Otis Sanford: Church security necessary as lawmakers fail to act on gun laws

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — There are no words to adequately describe the horror and anger arising from the latest act of mass murder in America. We simply cannot understand why anyone would brutally kill more than two dozen worshipers in a Baptist church in the small Texas town of Sutherland Springs. The youngest victim was just 18 months old and the 14-year-old daughter of the church's pastor was also among those killed.

The facts surrounding this crime are still being collected, but one unmistakable fact is that places of worship are more and more becoming targets of gun violence.

This one was the worst in American history.

Ironically, many people learned about Sunday's shooting as they were leaving worship services themselves. No doubt a lot of them — myself included — counted their blessings because houses of worship are among those soft targets where people are most vulnerable to attack.

Since our elected leaders in Congress and statehouses refuse to enact sensible gun control laws, churches — including those here in Memphis — are being forced to make extreme changes to provide extra security for their congregations. They include adding armed guards inside the sanctuary, installing more security cameras and allowing designated church members to arm themselves during worship.

Yes, it's sad that it has come to this, but taking up arms is becoming necessary as long as cowardly politicians keep sitting on their hands.

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