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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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'Run, fight or hide'

For the first time, the federal government has issued guidelines for houses of worship that are confronted with a homicidal gunman. Vice President Joe Biden released the material six months after the school shooting in Newtown, Conn., advising adults in congregations to fight back — as a last resort — in a bid to stop the shooter. The federal doctrine is "run, fight or hide." Though shootings at houses of worship are rare, they can make inviting targets for shooters — particularly disturbed individuals — who are looking for a highly visible target to settle a grudge or make a political statement.


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