Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr. urges students to arm themselves

There are 66 Comments

David R. Brumbelow's picture

I would tend to agree.

David R. Brumbelow

Jay's picture

We've had, what, three mass shootings in the last four weeks, and two of them by Muslim extremists that were affiliated with Islamic terrorist groups?  I think that carrying weapons for self-defense is not only common sense, but is frankly, pretty wise given everything that's going on.

I like what Eowyn said in the film adaption of The Two Towers: "The women of this country learned long ago, those without swords can still die upon them."

"Our task today is to tell people — who no longer know what sin is...no longer see themselves as sinners, and no longer have room for these categories — that Christ died for sins of which they do not think they’re guilty." - David Wells

dmyers's picture

In the past, I've heard it argued that even if the Second Amendment protects private ownership of guns, it only applies to long guns that would make sense as weapons for a militia (because the Amendment starts with a reference to "a well-regulated militia").  Seems to me that, in this day of unpredictable enemy attacks on our civilian population at "soft" targets, the concealed carry handgun has become a very important "militia" weapon.

Ron Bean's picture

 I own guns, and I'm pro-second amendment but this type of "pulpit machismo" is preaching foolishness.

There are much better ways of communicating this idea. And if he's carrying a loaded handgun in his "back pocket" instead of a holster, he's not too smart.

"Some things are of that nature as to make one's fancy chuckle, while his heart doth ache." John Bunyan

jimcarwest's picture

Someone is trying to kill your wife at work, your kid at a school.  Someone is committed to destroying your nation.  Someone wants to kill all the Christians and replace your churches with mosques.  And we are supposed to worry about the impressions we give to defend ourselves?  I'm so glad our forbears -- both Democrats and Republicans -- weren't concerned about impressions when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, or when the Germans sank the Lusitania, or when the Russians stationed missiles in Cuba, or when the Muslims brought down the Trade Towers.  There is a time for peace, and there is a time for war.  There is a time for patience, and there is a time for retaliation.  Now is not the time for peaceful coexistence with evil.  Let us pray, let us witness, BUT let us not betray those who look to us for decisive action.  

GregH's picture

Personally, I am at least as scared of bunch of unqualified people carrying guns than I am of terrorists. Terrorists are pretty rare. Half crazy, overly emotional and foolish people are not. I would not be interested in going to a church if everyone was packing guns.

Bob Nutzhorn's picture

GregH wrote:

Personally, I am at least as scared of bunch of unqualified people carrying guns than I am of terrorists. Terrorists are pretty rare. Half crazy, overly emotional and foolish people are not. I would not be interested in going to a church if everyone was packing guns.

It is an odd thing to claim that people who attend church who also carry guns are unqualified, half crazy, overly emotional, and foolish. In my small congregation, I know that there are between 2 and 4 men carrying a concealed weapon. I would not classify them as any of those things. In fact, they have all been trained to carry, know their weapon well, have practiced with it, and are qualified to carry. Your description of concealed carry gun owners is exactly what those who oppose the second amendment want the general population to believe about gun owners, but those facts are not backed up by reality.

Ron Bean's picture

Shades of  J. Frank Norris.

"Some things are of that nature as to make one's fancy chuckle, while his heart doth ache." John Bunyan

David R. Brumbelow's picture

I know churches that have several members who regularly, legally, carry guns to church and elsewhere. Never heard of them shooting up the place unnecessarily, not even in a business meeting. I would be much more concerned with terrorists or a mentally unstable murderer, than with them. I’m very comfortable around good guys with guns.

If someone comes in our church to murder as many as possible, they will probably be finished by the time police get there. I’d be very grateful for any and all law abiding members with a concealed carry permit.

It really is true - usually the only thing that stops a bad man with a gun is a good man with a gun.

If you are comfortable with guns, I’d advise you to get a concealed carry permit. Keep a good gun in your car; perhaps a smaller one to carry at all times. You might end up saving a life.

