Any Given Sunday

Any Given Sunday

In today's world, no place is truly safe.

Photo by Elyse Harrell.

Whenever I attend any type of religious service, like most people I follow all the prescribed rituals and do my best to keep an open mind and heart. After 22 years as a police officer, however, in addition to the prescribed religious rituals, I also have a few of my own rituals I follow religiously.

While approaching the church, synagogue or other place of worship, I scan the people in the general area as well as those approaching the building. I also check out any vehicles in the area, looking for anything out of place.

Once inside, as I look over the crowd, I also look for the exits. Regardless of whether the service is crowded or sparsely attended, I always sit in the back, preferably on an outside corner.

This allows me to keep an eye on the main entrance as well as the side entrances. It also puts me in the most defensible position in the room; with your back to the corner of a square or rectangular room you've got only a 90-degree angle of area to deal with, and plenty of benches or chairs between you and any incoming threat.

My wife and children are aware of my rituals and understand why I have adopted them. They are also aware that I am always armed, not only while attending religious services but especially when attending religious services. It's not because I am hyper vigilant, paranoid or both. It's because in this world we live in, people attending religious services are high on the vulnerability menu.

Religion is and always has been a hot-button issue. As we all know, people do all sorts of things in the name of religion--from the greatest, most selfless acts of good to the most heinous, unspeakable acts of evil.

Second, if someone is determined to carry out a heinous act of violence or evil, most places of worship are set up to place the worshipers in a tactically disadvantageous position. Think about it: Practically everyone in the building is facing away from the main entrance, focused on the person or persons leading the service at the front of the room.

Those leading the service are usually focused on their own business and are probably neither trained to look for nor recognize danger signs. In fact, the chances of them even being predisposed to do so is highly unlikely ; they are there to take part in a religious service, not a security exercise.

In the event that someone did walk into the building with murder in his heart and a weapon in his hand, even if the leader did recognize the threat and wished to take action to protect himself and those in attendance, what could he actually do? Unless he happened to be armed himself, the best he could probably do would be to raise the alarm and hope that someone in the room was prepared to take action.

And that is where the law-abiding, legally armed members of our society come in. For while we all hope and pray we will never need to use our weapons to protect ourselves or others, especially in a place of worship, the ugly fact is that attacks on people in places of worship are on the rise.

For the sake of those we care about, we need to acknowledge this unsavory fact and be prepared to respond to an immediate threat with maturity, valor and decisiveness should it be necessary--wherever it may surface.

Recommended for You


Ruger Security 9 Compact Review

J. Scott Rupp

The Ruger Security 9 Compact 9mm (model # 3818) is a shootable, dependable gun with a low...


SIG P365 Review

James Tarr - October 31, 2018

The SIG SAUER P365 (model # 365-9-BXR3) may just be the subcompact 9mm against which all...


SIG P210 Standard Pistol: Legendary and American Made

Handguns Online Staff - April 23, 2019

SIG SAUER has introduced the American Made P210 Standard pistol to the U.S. Commercial Market.

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

All About Handgun Ammo

Rich and Jim get into the nitty gritty of the FBI ammo protocol, firing into various barriers to illustrate what can happen to a bullet.

The New Speer Gold Dot G2 Duty Handgun Load

Speer's Jared Hinton shows OSG's Lynn Burkhead the new Speer Gold Dot G2 Duty Handgun load.

Dealing with Subcompacts

Jim and Rich cover the benefits and the challenges presented by very small pistols.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories

2nd Amendment

Judge Postpones Oral Arguments to Stop California Microstamping Law

Handguns Online Staff - May 07, 2014

According to a recent report from the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), a lawsuit...


Remington Timeline: 1858 - Beals Revolver

Handguns Online Staff - September 09, 2016

In 1858 Beals invented and patented a spur-trigger, single-action, percussion revolver. The...


10 Cheap Guns Under $250

Evan Brune - September 24, 2015

Guns are fun, and cheap guns are even more fun. Spend less on the firearm and more on ammo...

See More Stories

More Training


Tactical Tip: Close Quarter Gunfight

Handguns Online Staff - August 15, 2017

Richard Nance demonstrates techniques for close quarter situations.


Improve Your Draw Stroke Through Slow-Motion Video

Richard Nance - September 17, 2018

An ordinary smartphone with slow-motion capability will reveal flaws in your draw stroke you...


Bring Some Pop Packs To The Range

Richard Nance - July 26, 2018

If you're looking to add an element of fun to your next range day, consider these pop packs.

See More Training

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction.


Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services


GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.