Nearly 40 years ago I read the book, “A Day no Pigs Would Die” by Robert Peck. It was a true story of growing up under the guidance of a sometimes harsh, but constantly wise and strong father. As young Robert was venturing out of his home county for the first time to go to the state fair, his father told him, “Never miss a chance to keep your mouth shut.”
A bit like Ecclesiastes 3. (1) There is a time for everything. (7) … a time to be silent and a time to speak.
On Sunday morning, 3/25/2012, in Boiling Springs, South Carolina, Jesse Gates came to a church about 10:00 and complained of heart trouble. He asked the pastor to call the local news channel.
The pastor did the right thing and called 911 instead. EMS responders checked and released him without treatment, so Gates (a sporadic attendee of the church) just left.
But the pastor’s Grandson, 26-year-old Aaron Guyton, stayed vigilant. He was watching when Gates returned at 11:20. He was watching when Gates pulled a shotgun out of his car and started towards the church.
Guyton (a conceal carry licensee) locked down the church and warned others. When Gates kicked through side doors of the church, he was surprised right there and quickly overpowered by Jesse Smith and Leland Powers as Guyton held him at gunpoint. Even the pastor got in on the takedown as he came over the railings in front of the pulpit and took away the would-be attacker’s shotgun.
No shots were ever fired. The Sheriff’s office had a clean packaged deal when they arrived.
One thing that struck me about this story was how Aaron Guyton has stayed quiet. He only answered a few public questions right after the incident; nothing in the 9 ½ years since.
Think about it;
Policies should state that nobody talks to the public after an incident without special permission from the right authority with the organization. That authority should exercise wisdom in considering the timing of public comments. Give it time before coming out with statements.
There will be a time to speak. Wait for it. Christ Himself did this in Matthew 27:12 (“He said nothing”).
While waiting, “Never miss a chance to keep your mouth shut.”