Veteran Navy SEAL Jimmy Graham delivered a one-word answer when asked to reveal the most powerful preventative deterrent to violent mass shootings like the one that unfolded this week in Uvalde, Texas.
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“Jesus,” he said without missing a beat. He then expounded on his belief America has strayed from its biblical foundations.
“I would plead with people to return to the foundation that built this nation,” he said. “There are biblical foundations that built this nation. They’re proven to work, and we’ve chosen not to use them.”
Graham added, “There’s nothing wrong with the plan; we’ve just chosen not to do it.”
The ex-SEAL is the founder of Able Shepherd, a training program that equips people to protect churches, schools, and other institutions. He deals daily with the kinds of training needed to prepare people for dangerous situations.
Speaking of the horrific shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, which claimed the lives of 19 kids and two adults, Graham, a father of four, said he always struggles when he learns of such alarming scenarios.
Watch his comments about faith, culture, and equipping people for the unthinkable:
The shooting, though, brings to the forefront another issue deeply important to Graham: preparedness.
“People need to be trained,” he said, underscoring the importance of ensuring teachers are equipped to deal with violent events. “Teaching has changed … that’s unfortunate. I hate that I need to say that … there needs to be more trained individuals.”
While Graham said not every educator should be trained with a gun, he explained that each person has a responsibility if and when such a horrific event occurs.
From aiding others to helping people evacuate, the needs are plentiful, and readiness is essential.
Graham also discussed the need for proper school design and creating a “safety culture” — a paradigm in which people are prepared and know the plan if and when an intruder enters a school.
He spoke about some of the misconceptions about current regulations, including the notion that classrooms with windows in the doors are conducive to definitively protecting students.
“You’re not fortified,” Graham said of such a scenario, explaining how windows make it easy to unlock doors. “You’re saying you’re on lockdown. No, you’re not.”
The security expert also shared his belief that many police officers aren’t prepared for mass shootings.
“My background’s Navy SEALs. I was a CIA bodyguard overseas in Benghazi, Libya,” he said. “Most officers are not prepared for this. Period. That’s just the truth. … I evaluate police officers for a living.”
Graham works on these issues daily through Able Shepherd, a company that aims to help people learn to “protect, guide, and strengthen” communities.
In the end, he focused on his premise about the reality of our cultural struggles: we need eternal truth.
“Our nation continues to build higher, higher, higher, while simultaneously chipping away at the foundation,” Graham said. “There are repercussions for that. There are consequences, and we’re living them, and it’s just getting started.”
He added, “I love this country, and it breaks my heart to see what’s happening.”
Watch all of Graham’s comments here.
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