This happened over Super Bowl weekend, so I heard nothing about it until today.

Lakewood Church shooting: AR-15 had ‘Palestine’ sticker, antisemitic writings recovered, police say

A sticker saying “Palestine” was on the AR-15 rifle a woman used to open fire at celebrity pastor Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church in Houston, injuring two, including her son, according to police

Some antisemitic writings have been recovered, but a motive behind the Sunday afternoon shooting has not been determined, according to police.

“We do believe that there was a familial dispute that has taken place between her ex-husband and her ex-husband’s family,” some of whom are Jewish, police said.

Right…

Because family disputes with an ex-husband who has some Jewish family naturally precipitates antisemitic writings and a support for Palestine in the middle of a resurgence of antisemitism following the worst mass murder of Jews since the Holocaust.

I’m calling bullshit.

The suspect, 36-year-old Genesse Ivonne Moreno, entered the church with her 7-year-old son, and she may have pointed her weapon at a security officer to force her way into the church, police said.

Moreno opened fire with the AR-15 at 1:55 p.m., police said.

Two off-duty officers fired back, striking the suspect, police said. She was pronounced dead at 2:07 p.m., police said.

Doug Williams, special agent in charge of the FBI Houston field office, stressed that the “number of casualties and victims would have been much higher” without the off-duty officers’ “heroic” actions.

That was a 12 minute response time.

How much longer would it have been for the police to respond from a 9-11 call?

The FBI special agent is absolutely right, two armed people in the church saved lives.

Shit is getting crazy out there.

Antisemitism is off the charts and the Left is becoming more violent by the day.

Everywhere our families congregate, we should be armed to stop things like this as quickly as possible.

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By J. Kb

29 thoughts on “The value of guns in churches and synagogues”
  1. I went to a Catholic funeral mass this past Saturday morning. I wore my FD dress uniform, and had my Ruger LCP in my pocket holster tucked away concealed.

    I do not go into ANY house of worship unarmed.

  2. All religious people are now valid targets for the Liberal Progressive “Elite” (or whackjob) to attack.

    Plan accordingly.

  3. I don’t necessarily think it was a 12 minute response time. I think it was 12 minutes until it was declared to be “was/were”.
    .
    From the stories I had heard, it sounded like the off duty cops went and found work almost immediately which was the only dead person so far was the asshole. I’ll be curious to see a full timeline breakdown on this one.
    .
    All that said, I’ll echo the sentiments that there’s not a chance I will go into any house of worship without at least one pistol on me (shout out to the PHLster Enigma for making it easier to make a G19 disappear under church clothes). And that’s even being a member of a church that has at least one uniformed deputy for overt security/traffic control and a number of congregation members as a security team.

  4. I help run the audio mixer at my church. There are two of us at the board. Three others are in the back as well — one runs Presenter (projecting stuff on screens), one takes care of streaming, and one floats. The other audio guy is an ex-cop.
    .
    One Sunday, I was talking to the other audio guy about carrying in church, and comparing what pistols we had in our pockets. One of the other guys in the back heard us and told us he was carrying also. It turned out that four of the five people in the back were armed. I was a little surprised — even for a constitutional carry state. All of us non-cops had “enhanced” Tennessee permits, even though we technically didn’t need them, while the retired cop had some sort of federal permit.
    .
    When the pastor came back to pick up his microphone I asked him how many people in our congregation the thought were armed. He said he thought about 45% of the men and 25% of the women. We have about 350 people in each of our two services, so in any given service, probably around 120 people are carrying concealed.
    .
    Interestingly, we’ve managed to hold services for about a hundred and fifty years without spontaneously breaking into a firefight driven by evil gun demons.

    1. Praise God from whom all “Ballistic Blessings” flow. It’s an interesting fact that one of John Moses Browning’s inspirations to be a great firearms designer, was the assassination of his family’s religious leader which ironically was carried out by other religious people who opposed the practice of having more than one wife.

