Baptist church in assault rifle giveaway
US youth worship God through firepower
An Oklahoma baptist church has insisted it will proceed with its controversial plan to give away an AR-15 semiautomatic assault rifle* during a youth conference - a move described as "a way of trying to encourage young people to attend the event", according to local Koko 5 news.
Windsor Hills Baptist apparently has a history of worshipping God through firepower, and last year ran a shooting competition as part of its annual shindig. This year, it reportedly shelled out $800 for said trophy semi, but the church’s youth pastor, Bob Ross, claimed the main thrust of the conference wasn't about guns but rather "teens finding faith".
He stressed that the event featured 21 hours of preaching between bursts of gunfire, and defended: “I don’t want people thinking ‘My goodness, we’re putting a weapon in the hand of somebody that doesn’t respect it who are then going to go out and kill. That’s not at all what we’re trying to do.”
Koko 5 reported last week that the giveaway was cancelled at the last minute since pastor emeritus Jim Vineyard, who ran the shooting competition, "injured his foot and wouldn’t be able to attend". The promotion was subsequently removed from the church's website, Koko 5 said.
However, a quick shufti at the church's website reveals that Our Lord and the Second Amendment have intervened to allow the donation of the AR-15 to a true believer. It says:
Although the shooting competition that was to take place during the Youth Conference had been canceled, due to false statements made by the Oklahoma City TV Channel 5 (KOCO) and subsequently reported also by media outlets across the country, an AR-15 was donated last Saturday so that the competition could go on as planned.
If Congress, back when our country was fighting for its independence could give engraved muskets to the fifteen or so eleven year old boys that their teacher, Mr. Akins, led into battle against the British, then we can give away a firearm still today, especially since our Supreme Court just re-emphasized our Second Amendment rights.
*AR-15? Pah. Authentic Children of Christ know that the AK-47 is the infidel-busting weapon of choice.
@ Jack Burrows: Not Trying Too Hard, Though...
<< As a proud legally gun toting Texas >>
'Texan', I presume you meant. Or maybe you meant you were a gun, and you were toting Texas? But then the 'legally' gives us a problem... I'll go with 'Texan'.
<< First allow me to clarify a few items for our brothers and sisters on the other side of the pond. >>
Please do. We're always happy to be corrected by 'higher forms of American'.
<< First, our Constitution guarantees those of us in the U.S. the right to keep and bear arms and clearly states that the government cannot restrict said right. >>
Yes, we know.
<< ...our Founding Fathers (treasonous rebels to you Brits) >>
No, not *us* Brits. Maybe the Brits in the 18th Century (back when the treasonous rebels considered themselves Brits, too - you do know Paul Revere never said "the British are coming", don't you?)...
But not us. Believe it or not, by 2008 most of us have pretty much come to terms with the fact that USA is now a country in its own right. The ones who haven't are imperialist throwbacks. I think it's fair to say that most Americans have a grip on the modern situation too. Not all, apparently, but most.
<< This right was important enough to them to ensure that, if necessary, the people would have the means to revolt against the government >>
Aye. Dread to think what sort of government you think would warrant that, though, since the current shower apparently don't.
<< Your statement is a simple illustration of the British mentality that the U.S. needs to come to your aid when the chips are down. >>
The US *needs* to do nothing, and I don't think the British expect anything of the sort. I could go down the line of asking you to name the countries that stood by you (at least, whose politicians stood by you) when you decided to go conquer Iraq. I know a lot of Americans - the higher form, usually - like to think of the US as being above global affairs. They're the sort of people who make big noise about how they don't care what other countries think. Maybe they don't - but some of them seem to put a great deal of energy into making sure everyone knows it...
The thing is - and since I'm a Brit you can take my word for this - empires rise and fall. When our empire fragmented, we ended up in a reasonably good position. We still had - and still have - fairly good relations with most of our former territories. Sure, there's a bit of rivalry and even a little resentment in some quarters even now - but by and large we get on pretty well. The existence of the Commonwealth is testament to that.
The USA might not need anyone right now. You might be above the rest of us. You're rich. You're powerful. The world looks up to you. No-one's the Boss Of You, we know. But things change. And it might be worth considering an insurance policy. If the Sun does ever set on the American Empire, you might be thankful that you kept a few people on side.
