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Armed guards idea not sitting well with Capital Region clergy

October 30, 2018 06:10 PM

Following the tragic shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue, President Trump called for armed guards at places of worship, saying it could prevent attacks.

Others have suggested parishioners with a license to carry bring their weapons to worship. Across the country, only two states prohibit it -- Louisiana and Nebraska. Seven other states, plus Washington, DC, allow concealed carry in churches -- but only if you have a permit and the pastor's permission.

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However, at an interfaith service at Congregation Gates of Heaven in Schenectady Tuesday night, people were very much against the idea. In fact, the room erupted into applause when one speaker, Dr. Paul Uppal, a Sikh Community spokesman, stated we should not embrace that philosophy under any circumstances.

"The best effort should be made to not resort to that kind of an approach, because that would tend to normalize hatred by arguing that hatred is to be expected, so we must be prepared for it," Uppal told NewsChannel 13 on Tuesday.

"The notion of having armed guards at the door, or some sort of securing presence out of the norm really sits very poorly with people, because this is a place of peace," agreed Rabbi Matt Cutler with Congregation Gates of Heaven in Schenectady.

NewsChannel 13 also reached out to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany. They say they have undergone active trainer shooting. They also say local law enforcement has suggested to them that they strongly discourage anyone from entering their services while carrying firearms.

One thing everyone seems to agree on – having to have these dialogues is troubling to say the very least.

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WNYT Staff

Copyright 2018 WNYT-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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