Active shooters topic at church

Published 10:40 am Thursday, January 31, 2019

By Chris Moore


NEDERLAND — The First Methodist Church in Nederland hosted active shooter training to prepare residents for a possible attack. Texas Law Shield, which is under the umbrella of the U.S. Law Shield, presented the training along with a pitch for people to get insurance coverage.

For a monthly or yearly fee, the company provides legal coverage in the event that a person was forced to use a weapon.

The training began with retired San Antonio Police Department Capt. Cris Anderson, a member of Texas Law Shield, giving stats on past domestic and foreign terrorist attacks and mass shootings.

“Unfortunately, in our society these days, we have to be aware of what it takes to protect ourselves and protect our flock, if you will,” Anderson said.

A 2017 mass shooting at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, some 30 miles east of San Antonio, left 26 dead and 20 wounded. The gunman was shot by a civilian outside the church and later shot himself.

Violent crime (382.9 incidents per 100,000 people) and murder rates (5.3 murders per 100,000 people) have risen since 2014 (361.6 incidents of violent crimes per 100,000 and 4.4 murders per 100,000 people), which marked the lowest rates of the last two decades, according to FBI crime data.

However, while the current violent crime and murder rates are higher than 2014, the 10-year span from 2007-2017 (2018 FBI stats are not yet available) marks the lowest rates for a 10-year span in the U.S. since the 1960s.

“There is no place that is immune to a wolf with weapons who can cause death or injury to a group of people,” Anderson said.

Anderson said the average police response time to a call is three minutes.

“Every police department is drastically unstaffed in terms of providing services we want to provide,” he said to the audience. “When an adversary enters place of sheep, betting that there are no sheepdogs, does what he’s going to until he commits suicide or is stopped by a police officer or stopped by another more committed adversary — you.”

Anderson talked about numerous attacks in American history from the University of Texas tower shooting in 1966 and the Columbine High School shooting in 1999 to the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.

“Are (terrorist) pretty active right now overseas?” Anderson asked the audience. “They’re hitting what we call freshman targets. When they get really good at what they want to do, they’re coming for the varsity target and that’s us.”

Anderson said that “lone wolves” or individuals commit 90 percent of the mass casualty attacks.

“That will change when international terrorists come across borders because they operate in cells,” he said. “They’ll have more people with them, so we’re going to have to learn to protect our flock from potential threats from individuals, but you’re going to have to think about if there is more than one adversary.”

Anderson said understanding “denial, deliberation and making a decisive action” could be the difference between life and death.

After speaking for about an hour, Anderson handed the microphone over to a representative from U.S. and Texas Law Shields Legal Defense Program, who talked about the legal process one must go through when they use a weapon to protect themselves, their family or property.

For a monthly or annual fee, the program provides lawyers and funding required to those who use a weapon in those circumstances.

Attendees were then given a chance to go sign up for the program.