By the way, a walking cane can also make a very useful weapon. 

David R. Brumbelow

Greg Long's picture

GregH wrote:

Personally, I am at least as scared of bunch of unqualified people carrying guns than I am of terrorists. Terrorists are pretty rare. Half crazy, overly emotional and foolish people are not. I would not be interested in going to a church if everyone was packing guns.

How do you, GregH, determine someone is "unqualified" to carry a gun, and what gives you the right to do so? So you would not go to church if "everyone" was packing guns? What percentage of people in the church packing guns would deter you from attending? And how would you determine that in the first place? And would you change your mind if someone entered the church building and started shooting?

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Greg Long, Ed.D. (SBTS)

Pastor of Adult Ministries
Grace Church, Des Moines, IA

Adjunct Instructor
School of Divinity
Liberty University

Ron Bean's picture

Anyone who would carry a handgun in his pocket is unqualified and evidently didn't pay attention when he took the gun safety course.

"Some things are of that nature as to make one's fancy chuckle, while his heart doth ache." John Bunyan

David R. Brumbelow's picture

I know some very qualified, competent people who carry a gun in their pockets. There are small guns and pocket holsters after all.  Some police carry a small backup or off-duty gun. 

Most concealed carry permit holders are not going to carry a tactical rifle or large handgun. Rather for convenience, conceal-ability, etc., they will carry a small handgun; a .38 or a .22 magnum.

If you had to use it, sure, it would be better to have a larger gun and caliber. But if you are under attack a .22 magnum is much better than having no gun at all.

You can even get pretty small 9mms, etc.  Most will not carry a large gun because of it's bulk; when they will carry a small light gun. 

David R. Brumbelow

GregH's picture

Greg Long wrote:

 

GregH wrote:

 

Personally, I am at least as scared of bunch of unqualified people carrying guns than I am of terrorists. Terrorists are pretty rare. Half crazy, overly emotional and foolish people are not. I would not be interested in going to a church if everyone was packing guns.

 

How do you, GregH, determine someone is "unqualified" to carry a gun, and what gives you the right to do so? So you would not go to church if "everyone" was packing guns? What percentage of people in the church packing guns would deter you from attending? And how would you determine that in the first place? And would you change your mind if someone entered the church building and started shooting?

 

What gives me the right to do so? Seriously? Sorry but I give myself that right. I don't want my family in a church where everyone is welcomed or encouraged to carry a gun. I don't mind if a few qualified people are carrying.  No I am not going to start parsing what qualified looks like. I do not think the average person is qualified though and if just anyone was allowed to carry to my church, it would alarm me.

GregH's picture

Bob Nutzhorn wrote:

 

GregH wrote:

 

Personally, I am at least as scared of bunch of unqualified people carrying guns than I am of terrorists. Terrorists are pretty rare. Half crazy, overly emotional and foolish people are not. I would not be interested in going to a church if everyone was packing guns.

 

 

It is an odd thing to claim that people who attend church who also carry guns are unqualified, half crazy, overly emotional, and foolish. In my small congregation, I know that there are between 2 and 4 men carrying a concealed weapon. I would not classify them as any of those things. In fact, they have all been trained to carry, know their weapon well, have practiced with it, and are qualified to carry. Your description of concealed carry gun owners is exactly what those who oppose the second amendment want the general population to believe about gun owners, but those facts are not backed up by reality.

If you think everyone in a typical church is emotionally balanced and qualified to pull out a gun in high stress situations, you are naive. I don't have a problem with a few qualified people carrying guns but I have a big problem where everyone is encouraged to bring guns.

jimcarwest's picture

The average person who carries a concealed gun does not advertise it.  Will you put a metal detector on your church to weed out those who do?  

Jim's picture

http://www.cincinnati.com/story/news/2015/12/07/sheriff-license-holders-...

