On Sunday Sept. 24th, 2017 Emanuel Kidega Samson, a 25-year-old black immigrant from Sudan, pulled into the parking lot of Burnette Chapel Church of Christ and immediately shot a woman dead as she left the church. Samson, wearing a ski mask and carrying two pistols then proceeded into the church and opened fire. A young 22-year-old usher named Robert ‘Caleb’ Engle confronted the gunman, but suffered ‘significant head injuries’ when the gunman pistol whipped him then continued on to shoot others. Some details are still unclear, but it’s believed that the perpetrator accidentally shot himself in the face during the confrontation with Engle. Engle then went to his car to retrieve his firearm and returned to the scene where he held the attacker at gunpoint till the police arrived. Engle is being praised as a hero, and I believe rightfully so, but how could the situation have been different? Engle has a valid firearms carry permit from the State of TN allowing him to carry, open or concealed, almost anywhere in the State. So why was he not carrying it?
If we are to grow we must learn from our mistakes and the mistakes of others. I recently posted an article titled ‘Can you Access Your Gun When You Really Need It?’ asking readers to access their level of preparedness in various scenarios, and unfortunately this church shooting is a perfect example. Young Mr. Engle left his firearm in his car, a mistake, and one I’ve made a thousand times. How many of you (who can legally carry), choose to do so only in certain situations? I can understand to a point as we rarely feel threatened in our day to day activities, but who would think that a Sunday morning Church service would turn into a massacre? What if Mr. Engle had his firearm with him when the terrorist first approached? It’s easy to second guess these situations, but I think it’s safe to say that far less carnage would have occurred if force was met with force earlier.
Carry your firearm at all times, wherever and whenever you possibly can. If your primary weapon is too big to conceal then carry open or choose another firearm. Our civil society is no longer very civil and it’s deteriorating at a rapid pace. Our police and first responders, who do a great job at great personal risk (and who are being targeted with unjust protests) are just that, responders; they are reactionary and usually too late to have much effect on a situation such as this. You have a right and a duty to protect yourself and your family. Access your situation and make the choices necessary to improve your chances of survival, after all, isn’t that what prepping is all about?
Hope for the best, prepare for the worst. Happy prepping!