Annual Warning: LDS Church Publicly Announces Soft Target Status, Demonstrates Some Lives More Valuable Than Others

Each January, I check to see if the LDS Church has renewed it’s firearm ban and publicly announced itself to be a soft target for terror and/or other violent crimes (and, yes, islamic terrorists have specifically named the LDS Church as a target). The trend continues this year. However, there is something else I picked up on during the last year and I was reminded of when reading their January 9, 2019 legal notice:

NOTICE OF FIREARMS PROHIBITION Notice is hereby given that, pursuant to Section 76-10-530 of the Utah Code Annotated, firearms are prohibited in all houses of worship, including temples, meetinghouses, chapels, stake centers, tabernacles, the Assembly Hall, the Tabernacle and the Conference Center, of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the “Church”), except for firearms in the possession and control of individuals who (a) are specified in Section 76-10-523(1)(a)-(e) of the Utah Code Annotated or (b) are otherwise engaged in the protection of Church members, visitors, personnel or facilities and hold a written authorization issued by the Managing Director of the Church’s Security Department. This notice is effective upon publication and shall remain in effect until revoked or the first anniversary of the publication of this notice, whichever first occurs. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints 50 East North Temple Street Salt Lake City, Utah 84150 1238909 UPAXLP [Emphasis added]

First, “members” with “written authorization” does not apply to general membership. Trust me, if you’re not in upper church leadership that bold section doesn’t apply to you. You’re expendable.

Earlier this year, I attended a couple of meetings where the church’s president was in attendance. Both were in a church facility where the gun ban applied. In both instances he had an armed security detail. They either were advertising to potential trouble makers that they were armed or didn’t do a very good job concealing their weapons. It’s another instance of “good for me but not for thee”.

Members should be aware of three things:

1. Upper leadership is afforded protection that you and innocent members (particularly children) are not. Apparently, their lives aren’t as valuable as others (‘some lives are more equal than others’?…). As far as I’m concerned a child’s, middle-aged mother’s, or sleepy 75-year-old member’s life is just as important as the Prophet’s or other General Authority’s life. If they refuse to let members protect themselves, they should at least either provide security or active shooter (and first aid) training.

2. Just because an armed security detail is in a meeting you attend, do not count on them protecting you or your family. Their priority is the individual(s) they’re assigned to. If crap hits the fan, they’ll get them out of the danger which may mean neutralizing the threat (if you’re lucky) but more likely, just getting out to safety. It’s possible they’ll come back to engage the threat but there will be a long delay (they have to secure their client) and most of the damage will be done. Basically, you’re on your own.

3. Given the two items above, you need to plan for your own security, reaction and egress. You should hold a family home evening on it. I would also suggest looking into some sort of trauma first aid training to help in the aftermath if you survive. Here are a few resources to start off:

Everything You Think You Know About an Active Shooter Situation Is Wrong
Recognizing 8 Signs of Terrorism
How Situational Awareness Can Save Your Life In A Terror Attack

Notes on the videos:  In Auburn’s you’ll notice everyone concentrate in one corner of the room. That isn’t best practice IMO (see the Ohio video where they mention spacing out). Also in Ohio University’s video, note the “…bring along a weapon in case you encounter the shooter along the way” comment. The best weapon (IMO) has been denied to you so grab what you can quickly (don’t waste time evaluating/looking for something, however). Remember, ALICE  means Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate.

There are plenty of other resources so check them out but be sure to apply them to your situation as each method will have deficiencies for different scenarios (e.g. differing room type, size, configuration, obstacles, number of shooters, etc.). Try to play out realistic scenarios in your mind (don’t get into fantasy where you come out the hero). Plan on casualties and steel yourself mentally for the screaming, gore and likely death you will encounter.

Finally, The LDS Church remains one of only two churches in Utah with this dangerous policy. I hope the LDS Church will reconsider their policy just as another congregation did when faced with a threat. It should also be noted that prior to the change a few years ago, concealed carry had been allowed for decades in LDS facilities without incident.

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Once Soft Target For Terror In Utah Hardens Itself

At the beginning of the year, I put up my (now) annual post warning of the dangers of feel-good gun bans by churches, particularly related to terrorism or mass shooting/casualty situations. As I noted then, the LDS Church was only one of two religious organizations in Utah that advertise they ban lawful citizens from carrying guns. At the time, the only other church to do so was Congregation Kol Ami.

They are now off BCI’s list of those banning a lawful and effective defensive means. It may have something to do with this (Congregation Kol Ami in SLC heightens security after three anti-Semitic incidents):

Congregation Kol Ami says they are increasing security measures in response to several incidents of anti-Semitism that occurred within a short period of time.

I won’t pretend to know much about them, but there appear to be plenty of their faith who advocate for individual defensive means in the face of bigoted threats.

