming more of a danger to others and yourself than you were actually seeking to prevent. I think it’s very important that if you’re going to protect with a firearm you do so after proper training.

Also, with respect to carrying a firearm at a place like a church I think the same applies. People should act in kind when going to church and carrying a firearm. However, I think there’s a larger question when it comes to churches and private organizations. Do they want firearms carried in their churches? I suppose there are varied opinions on this. I know as a citizen what my opinion would be. That would be I hope that I could carry wherever I go. However, I can understand why certain public or private agencies don’t accept this.

I think it’s important for churches to have the conversation so that they know as a body how they want to approach this… If a church would choose to try to protect themselves, provide better security for themselves, let’s say during a service or what not, it must also be accompanied by the appropriate monitoring. If you’re going to have cameras that you want to be able to monitor the exterior of the church, the entrances of the church in hopes of preventing a mass shooting or any other type of crime, you need to have the people monitoring actively while that’s happening. Otherwise, cameras are just a very nice tool that are there basically recording what happened. You want to prevent the event from happening. You need to have active monitoring, so you need to have people assigned to do those things.

With respect to showing our lack of faith in the Lord if we do those things as a church, I completely disagree with that. I like what James tells us “Faith without works is dead,” right? I’m confident the Lord wants us to be safe at church, our home, or whatever, but he also expects us to put our faith to work towards that safety. In other words, we have to do a lot of work about that. Yes, we’re to trust the Lord, pray, and ask that he will guide us along that way, but to sit back and do nothing with it is just like James tells us if your brother comes to you and he says that he’s hungry and you say bless you and you hope the best for him and send him away and he’s still hungry, we’ve done nothing. We need to take the action ourselves.”

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