The Boone County sheriff has a message for licensed, trained gun owners: You should carry your guns, to protect yourself and others.

In a "call to action," Sheriff' Michael Helmig released his thoughts on the Boone County Sheriff's OfficeFacebook page.

"I have reminded my current and retired Deputy Sheriffs of their responsibility to carry their firearms while off-duty," Helmig's open letter states.

"I would also like to remind the people who have applied, been trained, and issued a license to carry a Concealed Deadly Weapon (CCDW) that they also have a responsibility to carry their firearm, which they are proficient with, for the safety of themselves and others. It is also the responsibility of everyone to refresh themselves with the laws that govern the privilege and great responsibility that accompany being a CCDW license holder.

https://www.facebook.com/bcsoky/?fref=ts

Greg Long's picture

I don't understand, GregH. If a person has passed their background check, has taken gun safety courses, and has the permit to carry, how do you determine if they are qualified or not?

So you would rather attend a church where people are not welcome to carry their lawfully registered gun? I don't know of any churches that forbid people from carrying their concealed weapons, but I'm sure they are out there. So you are saying you are going to choose to attend a church that explicitly forbids this?

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Greg Long, Ed.D. (SBTS)

Pastor of Adult Ministries
Grace Church, Des Moines, IA

Adjunct Instructor
School of Divinity
Liberty University

Bert Perry's picture

...with arming students at Liberty is that they are generally under 21, hence ineligible to own a handgun or purchase ammunition for it.  They will also likely lack the $500-$1000 required to get a carry permit.  And I would agree that if indeed Mr. Falwell is carrying in his pocket, he is risking (a) theft of the weapon to pickpockets, (b) easy detection as the profile of the gun is seen, and (c) accidental discharge of that weapon into areas of his body that he doesn't want impacted by a bullet.

So there is a degree of macho bluster in Mr. Falwell's speech, regrettably.  However, the idea that we ought to have some means of defense of self or others is welcome--for those not willing or able to carry a pistol, pepper spray and titanium canes are wonderful.  I would guess that even a good stout belt might be handy at times.

Regarding Greg's objections to carry permit holders, it's worth noting that a known felony record or known history of serious mental illness will result in that permit being denied or revoked.  Statistically speaking, it's a pretty good system, especially since the cost of the gun, ammunition, training, and permit acts as a barrier to entry.  It's hard to be a loose cannon (unemployable with no control of personal budget) and still get a carry permit.  It's also worth noting that someone with huge problems with self-control--just might be someone who will carry whether or not he has a permit.

So your choice really isn't whether you've got a given risk of having an unstable person who is armed in your church.  The choice is whether or not you will have a good chance of having stable people armed in your church to deter them, really.  

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

GregH's picture

Greg Long wrote:

I don't understand, GregH. If a person has passed their background check, has taken gun safety courses, and has the permit to carry, how do you determine if they are qualified or not?

So you would rather attend a church where people are not welcome to carry their lawfully registered gun? I don't know of any churches that forbid people from carrying their concealed weapons, but I'm sure they are out there. So you are saying you are going to choose to attend a church that explicitly forbids this?

I don't think passing a background check and taking gun safety courses is that big of a deal frankly. I think there is a whole other level of competency regarding whether is able to handle a high stress situation and be accurate with a hand gun. It is very hard to be accurate with a hand gun even when there is no stress. There are all sorts of psychological factors that come into play. On top of that, in a typical church, there are people that are just a bit crazy. When I look around my church, I see people that I would not want carrying a gun.

Churches have the right to define gun policy, at least here in Georgia. I am fairly sure that in about half of the states, you are not allowed to carry concealed weapons into church, permit or no. In my opinion, churches should have a gun policy where there are a few very qualified people with guns and no one else should be bringing their guns to church. And if that is indefensible as some here claim and the gun zealots would flagrantly break the church position and the law, it sort of proves the point of the anti-gun crowd doesn't it?

