A Time to Speak…
By: Carl Chinn
More than 30 years ago I read the book, “A Day no Pigs Would Die” by Robert Peck. It was the story of growing up under the guidance of a sometimes harsh, but constantly wise and strong father. As the young lad was venturing out of the county for his first time to attend the state fair, his dad told him to “never miss a chance to keep your mouth shut”.
As I recall that little bit of wisdom, I also recall Ecclesiastes 3;
(1) There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
(2) a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
(3) a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
(4) a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
(5) a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
(6) a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
(7) a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
(8) a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
On 3/25/12 we saw an amazing story come out of Boiling Springs, South Carolina. Jesse Gates had come to the church about 10:00 that Sunday morning, and complained of heart trouble. He asked the pastor to call the local news channel.
The pastor called 911 instead. EMS responders checked him over and released him without treatment, so Gates left the church.
But the pastor’s Grandson, 26-year-old Aaron Guyton remained vigilant. He was observant enough to notice when Gates returned at 11:20 and saw him pull a shotgun out of his car.
Young Guyton began to lock down the church and was prepared with a weapon of his own. When Gates kicked through side doors of the church, he was quickly overpowered by Jesse Smith and Leland Powers as Aaron held him at bay with his own weapon. Even the pastor got in on “the takedown” as he came over the railings at the front of the pulpit and took the shotgun from the attacker.
No shots were ever fired.
What struck me most about this story was waiting a couple weeks to see if young Aaron would make the media splatter. He never did other than answering a couple public questions right after the incident. This young man has established a model the church security operators everywhere should take note of.
I tip my hat to the wisdom of this young man and the others in Boiling Springs, SC.
Think about it;
~ There is no record of Aaron Guyton being overzealous on protection. He was quiet before and after the incident, but he was a serious agent of protection. We see a contrast here between this case and the George Zimmerman / Travon Martin case.
~ Every church security team should have a policy that nobody talks to the media after an incident without special permission from the pastor. That pastor should exercise wisdom in considering the timing of public news releases. Give the scenario time before coming out with news.
~ The pastor is also to be commended for recognizing the real issue, and not just following the request to call the news. He responded correctly at several opportunities that day – the marks of a true leader.
~ Adrenalin forces tunnel vision, and few things trigger tunnel vision like a gun in the hands of an angry person. A gun in the hands of a protector also triggers tunnel vision for an attacker – it gets his attention taking it away from innocent others. We can’t stop every gunman from entering a sanctuary, but we can hope for more protectors like Aaron Guyton.
~ As you think about the characters on your security team, think about the media that will occur should there be a use of deadly force. The world will probably never know the truth behind the Zimmerman / Martin case because it has spun so far out of control that it will now be resolved by whoever gets the most powerful attorney. What we do know is that it has an element of sensationalism that isn’t helping the agent of protection in this case. I’ve said it before, I will say it again – be careful of using zealous security operators. I don’t like using the Zimmerman case as a model, because it looks to me like he has been given an unfair shake. But that is my point, fair or not, the character of security agents will impact your story in the event of a serious incident.
~ There is a time to be silent, and a time to speak. When in doubt, don’t miss the opportunity to be quiet.