How To Make Your Utah Voter Registration Information Private

As I’ve explained in the past, the state of Utah and Utah’s county clerks are required by law to sell the personal information of more than 1.5 million registered voters for $1,050—voter identification number; first, middle, and last name; voter status (active or inactive); absentee status; original registration date; party affiliation; phone number (if provided by voter); mailing and residence address, voter participation history; and method of participation (absentee, by mail, normal, etc.).  Of course, some of the elites, such as the governor have managed to have their personal information protected.

If that weren’t bad enough, certain entities including political parties, or an agent, employee, or independent contractor of a political party, candidates for office, financial institutions, health care providers, researchers and insurance companies are authorized to purchase the month and year of birth of registered voters along with all of their other personal information.

Once purchasers have the voters’ information, they can do whatever they want with it including tracking down the victims of domestic violence who may have changed their addresses, accessing teenagers’ private information or even posting the entire list, less the month and year of birth, to the Internet.  In fact, the personal information of roughly 1.8 million Utah registered voters can already be found on voterrecords.com.

2018 legislature finally made it possible for registered voters to protect their personal information.

For over five years, my father worked with Representative Becky Edwards (R), who unsuccessfully ran bill after bill designed to protect voters’ personal information.  Their efforts were always stymied by the state’s two major political parties and powerful business interests who insisted that if voters wanted to exercise their right to vote, they had to give them their personal information.

Finally, in 2018, two election related bills, SB74 and HB218 were passed with provisions making it possible for Utah voters to request that their voter registration records be made private.  Both bills passed the House and the Senate unanimously and were signed by the governor.

In addition to Representative Edwards, the following legislators played a key role in making it possible for Utah voters to exercise both their right to vote and their right to privacy:  Senator Karen Mayne (D), Senator Deidre Henderson (R), Representative Rebecca Chavez-Houck (D), Representative Sue Duckworth (D), Representative Karianne Lisonbee (R), and Representative Norm Thurston (R).

Salt Lake County Clerk, Sherrie Swensen (D) also worked diligently to give voters the right to make their voter registration a private record.

So, how do I make my voter registration record private?

If you are NOT already registered to vote, go to the state website and register to vote. When asked “Would you like to make your record private,” click on “Yes.”

If you are already registered to vote go to the state website, update your voter registration information and make your record private by clicking on “Yes.”

If you are completing a paper form to register to vote, when asked on the form “Would you like to make your record private, check “Yes.”

How do I remove my records that were previously sold by the state from voterrecords.com?

According to voterrecords.com:

We respect your privacy and have a simple way for those wishing to remove some of their public records data from appearing on VoterRecords.com.

Step 1: Search for a person [by clicking here and then entering your info in the Search Filters on the left.]

Step 2: Click on the person’s name in the search results, this will take you to the individual’s detailed record page.

Step 3: Scroll to the very bottom of the page and click the Record Opt-Out link. This will take you to the opt-out form specific to that record.

Step 4: Once the form is submitted we will send you an email with a verification link that you will need to click to verify your opt-out request. (Not everyone will receive the verification email. If you do not receive the email this typically means your record was successfully processed without additional verification being needed.)

Once you have done this, data such as: house number, phone, and email address should no longer appear. Make sure to refresh the page and clear your browser cache if you are still seeing the data after you have completed these steps.

Please remember that all voter records appearing on VoterRecords.com are public record and can be obtained directly from the government by anyone at anytime. Removing information from VoterRecords.com has no effect on the official records the government maintains and releases.  [Therefore, unless you make your voter record private, the state will sell it to voterrecords.com and voterrecords.com may add it to their list even if you have previously removed it.]

So, that’s it.  Take five minutes now and protect your personal information.  And, pass the word on to your family and friends.  After all, if the state won’t do its job and protect our information, then we will have to do it ourselves.  At least, we can now vote without being forced to let the state sell our personal information to the world, political operatives and a bunch of businesses and health care providers.

Note: This post was co-written with Ron Mortensen (hey, there’s a first time for everything).

Must Watch: I’m The Majority

Just watch, there’s not much I can add.

“We’re the first ones taxed, and the last ones considered, and the first ones punished when things like this happen. Because our rights are the ones being taken away.”

Enough with leftists blaming good citizens and treading on rights of the law-abiding. I too am fed up with all the politicians coddling to the “loonies from the left”. We must start to fight and “raise hell” with the schools, city councils, legislatures, and organizations who bow down to the leftist minority who are either ignorant to realities and God-given rights or malevolently seek to deny them for their own power. I’m done with unprincipled politicians and organizations (including churches) who say we always have to compromise our natural and constitutional rights to speech and defense (among others) to some squeamish leftist social justice warrior when we’ve done nothing wrong and obey the law. They can take their despotic social justice and shove it.

LDS Church Renews Tempting Soft Target Status For 2018

Last month I posted my annual warning/reminder about staying vigilant when attending services at an LDS church, particularly given the specific Daesh (ISIS) threat against the church. This month, I checked if anything had changed in terms of the church allowing members and visitors to have defensive means. Nope. The LDS church renewed its status as one of two churches in Utah to ban law-abiding citizens from possessing a firearm.

