Being Prepared – Anywhere/Anytime

The murder and assaults that occurred Sunday last at the Burnette Chapel Church of Christ in Antioch, Tennessee have a lot of lessons for us to learn.

According to reports the “suspect” – Emanuel Samson – was carrying with two pistols, three magazines of ammunition and wearing a “tactical” vest. An AR-15 was in his car, plus a .22-caliber semiautomatic pistol. One woman was killed, and seven more injured.

Robert Engle, an usher, “physically engaged” Samson. Engle has a concealed permit, but his pistol was in his car. During the exchange Engle was “pistol whipped;” the shooter was shot in the chest. Engle rushed out to the car, retrieved his weapon, and then held Samson until law enforcement arrived.

1. It Can Happen Anywhere

Engle, in an interview afterwards, said, “I’ve been going to this church my whole life. I would have never, ever thought something like this would have happened.” There are very few places that are truly “safe.” Yes, all houses of worship should be sanctuaries, islands of security. Reality is that danger, the life and death kind can happen anywhere, anytime.

Samson had attended the church in the past, but members said they had not seen him in a while. (He wasn’t recognized at first because he wore a mask.) He had worked as an unarmed security guard, and had a couple of contacts with law enforcement for domestic disputes. Church members said Samson was friendly to everyone, including one of the victims.

Anyone can be a threat. About eighty percent of victims are familiar with their attacker to a certain degree. Don’t be caught off guard if the threat is someone you know, a friend or possibly even a family member. Once they cross that Rubicon they don’t deserve any more consideration than you would give a violent, rabid dog that was trying to attack you, your family or friends.

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