A man carrying multiple guns was arrested just after 11am on Sunday morning at Bellevue Baptist Church in Tennessee.
Thirty-one-year-old Marcus Donald was carrying a .40 caliber Beretta handgun in his pocket and a .300 Blackout rifle in his backpack.
A security guard at the church apprehended Donald and took his weapons, according to Memphis police spokeswoman Karen Rudolph.
“People in society are a threat to him and that he must be vigilant,” the man told police, indicating his reason for carrying his guns.
Donald was taken in for “emergency commitment” and was being evaluated on Sunday evening. Police say that he may also not be cited for carrying the weapons in the church if he has a valid permit.
“Why would you bring a weapon of any kind to the sanctuary on Resurrection Sunday?” Emmanuel Cole asked, reacting to the news. “We shouldn’t be worried about someone bringing a weapon or threat in the sanctuary.”
Well, this is going to upset some people, but the fact of the matter is that in Tennessee there is no law against carrying your guns onto church property unless the church is being used for a school event or if there are signs posted prohibiting the weapons. My guess is there are many members of Bellevue Baptist Church who are packing every Sunday.
A Bellevue spokesman provided the following statement:
“A heavily armed man entered our building today about 11:00 a.m. He was stopped by our security people before he could enter the sanctuary, and was subsequently arrested by Memphis Police. We are thankful for the diligence of our security people and the Memphis Police Department.”
Whether the man had evil intentions remains to be seen. I tend to agree with his response that we must remain vigilant. I carry my gun everywhere I go. In fact, I carry several and am part of a team of men at our church who seek to look out so that we don’t have an incident like the one that took place in Charleston. That is part of the God-given rights we have in America that are protected under the Second Amendment. Furthermore, I don’t know why permits are the issue since we are talking about God-given rights, not permission from the state.
So, it appears thus far that the man has yet to be charged with a crime. Second, one has to question whether or not his weapons were stolen, and I don’t mean by him. If he was not committing a crime, then there is a problem with confiscating his weapons. Third, what is the issue of putting the man under mental evaluation? Was it because he was vigilant and exercised his right to keep and bear arms?
Sadly, I saw in many Christian discussion boards on Facebook that only select men should be carrying weapons to church and that the eldership or pastors not be allowed to carry. Why? Did they somehow lose their rights, or is this more touchy feely “Christianity”? Have these people forgotten our forefathers who not only thundered the Word of God in the pulpit, but also carried their arms into the pulpit with them at times?
Every Church today should have well-armed and trained men to deal with criminals who wish to do the people they worship with harm, but every law-abiding man also has the right to keep and bear arms.