Is Your Church Campus Safe? – Embrace Your Inner Sheepdog

By Major Van Harl USAF Ret

I am Sheep Dog
Is Your Church Campus Safe? – Embrace Your Inner Sheepdog
AmmoLand Gun News
AmmoLand Gun News

Wisconsin –-(  On Tuesday, 10 September 2013, I have over 100 people coming to the Milwaukee Area Church Safety & Security Seminar.

The plan is to convince religious leaders of multiple faiths that they must become pro-active about securing their faith based campus.

I need them to leave the Seminar understanding that everyone has to take charge of their own safety and security and not rely on “911” to save the day.

Lt. Colonel Dave Grossman, retired Army, has defined people in three categories. Most people are sheep who get on with their daily lives never intending to hurt anyone. Then there are wolves whose very way of life it to prey on the helpless flocks of sheep in our society. Wolves destroy for their basic needs but they also kill for sport. They inflict deliberate destruction of life solely for the sake of harming the weak and the helpless.

And then there are the sheepdogs. Sheepdogs are the protectors of the greater society of sheep. In human form they are the military members who elect to join the ranks of the defenders of our American way of life. Policemen are the civilian branch of the defender-sheepdog, brother and sisterhood. The problem with sheepdogs is they can appear to us, to look too much like wolves.

They have to be that way. One minute they are looking all shaggy and oh so cute you want to pet them and the next minute they are biting off the head of a wolf, which was sneaking up on you, as you failed to pay attention to your surroundings. There is a fear in the flock that the sheepdogs will take advantage of their sheep charges and either try to totally control or bring destruction to parts of the flock.

In some nations of the world the sheepdogs are the enemy, this is not however the case in the United States. Unlike most countries our sheep / populace can arm themselves against threats, both foreign and domestic. We live in an emergency / 911 society where we expect to pick up the phone and have the sheepdogs show up in minutes to protect and save us.

I once heard a mother call into the Dr. Laura radio show complaining about the fact she did not want her son to have any exposure to firearms. However, when she went over to her father-in-law’s house it was the home of a safe gun owner. She felt his ideas were going to wrongly impact her son. Dr. Laura asked whom does the mother call when there is a potential violent situation in her life. Of course the mother stated she called a big burly policeman who has a gun on his hip, who will come and save the day and not take advantage of the weaken state of the citizen who has called for help.

The mom wants a sheepdog to save her and her family from harm, but she cannot envision her own son or daughter becoming a sheepdog. A grade school teacher was instructing her class that in case of a violent invasion of the class room by a “wolf” the children were to all huddle together on the floor in the corner of the room. Maybe the “wolf” would just go away and not harm the “baby sheep.” A student who was a refugee of the Balkan Wars told the teacher she was wrong. This child had seen the “wolves” up close and personal. He said the class had to escape or fight back with whatever they could use to defend themselves with. So that was the scary part.

Churches are not going to become armed camps, and they should not as far as I am concerned, but they have to become organized. I truly believe “Evil Hates Organization.” Churches that prepare for “the crisis” whether it is a medical emergency, natural disaster or human violence that imports it’s self on to a church campus, that congregation is going to fare a lot better if they are prepared to react or better yet proactively train to respond early to a crisis in an organized manner.

Putting firearms in the hands of the untrained, unorganized, overzealous, poorly lead, but well meaning church member is a recipe for disaster.

However making an overall generalization that no lethal or even less-than lethal device(s) / weapons should ever be allowed on a church campus, could also be a recipe for future disaster. Evil has to be met and stopped on a faith based campus.

Sadly that means very hard and very serious questions have to be addresses by each church campus, its members, its leaders and its senior leadership. It all comes down to protecting the “sheep” and the good-guys are always looking for more well trained sheepdogs, either with a badge on, or the organized and prepared civilians, standing in their Sunday best-– attending to the safety of the flock.

Major Van Harl USAF ret

About Major Van Harl USAF Ret.:Major Van E. Harl USAF Ret., a career Police Officer in the U.S. Air Force was born in Burlington, Iowa, USA, in 1955. He was the Deputy Chief of police at two Air Force Bases and the Commander of Law Enforcement Operations at another. He is a graduate of the U.S. Army Infantry School.  A retired Colorado Ranger and currently is an Auxiliary Police Officer with the Cudahy PD in Milwaukee County, WI.  His efforts now are directed at church campus safely and security training.  He believes “evil hates organization.”

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