Government Offers 'Concrete Direction' on Church Violence

Guidelines recommend “run, hide, or fight” doctrine for churches confronted with a homicidal gunman.

(RNS) For the first time, the federal government has issued written guidelines for houses of worship that are confronted with a homicidal gunman.

Vice President Joe Biden released the new rules on yesterday (June 18), six months after the school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, that left 26 dead, including 20 children. As federal officials worked with education officials in crafting new school safety rules, they also consulted clergy, Biden told a White House auditorium filled with federal officials who have worked on the issue.

"The faith leaders not only want us to talk about making schools safer," Biden said. "They're worried that their congregations are at risk. So they wanted to know, what should they be thinking about when someone stands up in the middle of the congregation and decides to do something similar as we saw in the schools."

In response to their concerns, Biden said, "we gave concrete direction."

Beyond seeking shelter and waiting ...

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