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Date: 16 Feb 2009 07:08:28
From: Superdave
Subject: Arkansas considers allowing concealed weapons in churches

Arkansas considers allowing concealed weapons in churches
02/14/2009 @ 8:45 pm
Filed by Muriel Kane

A bill moving through the Arkansas state legislature would allow
worshippers to bring concealed weapons into churches if the church has
approved that as its policy. At present, holders of concealed weapons
permits cannot bring guns into bars, schools, government facilities,
athletic events, or houses of worship.

The controversial legislation, which passed the Arkansas House this
week and is now pending before a Senate committee, was introduced by
Rep. Beverly Pyle in response to several recent church shootings.
However, its most active supporters insist that their primary concern
is upholding the separation of church and state and that the state
does not have the constitutional right to prevent churches from
setting their own rules.

The bill's strongest opponents appear to be the pastors themselves,
One minister, Ken Burton, suggested there were political motivations
behind the legislation, telling the Baxter Bulletin that "heís aware
of staunch political affiliations between candidates for public
office, elected officials and the National Rifle Associationís pro-gun
platform."

Several ministers are concerned about the negative effect that
concealed guns could have on the peace and tranquility of church
services. Pastor Ron Rector suggested, "Some places still need to be
sacred, and that is one place I hope would remain sacred."

Rev. Mark Lenneville similarly noted, "Itís not in line with what we
believe theologically and has not been the tradition for Christianity
through the centuries. Often, the church is viewed as a sanctuary
where the government does not have power and authority, a place where
people could seek sanctuary from the government and other outsiders."

Law enforcement officials are already permitted to bring weapons into
places of worship, and Rev. Jim Freeman, in an op-ed for the Arkansas
Times, suggested, "If the safety of those attending worship is the
real issue, then uniformed security personnel -- armed or not -- would
be a far greater deterrent to violence than the possibility that
someone with a permit to carry a concealed weapon might actually have
done so at any given service of worship. Further, if there were to be
an incident inside a place of worship, what would someone with a
concealed weapon do? A confrontation between armed individuals could
put bystanders at far greater risk."

Pastor John Phillips, who was shot in the back 23 years ago by a
relative of a parishioner, agreees that the carrying of guns by
parishioners would not necessary be helpful in that kind of situation.
He stated to the Associated Press, "People are not going to react the
way they think they're going to react in the heat of the moment. It
was utter chaos when I was shot."

Freeman concluded his op-ed by noting that "Christians worship a God
who, in the person of Jesus Christ, died a horrific death for the sake
of the world. For this reason, Christians are called to live lives of
greater vulnerability to the world, not greater safety from it. As
long as anyone is at risk from gun violence -- students, teachers,
doctors, law enforcement officials, elected leaders, cultural or
ethnic minorities -- the church has a share in that risk and an
obligation to demonstrate the resolve for love over violence."




 
Date: 16 Feb 2009 11:44:49
From: KNIFE!
Subject: Re: Arkansas considers allowing concealed weapons in churches
Presumably this includes carrying a concealed KNIFE?


  
Date: 16 Feb 2009 04:44:27
From: The Truth
Subject: Re: Arkansas considers allowing concealed weapons in churches
On 16 Feb., 12:44, "KNIFE!" <KN...@ebay.com > wrote:
> Presumably this includes carrying a concealed KNIFE?

Of course. On German Tennis courts conealed KNIVES were allowed until
the beginning of the 90ies.