The ban is in effect for another year. Thus, if you attend church (or any ‘gun-ban’ public venue) this year, be sure to click the linked post and review the terrorism defense tips/links at the end of the post. Stay safe and good luck.

Daesh (ISIS) Now Specifically Threatens LDS Church (Annual Threat Update)

Apparently, this is turning into an annual Christmas tradition here. Two years ago, I posted about Daesh (ISIS) stating they would target churches in the US and last year I noted that they had reaffirmed that threat. Both times, I have highlighted LDS churches have been made into tempting soft targets. Just a week ago, Daesh demonstrated their appetite to kill at religious sites and the bloody carnage that results. That brings us to our third anniversary. This year, Daesh decided to not only reissue their threat but treat us with imagery specific to the LDS church (Image with LDS temple, terrorist, circulating online).

(KUTV) A disturbing, concerning image is circulating online claiming that a group is targeting the LDS temple in San Deigo, California. The picture which was allegedly released by a pro-ISIS media group shows a burning temple with an alleged member of ISIS looking on and the bloody words “Coming Soon.”

The FBI says they are “not aware of any specific and credible threat to [the LDS] community”. However, lone wolf and terrorist’s whole purpose is to fly under the radar.  The FBI isn’t able to catch everything; evidenced by recent terror attacks here and the still unresolved Vegas shooting (not to mention Fox 13’s report about Daesh recruiting in Utah). It is still up to individuals and organizations to maintain vigilance and situational awareness and be, preferably, granted a means of defense.

Unfortunately, we’re three years into this and folks are still stripped of the some excellent individual means of defense and a simple means to harden an exploitable soft target (i.e. the church’s firearms ban).

The article concludes with a U of U counter-terrorism expert:

“I think it warrants attention,” Guiora said. “We have a tendency to dismiss things that seem this can’t happen. but I think what we’ve learned in the past period – literally anything can happen. Terrorists say what they mean and they mean what they say.”

At the same time, Guiora said the last thing we want to do is stay home.

“You don’t want people to stay home, because if you stay home then terrorism wins,” he said.

I have to admit that it’s a bit more tempting to stay home when you’re denied a defensive ability and hindered in fulfilling a God-given duty to protect the innocent. It’s not all that fun being told to be a sitting duck. Regardless, to reiterate last year’s conclusion: As you go to church, pray, be vigilant, look for improvised means of defense and be ready to act. Please also review the following (also linked on my prior two posts on this subject):
Recognizing 8 Signs of Terrorism
How Situational Awareness Can Save Your Life In A Terror Attack

Stay vigilant and have a Merry Christmas!

ISIS Reaffirms Attacking You At Church (LDS Church still soft target) (UPDATE)

***See 2017 update below about Daesh now specifically targetting the LDS Church***

Last year, I posted that LDS churches present themselves as a tempting, if not ideal, target for Daesh/ISIS (or any other terrorist group). Bluntly, the church has made decisions to present itself as such a target and is aware of the threat.

Nothing has changed in church policy to reduce this threat and the threat has certainly not diminished. Far from it, today it is reported that Daesh is reaffirming it’s call to target US churches and appears to include an updated list of churches to target:

Exclusive: ISIS Puts Out Holiday Attack List Of U.S. Churches

As I said a year ago:

In the meantime, it would be very wise for members to review the video (Recognizing 8 Signs of Terrorism) published by the Utah Department of Public Safety and carefully watch for the clues presented. Additionally, come up with a survival plan for various attack scenarios (hint: naively going with the instinctual “it will never happen here” is not a plan).

To add to that, don’t just think of ‘traditional’ attacks with explosives/weapons. Up your situational awareness everywhere you go:

How Situational Awareness Can Save Your Life In A Terror Attack

Stay safe and Merry Christmas.

UPDATE (12/23): It’s official, the FBI & DHS have issued a security bulletin: Feds Warn ISIS Sympathizers ‘Continue Aspirational Calls For Attacks’ On Churches, Holiday Gatherings

Update #2 (12/23): No, Daesh isn’t bluffing. From our southern neighbor: Phoenix cops arrest alleged ‘jihadist’ plotting midnight Mass attack: ‘Get down with this ISIS s-t’

Addendum: As an aside, the LDS Church appears unconcerned about basic security but should SJWs clearly take lyrics out of context and get their shorts in a wad, then the church will take action: LDS Church yanks song ‘White’ after lyrics fell flat with Mormons of color

…I suppose I should crack open the hymnbook and look for offensive lyrics too (out of context, naturally).

Update (1/14/17): Something else to consider  from 2015 – FBI director says ISIS recruiting in every state — including Utah

Update (12/2/2017): We’re up to three years in a row of Daesh threatening churches. Now they specifically depict an LDS temple in their imagery. There’s still no change from the LDS church – you’re still denied the right to an effective means of defense and remain a soft target.