VI – Self-Defense

Gentle Response De-Escalation Training for Church Security Teams

Gentle Response is the organization founded by John Riley, a retired police officer and certified crisis intervention specialist with the National Anger Management Association. He and his team travel all over the United States conducting Conflict De-escalation Training seminars.

SemperVerus attended this excellent seminar, held in Immanuel Church, Holland, Michigan, May 14, 2023. With Mr. Riley’s permission, here are notes we took during that seminar and scenario training:

•   “A gentle response defuses anger” Proverbs 15:1 (MSG)

•   Conflict de-escalation: lowering the intensity of an agitated person to minimize a potentially volatile situation from becoming a critical violent incident.

[ Read the SemperVerus article, A Prayer for Church Security Team Members ]

•   Peacemaking and de-escalating people’s anger is the goal, while staying alert to your own personal and public safety. When overwhelmed, stay safe and be an expert witness.

•   Mindset Priority: Each church security team member must have a “ministry mindset” — Every contact (even eye contact) is a ministry opportunity to represent the mission of the church. Don’t let your actions be heavy-handed and damage that mission.

Nebraska Is Now the 27th USA State That Allows Permitless Carrying of Concealed Firearms

A second state has now been added to the majority of states in the USA which allow the concealed carry of firearms without the need for a permit or license from the government.

Nebraska Gov. Jim Pillen signed Bill LB 77 into law April 25, 2023, enacting permitless carry in the Cornhusker State making Nebraska the 27th state to enact such legislation. The new law provides for carrying of concealed handguns without a permit, changes provisions relating to concealed weapons, and prohibits certain regulation of weapons by cities, villages, and counties.

[ Read the SemperVerus article, Florida Is Now the 26th USA State That Allows Permitless Carrying of Concealed Firearms ]

Under the new law, which will take effect 3 months after the legislative session ends, Nebraskans and non-residents 21 and older will no longer need a license to carry concealed, though individuals must still be legally eligible to possess handguns. Carry licenses will still be available to eligible individuals who wish to acquire one for various purposes, such as compliance with federal law prohibiting firearm possession in school zones (see the US Code of Federal Gun Laws 18 U.S.C. § 922(q)(2)) and reciprocity with other states.

[ Read the SemperVerus article, USA State Constitutions Providing for Armed Self-Defense ]

The 27 Constitutional Carry states now are

  1. Alabama
  2. Alaska
  3. Arkansas
  4. Arizona
  5. Florida
  6. Georgia
  7. Idaho
  8. Indiana
  9. Iowa
  10. Kansas
  11. Kentucky
  12. Maine
  13. Mississippi
  14. Missouri
  15. Montana
  16. Nebraska
  17. New Hampshire
  18. North Dakota
  19. Ohio
  20. Oklahoma
  21. South Dakota
  22. Tennessee
  23. Texas
  24. Utah
  25. Vermont
  26. West Virginia
  27. Wyoming.

[ Read articles in the SemperVerus category of the 2nd Amendment ]

Invite SemperVerus® to present its 5 life-changing success-generating components—prepare, aware, be, know, do—to your organization to inspire and motivate your members.

Join the SemperVerus Brotherhood™!

Why 21 Feet Is Not a ‘Safe’ Distance

An article published on reports research that confirms 21 feet is not necessarily the magic distance to successfully ward off every deadly threat and that more distance could be more apparently required. While this article contains useful information, it unfortunately includes mischaracterizations that need clarification.

First, it erroneously begins: The 21-foot rule has been a topic of conversation in law enforcement since the 1980s when Salt Lake City Police Department Lieutenant Dennis Tueller developed a training drill for his fellow officers. But it is NOT a “rule” and should never be considered a “rule.” It is a training drill intended to be used as a general standard in practice to hone defensive skills.

Second, it states: In this drill, an officer played the role of a suspect with an edged weapon who would charge another officer who was standing about 21 feet away with a holstered weapon. Properly understood, The Tueller Drill does NOT restrict the threat to only an edged weapon.

Appearing in the March 1983 issue of SWAT magazine, How Close Is Too Close? by Dennis Tueller is the original article credited with first establishing the importance of maintaining a “reactionary gap” in defensive force incidents. It begins with the very clear threat scenario description: The “good guy” with the gun against the “bad guy” with the knife (or machete, axe, club, tire-iron, etc.). You’ll notice police trainer Lt. Tueller did NOT limit the threat to only knives or other edged weapons; he included ANY striking weapon (“club, tire-iron, etc.”) used in a person’s hand that is capable of causing death or great bodily harm. The original article illustration itself shows the threat using a club, not a knife.

A Prayer for Church Security Team Members

Being a volunteer member of your church security team is a demanding responsibility. You invest considerable time, effort, and expense training and learning as much as you can to be able to properly respond to any emergency that may occur during a gathering of your church.

[ See the SemperVerus list of links to Church Security Training Resources ]

One excellent training opportunity is Sheepdog Church Security, which offers a certification program that covers Security Team Fundamentals, Active Shooter Response, Deescalating Disruptive Persons, Protecting Children from Abuse, Use of Force Laws, Arson and Fire Safety, Storms and Disasters, and Mass Trauma Emergency.

[ Read articles in the SemperVerus category of Church Security ]

Since attention to church safety and security encompasses so many physical—as well as spiritual—dangers and threats, here’s a prayer by SemperVerus® you may want to say every time you start your security team volunteer shift: