Monday, December 11, 2017

Open Carry at The Vertical Church with AR15 and Radio

Open carry at The Vertical Church in Yuma is common. It is not so common to see a rifleman outside of the front entrance.

The Church takes security seriously. There is a dedicated security team that has several members at each service. Some members carry openly, some carry discreetly. There is nearly always double coverage as most security team members serve at one service and attend worship at another. Team members switch between open carry and discreet carry as is convenient.

Members of the security team have a high percentage of active, former, and retired military and police. The Church is located less than a mile from the Marine Corps Air Station. Yuma Proving Grounds is only 20 miles away, and most people who work there live in Yuma. Yuma is a favored retirement area for members of the military, many of whom became familiar with the area while on active duty. Arizona is a state the supports the Second Amendment. It is a Constitutional Carry or permitless carry state. No permit is required to carry, openly or discretely, if you are 21 years old. 18 to 20 year olds carry openly without a permit.

The members of the security team maintain contact over a radio net. In addition to designated areas of responsibility, some members rove the entire complex and parking lots during services.

The exact percentage of the membership with military or police experience is unknown. While assigned to roving duty, I have counted the number of vehicles parked facing out, as a percentage of the over all number of parked vehicles. Parking facing out is known as "combat parking".

All members of military and police forces are taught to combat park, for safety and operational reasons. Combat parking does not take any more time than parking face in, because the vehicle has to be backed out if it is parked face in. Combat parking allows for speedy and safe movement away from the parking area if necessary. Most accidents are backing accidents. Backing accidents are more common backing out than backing in. Once combat parking becomes a habit, it tends to stick.

On the Sunday the rifle picture was taken, the 19th of November, 2017, 27 percent of the  vehicles parked for Church services were combat parked. The percentage of combat parked vehicles has been consistently between 25 and 30 percent for the last couple of years. 

Many Church members who are not on  the security team also carry, both openly and discretely.  While the number who carry discretely is difficult to determine, several members that I did not know were armed, confided to me that they were armed at church on a regular basis. Occasionally, I am able to "make" a church member that is not too concerned about the necessity of concealment while carrying discretely. It is easy to adopt a casual attitude when there is no legal penalty for such a minor indiscretion.

Church membership has been skyrocketing in the last few years, requiring remodeling of the existing facility and acquiring neighboring property for an expanded parking lot.

The Vertical Church exists to see people far from God become the hands and feet of Jesus.

Protecting the innocent is a legitimate Christian activity. If you doubt this, I suggest reading  A Time to Kill (The Myth of Christian Pacifism). Here is a review I wrote.

The Vertical Church is prospering and growing. It is heavily involved in helping people in Yuma, in Mexico, and in other mission areas. The security team is dedicated to making sure the Church is able to accomplish its mission in a secure environment.

©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch

1 comment:

ExpatNJ said...

Nicely done, Dean.