Self Defense in the House of God


An Interview with Tom and Lynn Givens

Interview by Gila Hayes

A few decades ago, needing to defend yourself and your family at church was never discussed. Today, few would challenge the value of learning defense strategies for time spent in a house of worship.

In light of the Network’s focus on individual responsibility (membership benefits are provided to individuals, not to groups), we won’t offer advice on the many issues attached to organizing a church security team. If Network members or their pastors have concerns about security teams, they should contact qualified firearms trainers including our Advisory Board for instruction in the skills to defend against mass murderers.

The Network’s greater concern is that every churchgoer should have a self-defense plan on which to rely during time spent in and around places of worship. This is a topic on which our Network Advisory Board Member Tom Givens and his wife Lynn Givens are eminently qualified to speak. Let’s switch now to a Q & A format, and learn from them in their own words.

eJournal: First, before we begin talking about defending oneself while at church, how do you respond to the common question, “Would you really carry a gun into a place of worship?”

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President’s Message

by Marty Hayes, J.D.Marty eJournal column pix

Once again, the Network had an excellent three-day promotional outreach, setting up and working our new booth at the 2016 NRA Annual Meeting and exhibits. Of course, whenever we all go out of town, the work piles up here at home, so this will only be a quick message this month as we try to get caught up.

First off, my apologies to our members who stopped by the booth and whom I missed. At least you got to meet either Vincent or Gila. At these shows, I spend some time touching bases with industry friends, and of course, being a consumer. I didn’t buy much this year, but did happen to add a few goodies to pack in my luggage for the trip home.

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Attorney Question of the Month


For the past several months, this column has discussed armed citizen interaction with police. Now, in the final installment of the closing question about use of deadly force and the immediate aftermath, we share the last of the responses from our Affiliated Attorneys to this question:

If an armed citizen shoots and kills someone who threatened them with violence (and it is apparent that the criminal is dead) what if anything should the armed citizen say to police when they arrive?

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News from our Affiliates


Compiled by Gila Hayes

As many of our readers know, your Network leadership team has only recently returned from a very rewarding visit to the NRA Annual Meeting in Louisville. Meeting our many affiliates and members and hearing how they are sharing knowledge with armed citizens in their communities all across the country is an important benefit of attending this event. The Network booth was rarely quiet, with visits from affiliates Dennis Fater, Robert Keller (pictured below), Larry Bignall, Bill Martin, George Roe, Brad Smith and many, many more. In fact, one of the interesting differences between this year’s NRA Annual Meeting and those in previous years was how many more Network members stopped by to shake hands, say a few words of appreciation, or to introduce a friend.

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Book Review


What They Don’t Tell You About Church Safety

By Bryan Donihue
Sheepdog Development
ISBN 978-0692216347
Paperback: $14.99; eBook: $5.99

Reviewed by Gila Hayes

Although the Network is an individual member services organization, a surprising number of calls and emails come in from armed citizens who are working with their churches to improve security. Naturally, we point those leaders toward traditional insurance for liability and errors and omissions coverage, as a church’s responsibilities are very different from those of the individual armed citizen. Still, those questions and a desire to understand the issues faced by church security teams, led me to buy and study several books. The one that impressed me most was Bryan Donihue’s What They Don’t Tell You About Church Security.

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About this Journal


The eJournal of the Armed Citizens’ Legal Defense Network, Inc. is published monthly on the Network’s website at Content is copyrighted by the Armed Citizens’ Legal Defense Network, Inc.

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Editor’s Notebook

GHayesby Gila Hayes

We just got back from the NRA Annual Meeting, where we visited with many members–long time Network supporters and new members, too–while we promoted Network membership in a booth in the exhibit hall. It was great to see how many women and children were in attendance, sometimes with the whole family, mother, father and an assortment of kids of all ages all strolling through the rows of booths together.

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