When was the last time you walked into a place of worship and worried whether others might be carrying a  concealed weapon? Evidently, if you show up for a church service in Arkansas sometime in the near future, there may be reason to worry.

By a measure of 57 to 42 the Arkansas state House passed the church-guns bill that would allow legal gun owners to take carry their weapons into churches and other places of worship.   Taking a firearm into a house of worship is currently prohibited under Arkansas law. The church-guns bill would allow individual churches to decide for themselves. “Due to many shootings that have happened in our churches across our nation, it is time we changed our concealed handgun law to allow law-abiding citizens of the state of Arkansas the right to defend themselves and others should a situation happen in one of our churches,” argued the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Beverly Pyle, R-Cedarville.

I can see it now.

A gunman enters a worship service, aims a rifle at the preacher and pulls the trigger. Suddenly 30 to 40 people around the sanctuary reach under their coats, open their purses, pull up a pant leg and yank out their pistols. A barrage of bullets follows. Sure, they get the gunman. But their shooting skill is second only to Dick Cheney–oh, sorry about the collateral damage—a.k.a. dead bystanders.

How about this.

It’s the hottest day of the summer. As people sit in an air conditioned sanctuary there is a power surge and loud popping sounds. A handful of people carrying guns think someone has been shot. One of them jumps out of the pew and draws his gun to hunt down the perpetrator. Other gun wielding congregants think this first responder is the perpetrator.  Reacting and reaching without thinking they all shoot at once.

You mean those popping sounds weren’t from a gun? Oh, sorry!

How many other scenarios can you imagine?

It is true that some people confuse Jesus with the Lone Ranger , but this must be some kind of a joke.

Bill supporters argue the government has no right to subvert the authority of any local congregation. The state should keep its big government hands off the church. They say this legislation would allow individual congregations to ban guns from their premises—if that’s what they want.

But Pastor John Phillips, a shooting victim himself, asked, “Do you want ushers to stop you at the door and frisk you?”

He is right. A church would be required to have male friskers and female friskers—this could be complicated. Maybe dissenting churches should install metal detectors.

One more thing. As a preacher of sermons I confess that I don’t relish the idea of an armed congregation.

Maybe the bill sponsors are asking the wrong question. These zealous followers of Christ might ask themselves this question: Who would Jesus shoot?

One thing I know is that if Jesus were to speak today about this legislation he might well say, “You blind guides and hypocrites.” The problem is not that there aren’t enough people in enough places carrying guns. The problem is there are too many carrying guns in too many places.

Crazy people have always done crazy things.  Crazy people have no grip on reality, no understanding of the consequences or the costs of their behavior.

It will undoubtedly happen again. Some crazy person will enter a house of worship with gun ablaze.  But it’s better not to make a bad situation worse.  Especially in a group of people, firepower only increases the death and suffering.  Crazy shooting behavior is more effectively overcome by physical force—and fewer are placed in harms way.

It would be better for a congregation to be skilled in the art of tackling.  Better to have two or three tackle the shooter than shoot at a moving target while bullets stray. Send the congregation to football camp.  It would be better to have a bunch of football players in the pews than a handful of shooters.

I wouldn’t say that those who voted for this bill are crazy–but their legislative behavior is a reminder that there is more than one way to act in a crazy way.