It would be absolutely a factor in my decision on where to go to church as to whether anyone was allowed to carry. I don't want 80-year-old grandmothers with shaking hands carrying guns. I don't want 25-year-old hot heads carrying guns either.

Bert Perry's picture

...is that in general, you don't need to shoot, and a lot of the time you don't even need to brandish the weapon.  Hence you don't need the combat skills and temperament of a gladiator or Marine.  You just need to make the perpetrator wonder whether you might be capable of putting rounds at center of mass.  About 95% of the time, shots are not fired simply because the presence of an armed opponent serves to put the fear of God into the perpetrator.

Plus, most states have about the same four rules for using the weapon.  You've got to have immediate fear of death or grievous bodily harm, no lesser force will do, you must retreat if it is practical, and force stops when the threat stops.  More or less, you've got to be cornered and in fear of your life, and you'd be surprised what a person can do when that threat exists.  Hence errors by carry permit holders are much lower than those for police officers.  

Nothing against the police, but remember that they are required to engage, not retreat--hence they will necessarily make more mistakes.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Joeb's picture

Speaking as someone who for 25 years was combat trained and qualified to use a handgun shotgun and AR 15 every 3 months, I'm in Greg H's camp.   If you are going to hAve people carrying a gun at church it should be designated trained people and they should know who each other are otherwise in the middle of an incident you got everybody pointed guns all over the place.  Imagine a congregation of 200 and fifty people pulling guns out and pointing them all around.  Since I retired 10 yrs ago I have not carried a concealed handgun.  I don't even own one. If I want to I can secure Special Credentials to carry a concealed weapon anywhere in the US despite what state laws say and I still choose not to.  That's my personal decision, but I think that in a church you need some control.   I used to attend a large Willow Creek type church with 2000 members and they did choose to have a designated few security people carry concealed weapons and that included law Enforcement   I chose at the time not to participate.  I was involved in the coffee ministry.  Givin the ISIS situation now I would participate if I was active Law Enforcement  but I would have informed the Pastor and would want to know who else was armed.  I also would have liked one person to be in charge if an incident occurred. This person would hopefully be an active local police officer.  I base this opinion on my training and my experience flying armed.   Anytime I flew armed I was informed by the crew who else was carrying and where they sat and if a Sky Marshal was on board.  Ultimately in any emergency the Sky Marshall was the boss.  

Greg Long's picture

GregH wrote:

 

Greg Long wrote:

 

I don't understand, GregH. If a person has passed their background check, has taken gun safety courses, and has the permit to carry, how do you determine if they are qualified or not?

So you would rather attend a church where people are not welcome to carry their lawfully registered gun? I don't know of any churches that forbid people from carrying their concealed weapons, but I'm sure they are out there. So you are saying you are going to choose to attend a church that explicitly forbids this?

 

 

I don't think passing a background check and taking gun safety courses is that big of a deal frankly. I think there is a whole other level of competency regarding whether is able to handle a high stress situation and be accurate with a hand gun. It is very hard to be accurate with a hand gun even when there is no stress. There are all sorts of psychological factors that come into play. On top of that, in a typical church, there are people that are just a bit crazy. When I look around my church, I see people that I would not want carrying a gun.

Churches have the right to define gun policy, at least here in Georgia. I am fairly sure that in about half of the states, you are not allowed to carry concealed weapons into church, permit or no. In my opinion, churches should have a gun policy where there are a few very qualified people with guns and no one else should be bringing their guns to church. And if that is indefensible as some here claim and the gun zealots would flagrantly break the church position and the law, it sort of proves the point of the anti-gun crowd doesn't it?

It would be absolutely a factor in my decision on where to go to church as to whether anyone was allowed to carry. I don't want 80-year-old grandmothers with shaking hands carrying guns. I don't want 25-year-old hot heads carrying guns either.

