In Praise of the Designated Marksman
Houses of worship in Ohio are on the “no carry” list. You have to acquire permission from the church if you want to worship armed. (Interestingly, the websites for concealed carry in Ohio recommend you get this in writing. I suppose they don’t trust the pastor to either remember or keep his word. Hmmm.) In any case, one of the first things I did after finding a church was to ask for and receive the permission to worship armed.
I think churches (and schools, but that’s another blog post) should go a step farther. It’s time for a designated marksman.
We all know the role of the designated driver (DD). He (or she if you want to live nearer the edge) is willing to forgo alcohol and drive the others around on an evening out. (Interestingly, the DD becomes the designated marksman (DM) if he has a permit, since no other permit holder can or should carry while drinking.) In a military unit, the DM fills the gap between regular infantry soldiers and snipers.
Every citizen, who is legally allowed to do so, should apply for a concealed carry permit and should carry a firearm daily. We can all agree on that. But some of us should acquire special training and should be DM’s for our “group”. It requires someone willing to stay in ThreatCon Level 2 most of the time. A DM should NEVER be without a firearm and reloads. And he should never carry a mouse gun. Never. (It would be a dream if the laws were changed to allow DM’s to carry their 5.56 or 7.62 arms instead of the less powerful handguns we carry now. But that is just a dream. Let’s get back to reality.)
Yesterday, while sitting in church I tried to imagine a scenario and my response. Churches are shooting galleries. The main meeting room is an open floor plan with benches or chairs in rows and only 1 or 2 narrow aisles. There frequently is only one entrance/exit at the back of the room with another one near the front or even behind the platform, accessed through an office or something. The windows are usually small, and sometimes are leaded stained glass.
If terrorists, or kooks, or the BATFE came in shooting, there would be no cover other than the bodies of the people around you. (Remember, concealment hides you, cover stops or deflects the bullets.) And those bodies would be in your direct line of fire disallowing you a clear shot to protect yourself and your family. And even if you could get a good sight picture, there would be some people near or behind the shooters. Can you hit a moving target 100% of the time under stress? What about over penetration? Can you take a shot under those conditions?
Enter the DM. If churches had trained, pre-positioned, well-armed DM’s every service, the rest of the group could bring their Bible and their mouse guns and worship securely.
Maybe I should patent this idea. You know how it makes you sick to see someone take one of your ideas viral and you can only say that you thought of that, too.