Wednesday, March 12, 2014

SOL 12 of 31 -- Gun Giveaways?!

Kentucky Southern Baptists Draw Crowds With Gun Giveaways

I heard this on NPR Monday morning and I am STILL thinking about it.  I have always known that fear is powerful but somehow this story drove that point home to me like nothing else I’ve ever heard. 

A Baptist church in Paducah, Kentucky had a steak dinner and gun raffle.  Yes, there were 25 firearms donated to the church and up for grabs.   Proponents say that the opportunity of winning a gun brings people into the doors of the church and hear that the church has a message that’s relevant to their lives.  As the NPR reporter says, "Events like this are a surefire way to pack their pews!"

The NPR reporter interviewed a guest at the dinner named Tom Jackson:

Jackson: I do believe in God and I do believe in livin’ the way He wants....
I should have the right to defend myself and my family any way I see fit.

Interviewer: Didn’t Jesus say ‘turn the other cheek?’

Jackson: Well, yeah, I agree with that but you know, somebody kicks your door down and means to hurt your wife, your kids, how do you turn the other cheek to that?

Now Mr. Jackson did not say the guns were for recreational purposes. I could understand if he said he was an avid hunter.  But he spoke only of his need for defense.  So I got to wondering about the culture of Paducah, Kentucky.  I’ve driven though this city and didn’t feel threatened at all.  But I believe I only stopped at a Burger King.  Maybe there was more I hadn’t seen.  So I checked the crime rate:

In 2012, the crime rate was 315.6 (the U.S. average is 301.1). In my hometown of Aurora, CO it was 312.4.  I have never, ever imagined someone kicking down my door, let alone doing it with intent to hurt my family or me.  What makes Mr. Jackson believe this could happen to him? I am fairly up on the news and I can’t recall reports of this happening in the U.S.  I just do not understand the culture of fear.

The steak dinner was also offering camouflage and waterproof bibles, but unlike the firearms, they were not free.

The NPR news story (4:34):

Lone Oak First Baptist Church in Paducah photo from

Shotgun photo credit: <a href="">ILMO JOE</a> via <a href="">photopin</a> <a href="">cc</a>


  1. It is fear, I suppose, but not just fear of someone breaking in, but fear that all, ALL the guns will be taken away. Great post Susan, glad to hear about this story.

  2. What a great example of responding to a text in an essay. This, too, is a topic that's hard for me to understand. I try to take the other person's perspective, but on this topic I just haven't been able to make sense of any of it.

  3. Wow! Powerful piece, Susan. It's got me thinking and I guarantee I will still be thinking about it for a while.