It seems guns and US Baptist churches have a lot in common - a few months ago we reported on how Baptists in Georgia were appealing for the right to carry firearms in church, and now we hear of a church in Oklahoma that plans to give away an AR-15 assault rifle as a prize in a shooting competition for teenagers.
The competition will take place at Windsor Hills Baptist Church's Annual Youth Conference, which runs from today until Friday, and the leading young Christian hotshot will walk away well-armed thanks to a church benefactor who has kindly donated the AR-15.
For the non-gun-toters among you, Wikipedia tells me an AR-15 is a is a lightweight, air-cooled, gas-operated, magazine-fed, semi-automatic, centerfire, shoulder-fired rifle capable of delivering a cool 800 rounds per minute over an effective range of 550 metres.
The shooting competition is part of a whole host of events, including a volleyball championship, a "Crunch Revival"(does anyone know what one of those is?), a "Preacher Boys' competition", Youth Workers Golf and a basketball tournament.
There seems to have been some confusion over whether the gun-giveaway was actually going ahead, with some US media reporting that it had been cancelled, but the Church's own website assures teenage Christian gun enthusiasts everywhere that the weapon will still be available. But in case you're worried that giving a gun away to a young person may lead to something bad happening from the long list of bad things that can happen when a young person (or indeed anyone) has a gun, youth pastor Bob Ross has assured the media this is not the case:
“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.”
[Thanks to reader Paul Chana for putting us on to that story]
Monday, 14 July 2008
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