At Townhall: Armed Guards at Houses of Worship Is Not Enough

10 May , 2019  

Dr. John Lott has a new piece at Townhall.com on mass public shootings, particularly those at Houses of Worship.

From New Zealand to Sri Lanka, houses of worship are under attack. This has been an all too common phenomenon around the world. At home, there have been recent shootings at synagogues in Pittsburgh and San Diego, and at churches in Texas, Tennessee, Colorado, and South Carolina. So how do we make people safer?

New York City councilman Kalman Yeger will introduce a bill this week that requires the city to pay for armed security guards at any house of worship that requests protection.

That is helpful, if expensive, but New York refuses to adopt the most effective policy: letting more people carry concealed handguns. Indeed, all of the church shootings noted above were stopped by civilians with guns. One that had banned guns and didn’t stop the attack occurred in Charleston, South Carolina.

There are simply too many targets for police to be able to guard every one of them. If terrorists don’t attack synagogues, they can target Kosher grocery stores, Jewish schools, or restaurants. In January 2015, the Hypercacherkosher supermarket siege in Paris left four murdered and nine injured.

These terrorists have huge strategic advantages in determining the time and place of attacks. They can wait for guards to leave the area, or pick an undefended location. Even when guards or police are in the right place at the right time, those who can be readily identified as guards may as well be holding up neon signs saying, “Shoot me first.” Terrorists know that once the guards are killed, they will have free rein to go after everybody else.


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