  5. I will challenge J. Kb’s statement above: “The Value of Guns in Churches and Synagogues;” I would suggest that the “in Churches and Synagogues” part be deleted.

    As a 21st century society supposedly composed of, and operated by, functional and rational adults we should be capable of determining that words on a sign do not pose a significant deterrent to those with malice in their minds or their hearts. That we seem unable to do so strikes me as a rather significant failure of our social and educational systems.

    I find it interesting that so many believe the words “no guns allowed” carry such great import but the words “We the People” and “shall not be infringed” are meaningless blather. To that end, I would like to see a comprehensive list of locations where other enumerated Constutional rights may be prohibited by signage.

    1. @Elrod: My take is that in current history, there has been a presumption that all houses of worship should be weapon-free, thus J’s inclusion of the phrase.

      We keep seeing examples that such a view is hazardous to innocents.

      I live in a free State, so I carry every where. Some folks don’t.

    1. I don’t see how that matters. The criminal is at fault, obviously, for bringing a small child to a gunfight. Whose bullet hit the child doesn’t change who is culpable for the injury.

      To put it differently, suppose the answer is “the good guy”. How would that affect your views on what happened?

      1. Lenard, I believe the law of ‘Transferred Intent’ applies here in two directions. Good guys defending the congregation shoot the shooter who was using her child to stop people from stopping her, which makes her the killer of her own child, which she used as cover in order to commit more murders. She could have brought a dozen children to stand behind as cover and all deaths are legally her doing and not the people using justified self-defense to stop her murders,

        1. She may be an absolute scum that used her kid as a human shield, but in no rational world did that cause the guy shooting at her to shoot her kid instead of her. You don’t kill the human shields, especially children, to get at the bad guy.

          1. Ok, Lenard, so you’d not shoot a shooter using their own child as a shield while they are shooting people in the auditorium and killing them, until the kid is out of the way….so you’re waiting for her to not use her child as a shield, (which she clearly intended to do because she did in fact bring the child ,knowing she would be shooting and killing as many as possible) before you shoot her.
            .
            Ok Lenard.

            1. Can you quote me where I said that?
              .
              Everyone be typing like “you gotta break some eggs to make an omelette lol”
              .
              I see a disturbing lack of concern for a kid being hit as collateral and keeping accountable the person who did that. That’s what I’m pointing out.
              .
              I think I quite adequately noted that exigent exigencies do often require immediate action.
              .
              It is also quite interesting to me that hey bad lady got clapped in a church who cares about what else might have happened while if that were you or I we would most definitely be getting fucked by the long dick of the law for the collateral damage AND if it were police who ventilated some poor kid by accident we’d be extremely critical. I simply see some hypocrisy and willingness to hand wave since mass shooter lady got killed in a church by armed guards and that helps the narrative on our side for once.

              1. Lenard the only one who is responsible for that child’s death is the insane person who gave birth to that poor unfortunate child. I am sure that the “Relief combined with Extreme Sadness” is overwhelming the men whom the shooter put into that situation, where they had no choice but to engage in an “Stop her before she kills everyone” moment.
                .
                Can’t imagine the adrenalin and fear levels of the moment. My heart goes out ‘first’ to the men who saved the day for the dozens would-be victims, and secondly for the child, who never had a chance because his mother was deeply insane and evil to the core.
                .
                The shooters lives are changed for the worse, I’m sure and have no doubt they will never sleep with the same peaceful rest again. It’s very difficult to shoot a person hiding behind a child who is actively killing your spiritual family, which includes children.

                1. Absolutely unequivocally disagree. We preach responsibility all the time. The mother put the kid in that situation, I’m not denying that. That kid didn’t shoot himself though. Everyone plays a part and your culpability certainly does vary based on the part you play. But in no situation is the guy who fired that bullet not responsible for it. Intense, rapidly evolving, and violent circumstance have never meant a free pass before, it should not now.
                  .
                  You gonna tell me the guy who pulled the level isn’t responsible for blowing up Alderaan because Tarkin ordered it and put him in that situation? Or are you gonna tell me the reverse, Tarkin ordered it but he didn’t pull the actual lever so Tarkin isn’t responsible?

