Daily Chronicle: Firearms expert says Senate bill would leave Vermont churches vulnerable

By Guy Page

Last weekend’s shooting at a Texas church and stabbings at a New Jersey Hannukah celebration demonstrate that houses of worship must be able to defend themselves from murderous attackers, Vermont Traditions Coalition Firearms Policy Expert Bill Moore said in an interview following the attacks.

But legislation proposed by Sen. Phil Baruth (D-Chittenden) likely would prohibit parishioners from carrying effective self-defense firearms in church, he said.

About a minute and 10 seconds into video of the Ft. Worth-area shooting, footage shows just six seconds passed between when the shooter revealed his shotgun and when armed parishioners shot him down. In those few seconds he was able to kill a man.

Guy Page

Without the swift response by parishioners serving as volunteer security guards, “the data says that there would be upward of a dozen or more people killed, and the shooter would not have been taken down before police arrived, or taken his own life. That’s sort of the standard model,” Moore said.

Sen. Baruth announced Dec. 3 he would sponsor a ban on semi-automatic weapons in public places, including “parks, stores, restaurants, airports, places of worship, auditoriums, theaters and childcare facilities,” as well as political demonstrations, VT Digger reported.

Sens. Richard Sears (Chair, Judiciary) and Tim Ashe (Pro Tem) both seem open to at least consider the bill. “It’s hard to see why you need to carry an assault weapon at a football game,” Sears reportedly said.

At present, guns are banned only from schools and some government buildings. Baruth’s bill would allow public carrying of handguns and non-semi-automatic rifles. The intent of the ban would be to limit only “assault weapons,” thus deterring more mass killings with powerful semi-automatic rifles. But such good intentions would have the opposite effect, Moore said.

“This is a conversation that has to begin – the private, lawful carry in self-defense,” Moore, of Johnson, said.  “Sen. Baruth’s bill will advertise gun-free zones to predators and put people in risk by forcing them to store their guns in their cars.”

To make matters worse, guns left in cars in church parking lots for a couple of hours are far more likely to be targeted by thieves than, say, guns left in a home or being carried by the owner.

Some Vermont churches already allow or even encourage people in the pews to carry defensive firearms, to varying degrees. “I’m aware of at least one church in Johnson that encourages people to conceal carry in church services,” Moore said. Another central Vermont church allows selected parishioners with firearms experience to “conceal carry,” after undergoing a national church security training program. Unarmed church greeters may carry pepper spray and monitor visitors and the congregation for possible shooters.

Gatekeepers Church Safety Ministry, a national organization, consults with churches on protecting against acts of mass violence. It emphasizes that the communal suffering of a mass killing continues long after the dead are buried and the physical wounds are healed. Survivor suffering continues, especially so in victims’ families, and a church’s ability to serve and witness can suffer, too. In short, the whole church suffers, and usually for a very long time.

Moore cautioned that security isn’t just about guns. “Armed parishioners are just one example of how people in public spaces can protect themselves against armed intruders.” At the New Jersey Hannukah celebration invaded by a machete-wielding attacker, “once the rabbi knew what was happening, he began throwing chairs at him. He probably saved lives.” Some Vermont churches use security cameras to watch for dangerous-looking individuals preparing to enter the church, and teach greeters and ushers to monitor, peacefully engage, and notify of potential problems.

A bi-partisan bill co-sponsored by Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-NH) assuring funding for security in rural churches was approved by Congress Dec. 20. It has been sent to President Trump’s desk for his signature.

Read more of Guy Page’s reports at the Vermont Daily Chronicle.

Image courtesy of Public domain

21 thoughts on “Daily Chronicle: Firearms expert says Senate bill would leave Vermont churches vulnerable

  1. An even bigger assault upon Vermont churches is social justice and ignorance of God’s word.

    Our churches are infiltrated from below and higher positions of people wanting and successfully disparaging the truth. I feel for them, as the more I read, the more it’s become clear, what they are sowing they will be rewarded with, and that will not be a pleasant sight.

