This Just In ...

Kevin Fischer is a veteran broadcaster, the recipient of over 150 major journalism awards from the Milwaukee Press Club, the Wisconsin Associated Press, the Northwest Broadcast News Association, the Wisconsin Bar Association, and others. He has been seen and heard on Milwaukee TV and radio stations for over three decades. A longtime aide to state Senate Republicans in the Wisconsin Legislature, Kevin can be seen offering his views on the news on the public affairs program, "InterCHANGE," on Milwaukee Public Television Channel 10, and heard filling in on Newstalk 1130 WISN. He lives with his wife, Jennifer, and their lovely young daughter, Kyla Audrey, in Franklin.

Guns in church

In the wake of the tragic Charleston shooting, a North Carolina pastor has a unique proposal for how to keep houses of worship safe.

Melvin Clark, the reverend at Washington Missionary Baptist Church in Shelby, N.C., explained on "Fox and Friends Weekend" that he wants to arm ten of his parishioners who will serve as security guards.

Guns in church?

I'm cool with that. And would be at my church. Very cool.

The only church I’ve ever belonged to my entire life is the beautiful and breathtaking St. Anthony’s on Milwaukee’s near south side.

Baptized there.

All the sacraments I’ve been eligible for have come there.

Altar boy there.

Lector there.

And an usher from 1970 when I started helping my dad right up to today.

As an usher I’ve just about seen it all.

People passing out.

People having seizures.

Animals somehow getting loose.

Kids crying.

Adults crying.

Families of all sizes.

Babies that grew into parents who then had babies.

The sad reality is that the St. Anthony’s neighborhood of my childhood is nowhere near what it is today. Crime is common. The area is unsafe. A security guard patrols where cars are parked for Sunday Mass. If not, there’d be break-ins.

In fall and winter transients and the homeless descend upon Sunday Mass. As ushers we allow all to enter. But unfortunately we have to keep eyes focused on some churchgoers more than others.

St. Anthony’s is a perfect spot to celebrate the Eucharist. I recommend to all. People come to take photos and videos. They claim they’ve not seen nor heard anything like it.

But like many churches on Sunday, St. Anthony’s is wide open. Anyone can waltz right in brandishing who knows what.

We’ve had some wild characters show up, shirtless, yelling incoherently, making a scene, stinking of booze. Thankfully no one’s threatened with a weapon. Not at my Sunday morning Mass. There has been shocking violence, however, at my beloved St. Anthony’s

Sunday March 22, 1998.

My 10:00 a.m. mass that day proceeded without incident. Then came the 7:00 p.m. mass.

During the Holy sacrifice shots rang out. A 15-year old boy named Israel Rodriguez took bullets to the head from drive-by shooters as he stood on the steps of scared St. Anthony’s. With blood streaming into his garments, Father Larry Dulek, the church pastor and a very good man cradled Rodriguez and administered the last rites while the boy lay dying.

Let’s be honest. There’s nothing stopping anyone from walking into St. Anthony’s on any given Sunday and instigating a full-blown massacre. The octogenarians that help me in the back of church along with myself would be no match.

I’m not suggesting my church administration start handing out pistols or assigning armed security guards. I have no problem with any number of parishioners showing up for Sunday carrying concealed weapons.

Because right now innocent Sunday worshippers at a church I’ve known to be peaceful my entire life are sitting ducks.



Commenting Policy

We welcome reader discussion but strive to keep things civil. Please see our discussion guidelines and terms of use for more information. If you see a comment that violates our guidelines, please flag it for review. If you have any other issues with our commenting system, please let us know.

Page Tools