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Bend church leaders react to Texas mass shooting

'I just can't imagine what they're going through'

Churches react to Texas shooting

BEND, Ore. - Representatives of several churches around Bend said Monday that what's been most difficult for them in the wake of the Texas mass shooting is that it took place in what is supposed to be a safe spot to gather and worship.

The co-pastor of the Foundry Church, Trevor Waybright, said the only way to really avoid this sort of tragedy would be to up security, which isn't realistic for a church.

He added that at his church, they practice common-sense security by limiting the entrances during times of worship, as well as putting people by the door, looking for people who may be acting strange.

"I just can't imagine what they are going through," Waybright said of the Texas church. "I mean, the sadness and the difficulty of trying to, you know. go back and worship in a place where --  that has meant so much to them and now is a place of death and all that. I just can't imagine what they are going through."

Many of the local church leaders said they already have security practices in place.

Danny Looney, the pastor at Mission Church, said he feels safe at his church. He said they have only one entrance that people can use during services, and that entrance is monitored during those times.

He also said they work very hard to make sure that everyone in the church feels safe.

"We have attendants at the front doors, all during service, before and after, that are trained in crisis intervention," Looney said. "They're trained in how to handle those instances if they might happen. If they see suspicious activity, then they are trained to be able to report that immediately."

Looney also said in the event of a crisis, each room in the church can be locked down from the inside.

Mark Sue, the co-pastor at the Foundry Church, said he has made sure that there is only one place where people can come in or out during service times.

Sue also carries a concealed weapon and teaches gun safety classes.

But he also said there needs needs to be a better system in place to make sure guns don't fall into the wrong hands.

"I'm personally in favor of responsible gun control," Sue said. "You know, I think that we should try to be as safe and practical as possible. But in the end, when all is said and done, if someone is heart bent on on doing something terrible, there's not a lot that anyone can do to stop them."

He added that the only real way to make sure something like this never happens again is to put armed guards in churches, but he said that is not a practical solution.

Sue said what it really comes down to is being prepared for anything, and being ready to react if a shooting were to happen.


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