I’ve said many a time that church should be one of those places you shouldn’t have to feel fear in. That goes for any house of worship, regardless of the faith. These places are where we go when we’re afraid. They’re not where we go to feel fear.
However, we live in a world where the bad guys don’t blink about making you afraid in that setting. They’ll carry a gun anywhere they want, and they’ll pull it in a church in a heartbeat.
Of course, just because Christ said to turn the other cheek, it doesn’t mean folks in a church won’t fight back.
The heroic actions of a pastor saved a congregation from violence on Sunday afternoon when a man pulled a gun during the service, police say.
According to Metro Police, 26-year-old Dezire Baganda was sitting at the front of the Nashville Light Mission Pentecostal Church on West Trinity Lane when he pulled a gun out and walked up to the altar where the pastor was praying with several members.
Baganda reportedly told everyone to get up while he waved and pointed the handgun towards the congregation.
“That’s when one of the pastors, I would say it’s God using him. He went around on both sides; the guy with the gun was not paying attention to him. So he went around and that’s when… he jumped on top of him and put him on the ground,” Charite explained.
Gutsy move by the pastor. Good job, reverend. Good job indeed.
Baganda wasn’t a member of the church, apparently, though the pastor says he’d seen him at previous services.
So what was going on here?
Well, this wasn’t a church shooting that was prevented. No, if that had been the case, Baganda would have just started shooting people until he ran out of ammunition. Instead, he never fired a shot, even when the pastor put him on the ground.
This was something else.
My gut says this was going to turn into a robbery. After all, churches often don’t have cameras–many do, but many others don’t, which may have been why he’d attended previous services–and there’s money there as the church takes up the collection. Few people come to church with nothing.
Of course, this could have been something else. Baganda may have been hoping for a hostage situation to advance some political cause. Maybe it was a mental health episode that simply went down in just that way. It could have been someone who just wanted to go to prison for some weird reason.
We really don’t know, and unless Baganda decides to tell us, we’re not likely to know one way or another.
Now, he’s charged with 15 counts of aggravated assault, a felony in Tennessee where this happened. He’s currently being held on $375,000 bond, which is for the best.
Regardless of anything else, I’m just glad no one was hurt. That situation could have gone down very differently and every person there might have been injured or killed.
Still think there’s no reason to lawfully carry your firearm to church?