The West Freeway Church video
Following the shooting at the West Freeway Church of Christ, a video of the event was briefly released by the church. The footage was heavily edited and did not show the shootings themselves, but only the buildup and the consequences.
Yesterday even that was taken down by the church, presumably an action taken by the pastor, Britt Farmer.
This is understandable. Churches are not in the business of sponsoring shootings or distributing the video footage containing them. Many would argue that such an action was Christlike in that it draws a veil over the terrible fate of the bystanders and the miserable death of the perp himself. It's not difficult to defend the decision of Rev. Farmer or the action of the church.
At the same time, it's misguided. Attacks on churches and synagogues (though not mosques, strangely enough) have skyrocketed in recent years. We all recall the Sutherland Springs shooting of 2017, only a couple hundred miles south of Ft. Worth, in which 46 people were shot, 26 of them fatally. This is only one example out of a parade of such events. Places of worship, once sanctuaries against any form of violence, have become devalued, viewed only as soft and lucrative targets by the vicious and the unbalanced.
That is why it is necessary to replay the video of the Freeway Church shooting, and to replay it complete and unedited. The shooters are targeting churches and their congregations because they view them as easy prey. This needs to end, and videos such as this are a sure method of ending it. Let everyone, including criminals, see the attack. Let everyone, including criminals, see Jack Wilson's courageous and skilled response, which took the shooter down before he could turn his weapon on the congregation as a whole. Let everyone see the half-dozen prepared worshipers who leapt into action with their own guns. Let everyone see the perp fall dead, in the very presence of the Lord himself.
We can be sure that a number of copycats will see that and have second thoughts about taking down their local church or synagogue. They may even abandon their plans for a bloodbath completely.
If you look at the West Freeway Church's Twitter feed, you'll see that a number of tweets have appeared featuring the full video. These have apparently been put up in response to the church's action. But Rev. Farmer need not feel annoyed or harassed. Clearly, these people are not themselves attacking the church, but instead making a statement concerning the best method of repelling and dissuading future assailants.
Christ himself asserted that there would be times when the sword was necessary. Every possible weapon must be utilized to halt the attacks on our places of worship. The West Freeway Church video is such a weapon.