    Love, Joy and Peace……why would you want anything else? Too bad so many have no idea what they are missing……our state is vehemently opposed to supporting those who wish to follow the gospel, why would they be opposed to Love, Joy and Peace? Why? Why? Why?

    They are truly of this world.

  2. Baruth thinks he’s like the Great Swami (see all, know all, do all). But he acts more like the Johnny Carson’s character Carnac the Magnificent. Montpelier’s finest. Enough is enough. He must think the new year is an opening to control people more. 2020 isn’t his vision for the future and it doesn’t mean an eyesight evaluation.

    Wonder who next will follow his shadow.

  3. The US Constitution provides for the separation of Church and State. What is there in this simple aspect does “Flatlander Educator” Baruth doesn’t understand.

    People like him will ignore the Constitution and governments true roll and force their attitude(s) onto all. If the people don’t like it, go through the lengthy appeal process. Baruth likes the power and limelight. He needs to be kicked out of government, he’s a danger. Wonder about his mental state. Incompetent. Go back to NY.

    • Baruth must have confused the United Nations documents, Agenda 21 with our Constitution!

      Now that I think of it, perhaps that’s why all the progressives are voting the way they do. Somebody changed the title of Agenda 21, put on the top The Vermont Constitution and passed it out to all the progressives!

      Somebody give those progressives a correct copy of our constitution, and all will be well in minutes!

  4. You could save the life of a liberal politician’s child inside of a gun free zone and that politician would still throw the book at you, take away all of your firearms, and you might even go to jail. The most important idea in a liberal politicians mind is to be in total control of the constituency and caring for their own families as much as naval lint. As far as the church shooting is concerned, to them, the whole church is probably filled with religious conservatives and all deserve to get shot. Most liberals are godless and wouldn’t be found in any church.

  5. Take away protection of Political Hacks making these oppressive gun
    restriction laws from being sued by victims that weren’t allowed to
    protect themselves… These INFRIGMENTS on our Constitutional
    rights would come to a screeching halt…

    • Oh and with ya Frank..
      There’s a bunch of us that already have put our lives on the line
      and wouldn’t mind doing it again…

  6. I first swore an oath to “protect and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic” 35 years ago. Our largest threats at that time were external to the country. Now our greatest threats occupy public office and ignore their oaths.

    I will not accept continued assaults on our US and Vermont Constitutions.

  7. ” Legislation proposed by Sen. Phil Baruth (D-Chittenden) likely would prohibit parishioners from carrying effective self-defense firearms in church.”

    The Left of Vermont do not care a whit for public safety, if they did the likes of Baruth and his minions of civilian disarmament proponents wouldn’t be pushing to deny Vermonters the effective means to self defense.

    Not to mention said proposed law would be unConssitutional under article 16 and the 2 nd. amendment which Vermont ratified and as a result have to live with all of it including the 2 nd. amendment.

    The White Settlement church shooting hurt the Left in their talking point that it requires law enforcement to stop a bad actor with a gun, it worked just as the founders intended when the 2 nd. was penned on paper, citizens defending themselves.
    If the citizens in the congergation hadn’t had the means to defend themselves and had to wait the 9 minutes average wait time for LEO’s to respond just how many more might have been killed, instead of the 6 seconds for the armed congregants to react and shut the killer down .

    The White Settlement church shooting proves the Left in Montpelier care not one whit for public safety in Vermont and of Vermonter’s,just so much hot air to put the unConstitutional civilian disarmament agenda in place and Vermonter’s be damned.

  8. Baruth’s bill flies in the face of Article 16, the right to self-defense, of the Vermont Constitution. Nationwide, somewhere between 1.5M to 3.0M times a year citizens lawfully use a firearm for self-defense/to stop crimes. Even Obama commissioned the CDC to dissect the numbers, and in their report to him they told him that it could be as many as 3M times per year.