                2. Of course my vehicle pedestrian comparison is not exact, hardly any comparison can. The point I attempt is that intent is not the entirety of the equation regardless of if it were good intent.
                  .
                  “Do you think she shot from cover? ”
                  No idea. We may or may not find out. Kid could have been strapped to her like a ballistic vest or could have been behind her for all I know. Doesn’t really make it too much better one way or the other.
                  .
                  Re transferred intent. Yea, no way at all that could go wrong or be abused. Get out of jail free cards are not just and are always rife for abuse.
                  .
                  I just can’t believe the seeming overnight 180 degree script flip.

      2. Incredible. We harp on you are responsible for each round fired. Except here apparently. In no rational reality is the shooter responsible for a good guy, firing his gun, and shooting the kid. You don’t shoot unless you have a clear shot, we HARP on that all the time.
        .
        It matters because, if I were not an off duty cop and I accidentally shot an innocent kid while ventilating a mass shooter, I would not get off free and clear and you bet the media would be all over it.
        .
        It doesn’t affect my opinion, its bad whoever shot the kid. If it was the good guy, that is even worse. That’s the opinion I have before even knowing who did it. Knowing who did it doesn’t change that.
        .
        This also presents a learning opportunity; bedlam and bullets flying everywhere from multiple armed responding parties is ALWAYS a concern and being aware of methods to mitigate that are important! Cops frequently are in extremely dangerous cross fire situations for no reason other than they put themselves in it. If you are guarding an entrance, you are essentially setting up an ambush, you should probably think about how to do that most effectively to avoid cross fire and collateral damage. Cops frequently unload into vehicles and structures when they have no idea what else in it or what is behind it. That’s not acceptable either.
        .
        There are of course always exigent exigencies that require immediate response while disregarding most other concerns. BUT we don’t have all of the information to know if it was even at the level of “just shoot like crazy towards the bad guy until they are dead, we are rolling the dice on anyone else in the kill zone.”

        1. We harp on you are responsible for each round fired. Except here apparently.
          .
          It still matters — nobody’s saying it doesn’t — but we have to recognize a difference between “general safety” and “incident response”. Rule #4 says to be sure of your target, and what’s in front, behind, and around it. That doesn’t change.
          .
          What changes is that the shooter intentionally brought a human shield, which shows a deliberate effort to stymie any armed response.
          .
          You don’t shoot unless you have a clear shot, we HARP on that all the time.
          .
          Again, “general safety” vs. “incident response”. While you are waiting for the clearest of clear shots with nobody in front, behind, or around the shooter — which again, the shooter has zero intention of giving you — the shooter is actively trying to kill innocent people. Are the responders just supposed to shrug and say, “Aw, gee whiz, she brought a human shield and I can’t get a clear shot — she outsmarted us and there’s no stopping her,” and then stand by and let her kill 20, 30, 50 or more people?
          .
          Or do they decide that, on balance, pulling the lever in the Trolley Problem is the lesser of two evils?
          .
          In any event, at the end of the day, it’s an ethical question but probably not a legal one. Legally, the responsibility for the death of a human shield lies with the person using them as a human shield.
          .
          (And there’s nothing saying that they didn’t try to the best of their ability to miss the child and hit only the shooter, nor is there anything saying that the responder who fired that shot — and they very likely know who they are — won’t feel that guilt for the rest of their days. I’m 100% sure they did and they will. But the responsibility for the child’s death remains with the shooter for putting the child in that situation in the first place.)
          .
          There are of course always exigent exigencies that require immediate response while disregarding most other concerns. BUT we don’t have all of the information to know if it was even at the level of “just shoot like crazy towards the bad guy until they are dead, we are rolling the dice on anyone else in the kill zone.”
          .
          Exactly my point. And no, we don’t have all the information yet. So let’s maybe withhold judgment on the responders’ actions until we do, okay?

