Sanctuaries No More

Written by Greg Rocque, CEO Cacharme Systems

You’ve heard it before: “When I was a boy, I would go out in the morning and not come back ‘til dusk.” And for me, that was absolutely true, and I pretty much felt safe wherever I went – from riding my bike with friends along the tracks to exploring some backwoods corner of a local forest preserve. And of course, the last place I feared danger was at our neighborhood church.

But with high-profile church shootings in Texas (2017) and South Carolina (2015), and countless other less publicized incidents, times have officially changed. It’s clear that the very places that used to be safe havens, sanctuaries from harm, are increasingly becoming targets of senseless violence.

While this is public knowledge, it became even clearer to me last weekend at the USCCA Expo in Louisville, KY. There, Cacharme Systems was an exhibitor displaying and demonstrating our concealed carry Executive I men’s blazers. For those of you not familiar, the USCCA (United States Concealed Carry Association) was founded in 2003 by a visionary guy named Tim Schmidt. He had seen the tides turning in society and decided to create a voice for freedom and responsibility in the USCCA. And, if last weekend’s Expo is any indication, he was right and this community is solid and growing.

Now, being in the business of selling a fashionable concealed carry blazer, my associates and I probably saw a different slice of the record crowd than many of the other exhibitors. But this is what I discovered, as people would open up and talk about their lives with us: most of the attendees who visited our booth wanted our blazer to wear at church. Some of them carry regularly and want a nicer garment for their worship time. Some of them are on established or developing security teams at their church. Some were pastors who wanted to conceal better. But some 90% of our visitors were on a concealed-carry-at-church mission while attending the Expo.

The current generation is choosing to protect their local house of worship for the value it brings to their community. By my informal straw poll of attendees at the USCCA Expo, there was no sense of fear. No worry. No anger. There was merely a sense of times changing, and a sense of growing responsibility to face those changes – a responsibility to protect people in harm’s way and to preserve this important part of their lives. It’s clear that more people are taking on this mission for their congregations. As founder of Cacharme Systems, I can tell you we’re committed to serve these quiet, brave, determined servants of Christ – poised for action, praying always for more peaceful times.