<< A few of my favorite quotes from history: >>
It pains me that I can't remember who to thank for one of my favourite quotes from history, any time I'm confronted with an insecure American on an anti-British rant. The quotee, whoever it was, was a woman lecturing a similarly puffed-up American on the War of Independence as a great British victory. When he sputtered his indignation, she explained that since the War was fought by British colonists against a German king employing German mercenaries, it was difficult to see what else it could be called.
Anyway, methinks the 'higher form of American' here doth protest too much. I think most of the people here who've stopped to think about it have acknowledged at least that the actual ownership of guns is entirely legal in the area in question. The American right to own guns isn't at issue, so probably didn't need this fervent a defence. The American *attitude* to guns (or rather, the attitude of some Americans to guns) is an issue - but that's because, for a lot of other nations, that attitude is so utterly alien. For an alarmingly large number of you, they're not merely essential tools to ensure the people's control over the government: they're *idols*. I think that's what worries a lot of Americans and foreigners alike.
Now, since I've said before I can't really understand what makes this article 'news', I'm not going to start telling you what the point is here. There really isn't one other than, like I said, giving the anti-religionists yet another feeble excuse to bash. I certainly don't think the point is to denigrate Americans. Just, maybe, a certain type - perhaps a 'higher form' - of American.
Trying not to Brit bash here
As a proud legally gun toting Texas (a higher form of American). I have read through the comments on this article with interest. First allow me to clarify a few items for our brothers and sisters on the other side of the pond.
First, our Constitution guarantees those of us in the U.S. the right to keep and bear arms and clearly states that the government cannot restrict said right. A recent decision by our Supreme Court ruled that the Second Amendment refers to the right of the individual and not the state thus echoing the intentions of our Founding Fathers (treasonous rebels to you Brits). This right was important enough to them to ensure that, if necessary, the people would have the means to revolt against the government as well as provide for their own security. History at that time showed a definite need for the ability to revolt against a tyrannical government.
Now to quote a few great Americans:
"Those who give up liberty for the sake of security deserve neither liberty nor security" Benjamin Franklin
Secondly, mentions of us turning to the French for support during the Revolution. Yes we did, and they were a great assistance to us at the time. A debt we repaid during two world wars that were fought largely in Europe. And lest we forget, the U.S. also aided the U.K during those wars by providing troops and supplies.
A person note to Anonymous Coward: for his post "...and you arrived late in a couple of world wars." Late? For what? We declared neutrality less than two months after the beginning of WWI. It was only sympathy for the Brits that brought us into a war that had nothing to do with us.
In WWII, we once again provided arms and supplies to the Brits in order to assist them in staving off the terrible Huns. Our entry into that European war was a direct result of Japan attacking us and aligning themselves with the Germans who declared war on the U.S.
Your statement is a simple illustration of the British mentality that the U.S. needs to come to your aid when the chips are down.
And to clarify another statement of yours "You beat the Brits once on your home turf". Actually it was twice The first was the American Revolution, the second was the War of 1812.
A few of my favorite quotes from history:
"The constitutions of most of our States assert that all power is inherent in the people; that... it is their right and duty to be at all times armed."
--Thomas Jefferson to John Cartwright, 1824.
"One loves to possess arms, though they hope never to have occasion for them."
--Thomas Jefferson to George Washington, 1796. ME 9:341
"A strong body makes the mind strong. As to the species of exercises, I advise the gun. While this gives a moderate exercise to the Body, it gives boldness, enterprise, and independence to the mind . . . Let your gun therefore be the constant companion of your walks."
--Thomas Jefferson, Letter to his nephew Peter Carr, August 19, 1785.
"No freeman shall be debarred the use of arms (within his own lands or tenements)."
--Thomas Jefferson: Draft Virginia Constitution with (his note added), 1776. Papers, 1:353
"Laws that forbid the carrying of arms . . . disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes . . . Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man."
--Thomas Jefferson, quoting Cesare Beccaria in On Crimes and Punishment (1764).
Water Kills indiscriminately...
... so lets have some balance here and ban H2O. Returns [column 15] Daily Mail to [9inch] pocket.