    Baruth, in his naivety, thinks bad guys will avoid the mall, theaters, parks, etc. because they are “Gun Free Zones”. I ask you, where have all of the school shootings occurred? Did the bad guys care that a place they targeted such as a church or school was a gun free zone? Just the opposite, they go where it is advertised that there will be NO resistance. GUN FREE ZONE

    In 1997 Carl Drega shot and killed 2 NH State Troopers, a district judge and a newspaper editor and escaped to VT. If that happened today, 2020, would he stop at the border of VT because he knew there was a 10 round limit on magazines and his were 30 rounds? He was a CRIMINAL and they DON’T ABIDE BY ANY GUN LAWS. He entered VT and seriously wounded 2 law enforcement officers before he was shot and killed.

    It is this myopic, holier than thou, thinking by left wing Progressive liberals that get people killed. They absolutely believe that if we disarm law abiding gun owners everything will be just fine. WRONG! WRONG!

    Criminals will always have guns. They will use them quickly, indiscriminately and without hesitation to get what they want. Vermont gun owners, for over two century’s, know exactly how to take care of themselves and their loved ones no matter where it is; the mall, church, movies, park, parking garages, etc. We don’t need a hypocrite like Mr. Baruth to force his warped and illogical agenda on us, law-abiding gun owners.

    What Progressive liberals want are “sheep”… and the need to keep everyone “on the plantation”. Vermont gun owners will fight that ideology till hell freezes over!

    We have no intention of being victims in order for the liberal socialists to continue to gain political control over every aspect of our lives here in Vermont.

    • Well Said, Mr Beagle. The ULTIMATE goal of people like Barruth, is to disarm the population. They know that a well armed populace is a brick wall when it comes to them reaching their goals. And that is something they cannot handle. We can ensure that the right paths for Vermonters are guaranteed to be kept in place by throwing these political thugs and bums out of office. This next election will tell the story; we have seen enough of their side’s effects around this country over the years, so we do not need any more events to prove what works and God forbid what does not work. Many of these transplants came to VT because they could not get their plans accepted in their former “Home State” so they come here where there is less resistance and go to work. These types need to get one message in a phrase: that is: “DEFEATED AT THE POLLS IN VERMONT” in 2020 election. It is now or never.

  9. Here is just one example of a trained ” good guy ” with a gun, saving lives do to the support
    of its local Government enacting policies !!

    But here in Vermont, we have anti-gun legislators want to implement a bill, by Senator
    Baruth, making it a crime if you bring a firearm into a place of worship…….

    Flatlander Baruth must think he’s a God, ……………. Pretty sad !!

    Vermont was, and is safe and has been long before he entered the picture along with his
    gaggle of anti gunner’s in the statehouse…………..Wake up people it could mean your life.

    • “Flatlander Baruth must think he’s a God,”

      Thinks he’s God but only a Fascist..

      A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms,
      I really don’t see how the Fascist think they can INFRINGE upon it….
      Seems pretty clear to me…

      • Vermont’s article 16 is even more clear and succinct in it’s wording.

        Article 16th. Right to bear arms; standing armies; military power subordinate to civil

        That the people have a right to bear arms for the defence of themselves and the State – and as standing armies in time of peace are dangerous to liberty, they ought not to be kept up; and that the military should be kept under strict subordination to and governed by the civil power.

          • No question about It, however there are many of his compatriots in Montpelier that are also guilty and need go along with him.

          • Let’s get going on a lawsuit charging him with perjury, as our Constitution demands. If others will join me, I’m willing to start the process.

          • Someone has to take a stand, watching what the citizens of Virgina are doing through grassroots organization ,count me in .

    • We have a number of people in my church who carry. Doesn’t bother me in the least. They don’t ask permission just do it. I was once ask in a church whether members should bring weapons to church. Answer: I sure do.

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