Guns and Religion…Pastors now Gun Instructors?

Most people would say that “religion and guns” don’t mix. While this might be true on certain levels, especially with regard to the law, they might not be so distant from each other in the real world.

Take the case of Pastor Gary Smith in York, Pennsylvania. Gary is a Christian Pastor who has been guiding people in their faith for 30 years but is also a gun instructor and NRA Certified Trainer. As Gary says…

“On this side of heaven, we live in a wrecked world,” Smith said. “Christians or not Christians, if legally we can carry or not carry, I don’t see anything wrong with a pastor or others carrying.”

In an article in the San Antonio news, “Pastor Teaches handgun class amid crime fears,” they share his story about how this came about and why he feels this is an important calling for him as an individual and a pastor. He recently opened up a side business called, Point Blank Defense, where he teaches safety and proper handling of firearms. While this is a business venture for Gary, it is also something needed in the community.

The goal of him teaching the class is simple. If people want to own a firearm, then they owe it to themselves and others to be trained in how to use it and on safety. And with the crime rates as high as they are in virtually every city around the country, more and more people are choosing to own a gun. Many of whom are choosing to also carry the firearm either openly or concealed. This can put a lot more potential risk on the street if the owners aren’t properly trained.

As Gary said, “The more I’ve learned, the more reverent and fearful I’ve become to make sure something doesn’t happen.” The way he can help the people in his area is to offer them the training to help keep them safe when they decide to own a firearm. He sees it as completely supportive of his work as a pastor. For him, being a Christian is about helping people and giving hope to others. Being a gun instructor accomplishes much of the same thing.

The key to take away from this is not about religion but about training and responsibility. When you own a firearm you take on a tremendous responsibility. As with anything in life, if you are responsible for something you usually get some level of training. Maybe you are responsible for people on your team to get some projects completed. You have the responsibility to see this happens and so you would get management and project training so you could be knowledgeable and effective. Why not do the same for what might be the biggest responsibility in your life…owning a firearm.

Owning a “shiny object” like a firearm is an awesome experience AND responsibility. Knowing how to use it from a proficiency level as well as a safety level should be a natural part of gun ownership. I encourage all my clients and friends to get trained in both areas. Because when you own a firearm and intend to use it for self-defense, understanding the law and how to be safe using it go hand-in-hand. It’s a requirement to me, not a luxury. And when this happens you are more likely to…Be Prepared. Be Smart. Be Safe.

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