Maybe it’s time the warriors be heard.

Too many parents’ beautiful babies didn’t come home from school in Texas. In their homes are grieving parents who would have given anything if someone at that school with the mindset, the training, and the capacity to stop the attack at Robb Elementary would have intervened in time for their child.

Once again, we are reeling from the aftermath of another mass murder committed by a depraved individual lacking any humanity, who looked down the barrel of his gun and killed 19 young children and two teachers before being confronted by law enforcement.

On cue, politicians started chiming in on this event within minutes. Let’s set that aside and approach this from the harsh reality that “bad people are going to do bad things, regardless of laws.”

If you knew a mass murderer was going to strike your school, church, business, or sporting event in the near future, how would you prepare?  It doesn’t take a PHD in site security to know you harden your soft target. You set up concentric rings of security and monitoring, watching for “that don’t look right” and with the ability to respond appropriately before an attacker can get to a large number of people. It’s much easier to deal with someone as they approach from the parking lot than once they are inside. You restrict access to those who don’t belong, such as locking the exterior entry doors of your school or church once in session. Install laminate film on glass that holds a window together despite gunshots or strikes with an impact weapon like a hammer or bat. In a recent training exercise, I was involved with our “make-believe bad guy” walked right on by classrooms he couldn’t see into our had a door that was locked.

In my post-TV meteorology passion of church security, we assess a faith-based property like a criminal might and then fix problem areas. Simple measures like removing exterior door handles that could be chained together to trap people inside or getting rid of landscaping rocks or bricks left near large windows that could be used to break the window and gain entry.

Consider putting up physical barriers or landscaping that would stop an out-of-control vehicle from crashing into classrooms or the sanctuary and don’t forget medical too. Staff members, whether paid or volunteer, must know trauma medical, CPR, and AED deployment.

Here’s a news flash: The government is not going to fix the violence problem in our nation. They’ve had plenty of opportunities and I’ve not seen much progress. So maybe it’s time to listen to our warriors, those willing to boldly stand between evil and innocence who would raise their hand and say, I’ll volunteer to serve my community and help keep the wolf at bay.

Take the example of Iowa grocery chain HyVee which recently started placing armed guards in stores. I can assure you, these are not your $15 dollar an hour rent-a-cops with a walkie-talkie and segway. These are some of our finest with significant background, training, and mindset to save the day. For the rest of us, that should be a clue. You can have a helpful smile, but also be willing to flip the switch if evil approaches.

What we can do right now is work together to deter the dark forces we face, be caring, loving, and a helper to those in need but also let the bad man know that this school, church, business, or home is no longer a soft target. We don’t get to pick the moment, The Moment chooses us. Stay ready.

-John McLaughlin – IFC Chair