A scenario - fiction - but is it?

Post date: May 10, 2012 3:20:54 PM

Putting a stop to an act of hate and anger, using myself -

Suppose I felt the need at my place of worship, to be someone that met and welcomed people as they came to join me at services, and as a people person, that was what I felt was my calling.

Later, as time went by, happy in my appointment in this position; suppose that the need for security at that facility became very great; and in my role of "welcomer", I was asked to take on pseudo security-like related tasks.

I’m already being watchful, I walk up and talk to people, I’m there already..., and now I’m asked to make judgement calls, and determine a good visitor from a bad visitor. Which is for the most part, what all humans do, we all observe who’s around us right? I’m just in this role.

Now, an active shooter incident happens at a nearby facility, and many people were killed. Fear is visited on our congregation, and the main question comes up, what if that was us? How can we protect ourselves?

We as welcomer's get together with the clergy and faculty to discuss what we and they can do. We create a plan. We implement lock-down. We have shelter in place, with food and water available. We have layers of places to run and hide inside. 911 will be called the moment we are aware that there is a problem. We are ready right?

We discuss hiring armed guards, and realize that we don’t have a budget for it. We might be able to hire “a” guard occasionally, at big events, but there simply isn’t the funding to have one every weekend. Fear still comes to us, even though we have a plan.

We can’t afford guards… But, may we, as welcomer's; can we become like guards? Yes! we can train, become more aware of our surroundings, take hand to hand combat classes, and can stand guard for our facility and we can be as official representatives to help keep everyone safe. We can. So we do. We are volunteers, and we are empowered.

Now we stand out front, inside, and walk the perimeter, we wear matching uniforms, we have radios, we are security, and we are welcomer's. We are ready to challenge visitors, we are ready to call 911. I’m in the parking lot, I see who gets here, see the normal crowd, and I see who isn’t normal, who is new - and could either be a new friend, or could be my worst nightmare.

It is a noble thing to put yourself in harms way to protect your family and your fellow man.

But, what if? What if that someone attacks? What if they aren’t dissuaded by our stand as guards? What if my radio fails, or what if I can’t respond in time? What if we can’t stop them? What if I run from my post and save myself.. and then.. what if the worst happens, and I’m not there? What if...could I live with the guilt of not being there? Or just as I suspect - worse even for just me, I’m at my post, and I’m killed as one of the first, and the worst still happens, and many more die. What was the point of it all? What if?

What could I do to alter this possible worst outcome? What can my fellow welcomer's do?

I guess, if I’m real with myself, the worst outcome is all I can hope to protect against.

I have to realize that my own life is most likely forfeit when that just wrong individual shows up. My life will hopefully buy the time necessary for the emergency plan to go into action. Another welcomer's will hear the shot, and implement the plan.

I can, the moment I realize it, call out on the radio and get the lock-down started at the facility, and if there is time, I can dial 911. I can try to get somewhere safe. I probably won’t be able to save my own life. But I will try to save those that are in the building. I will try and save my fellow worshipers, whom have done nothing wrong. I will try.

It’s a far cry from what I signed up for; being a welcomer; being friendly, kind and helpful, welcoming my friends to come and have a seat.