          1. I cannot conceive of any scenario where killing or injuring someone as collateral would not be turned on me and that should not be any different here.
            .
            Perfection is of course not possible ever, let alone always. As I said above, I am sensing a disturbing willingness to hand wave and ignore on this matter here.
            .
            Incident response does not give a blank check to act recklessly. Firing indiscriminately into areas occupied by those not requiring a lead injection as we often see is quite reckless. That is my point there.
            .
            Re info, I don’t think we need to know everything to say, that kid should not have been shot and the person who pulled the trigger there is responsible for that bullet. There is a lot of trying to have it both ways here and I find that totally unacceptable. You can’t be responsible for every bullet you fire every time but only this one. Active war zones demanded a level of responsibility people are willing to wave away here.
            .
            Hey some scumbag take your kids hostage and the police shoot up your kid while taking down the scumbag. I’m sure they tried their best. Incident response demanded action. you understand how it is.

        2. Given that the intent of the defenders was to stop the attack, if they hit the kid instead of the criminal it would be an unintended outcome. Yes, it is true that in an ideal world such an error would not happen, and if the defenders were infinitely skilled they would never make such a mistake. But defensive shootings are not ideal settings and not all shooters are infinitely skilled. That goes particularly for cops, as is well known.

          Both legally and morally speaking, the blame for the kid’s injury is with the criminal and the criminal only. Note, by the way, that in a bunch of states, a person being killed during the commission of any felony automatically brings a murder charge to all the felons involved. For example, if three guys burgle a house and the home owner shoots one and he dies, the other two are then guilty of murder — because it was their felonious activities that caused the death. This is as it should be and I wish it were a nationwide standard.

          1. I’m well aware of those laws, I also find them repugnant. Why should you be charged with a crime you did not actually commit? That seems wholly unconstitutional to me, but hey that has never stopped anyone either. I’m sure King George would be quite proud of that development.
            .
            I’m driving down the road and you walk in front of my car to cross the street. I run you over. No harm no foul though, my intention was to just drive down the road not run you over so I’m not liable. How absurd right? Why does that change here? Someone’s deliberate action resulted in that outcome.
            .

            1. Lenard, the culpability of the driver verses the pedestrian is decided by the specifics of the ‘road area’ in which the accident occurred. If there’s a pedestrian walkway or no sidewalks available, most state laws put the responsibility to slow down to safe speed and proceed with caution on the driver.
              .
              However, if the roadway is a highway with a high rate of speed posted and there’s no pedestrian provisions and the driver was not aware of the pedestrian until it was too late, then the state puts the responsibility on the pedestrian and not the driver of the car.
              .
              So back to the case of a mother planning to kill as many as possible in a church and part of that planning is to bring their child in order to prohibit being stopped—this was clearly done by this insane woman. To think otherwise is equally insane.
              .
              Do you think she shot from cover? Of course she did, it was part of the planning. Do you think she used that cover as much as physically possible, like say, holding onto to her child or verbally commanding her child and shield, to stand still don’t move…….while she took aim? Of course she did…….thus the reason the child was struck by ‘life-saving defensive fire’ by well-known experienced shooters present that day.
              .
              The state’s law, Transferred Intent, rightfully excuses the killing of the wrong person if the Deadly Threat was missed and an errant shot occurred due to the Deadly Threat’s actions to evade being shot while in the process of killing or attempting to kill the shooter or people whom the shooter was acting on behalf of at the time of a Deadly Threat.
              .
              Your vehicle-pedestrian example is not an apples-to-apples comparison, it’s an apple-to-spinach comparison because neither the driver of the vehicle nor the pedestrian was equally engaged in a criminal deadly force event.

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