Armed Parishioners Scare Off Man Who Fired Shot in Church Parking Lot

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Police in Nashville, Tennessee are looking for a man they say fired a shot in a church parking lot on Saturday night before fleeing after an armed parishioner drew their own gun. 


The incident happened at the Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church, where a group of parishioners were directing traffic when the stranger showed up.

The volunteers were helping direct traffic for evening mass at the church when they saw the man walking his dog on Sunrise Avenue toward Nolensville Pike.

The volunteers told police that as he walked by he yelled obscenities at them. While still in the roadway, the man allegedly removed a holstered pistol. The man fired a shot into the ground. 

In response, one of the volunteers pulled out his gun and discharged a round into the pavement causing the man to run away, police said.

The man is believed to live in the immediate area and has been seen walking on prior evenings. Police said the motive for confronting the volunteers at the church has not been determined.

Admittedly, firing a round into the pavement wasn't the ideal response on the part of the armed parishioner. The bullet could easily have ricocheted off the concrete and hit someone. Firing a warning shot could also have placed the armed citizen in legal jeopardy if police and prosecutors wanted to make an example out of them, though thankfully, it appears law enforcement is rightfully focusing on the initial aggressor and not the actions of the armed citizen. 


What would have happened had that parishioner decided to leave their gun behind on Saturday night? Was the suspect merely trying to intimidate worshippers, or would he have escalated his threats once he realized that no one in the group of volunteers had guns of their own? We might not ever know, because at least one volunteer at Our Lady of Guadalupe made the decision to carry on Saturday night and was able to defuse the situation without anyone getting hurt. 

The gun control lobby believes that church security is best left to the professionals, but that's simply not a feasible option for many houses of worship. The cost of hiring armed security is out of reach for smaller congregations, and prohibiting concealed carry in churches, synagogues, mosques, and other worship centers means that the vast majority of those "sensitive places" will be utterly defenseless if someone shows up with evil intentions. 

If a particular religious institution wants to prohibit concealed carry from their property, they have the right to do so. It should be a choice, however, not a state-imposed mandate. 


Gun owners in Tennessee don't have to worry about those state-imposed prohibitions, but if the anti-gunners had their way every state in the nation would make houses of worship "gun-free zones", as they did with California and New York's Bruen response bills. Those particular "sensitive places" have faced legal challenges, but until the Supreme Court explicitly declares them unconstitutional the gun control lobby is going to continue to include them in their lengthy list of places where lawful concealed carry is banned. 

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