Can you point to a specific example where someone came into church with the intent to kill, and someone else pulled out a gun to defend people but because of a lack of training injured or killed more people than the intruder?

-------
Greg Long, Ed.D. (SBTS)

Pastor of Adult Ministries
Grace Church, Des Moines, IA

Adjunct Instructor
School of Divinity
Liberty University

GregH's picture

Greg Long wrote:

 

GregH wrote:

 

 

Greg Long wrote:

 

I don't understand, GregH. If a person has passed their background check, has taken gun safety courses, and has the permit to carry, how do you determine if they are qualified or not?

So you would rather attend a church where people are not welcome to carry their lawfully registered gun? I don't know of any churches that forbid people from carrying their concealed weapons, but I'm sure they are out there. So you are saying you are going to choose to attend a church that explicitly forbids this?

 

 

I don't think passing a background check and taking gun safety courses is that big of a deal frankly. I think there is a whole other level of competency regarding whether is able to handle a high stress situation and be accurate with a hand gun. It is very hard to be accurate with a hand gun even when there is no stress. There are all sorts of psychological factors that come into play. On top of that, in a typical church, there are people that are just a bit crazy. When I look around my church, I see people that I would not want carrying a gun.

Churches have the right to define gun policy, at least here in Georgia. I am fairly sure that in about half of the states, you are not allowed to carry concealed weapons into church, permit or no. In my opinion, churches should have a gun policy where there are a few very qualified people with guns and no one else should be bringing their guns to church. And if that is indefensible as some here claim and the gun zealots would flagrantly break the church position and the law, it sort of proves the point of the anti-gun crowd doesn't it?

It would be absolutely a factor in my decision on where to go to church as to whether anyone was allowed to carry. I don't want 80-year-old grandmothers with shaking hands carrying guns. I don't want 25-year-old hot heads carrying guns either.

 

Can you point to a specific example where someone came into church with the intent to kill, and someone else pulled out a gun to defend people but because of a lack of training injured or killed more people than the intruder?

 

There are almost no church shootings to draw on for data (to support your position or mine) and maybe none where there were people in the congregation armed with guns. But if you want to get past pro-gun ideology and read some real statistics, there is plenty of evidence that suggests that carrying a gun in general is more dangerous than not carrying a gun. For example, there are four gun accidents that occur at home for every time a gun is used in self defense.

 

DLCreed's picture

Stats, examples, accidents, etc...  The bottom line is that it IS a constitutional right and one that is VERY important to a majority of Americans.  While I'm not sure it was particularly wise to announce to a room of college students that he was packing, I will say that I'm grateful for the opportunities provided by the 2nd Amendment and the failure to use this freedom properly is no more a justification to reduce or eliminate it than it would be to require the registration of Muslims, limit anti-Muslim speech or other constitutionally-protected RIGHTS.  The topic is an electric rail and liberals are foolish to keep playing with it.  I enjoy carrying...it makes me feel secure.  I don't announce when I'm carrying, but places like churches and movie theaters are certainly likely potential locations for madmen and I tend not to be unprepared.

FTR, most church shootings are done in churches of color and by upset family members of someone there.  That's a stat polite and PC people don't discuss, but it is real nonetheless.

 

Greg Long's picture

Ah, so only you deal with statistics, whereas I obviously rely on "pro-gun ideology." Got it. And yet you could not provide evidence that there is a problem with people bringing guns to church and using them to defend people in a way that ends up doing more harm than good. While on the other hand, I can give you examples of people using their guns to successfully defend people in a church setting. So instead, you change the subject.

But of course, if you'd prefer to only attend churches that someone make it clear they don't want people bringing their lawfully licensed guns to church, that is your right. Just don't argue that you are taking some kind of safe high ground when you have no evidence to back up that position.

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Greg Long, Ed.D. (SBTS)

Pastor of Adult Ministries
Grace Church, Des Moines, IA

Adjunct Instructor
School of Divinity
Liberty University

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