Sutherland Springs, Texas is continuing to heal this week after Devin Kelley opened fire in a baptist church killing over 20 people and injuring many more.
The young man, who had been convicted of domestic abuse and discharged from the Air Force, had targeted the church for two apparent reasons: His fervent atheism, and the fact that his ex wife’s parents attended regularly.
Luckily for those involved, two armed local men responded to the sounds of gunshots and confronted Kelley. One of the men was able to strike Kelley with a bullet from his AR-15 in a precise gap in the shooter’s body armor; a wound that likely played a role in the madman’s decisions to end his own life after a brief car chase.
Now, in upstate New York, one congregation would like would-be shooters to understand one simple fact: They are not a “gun free zone”.
“The letter board outside the Lighthouse Church in Mexico, New York, now displays a message that reads, ‘We say it again – We are not a gun-free zone.’
‘Pastor Ronald Russell tells Spectrum News he’d rather his congregation have the ability to protect themselves should an event play out like the one at a Sutherland Springs, Texas, church where a gunman left 26 people dead and 20 injured.
“’Times are changing,’ Russell told Spectrum. ‘It’s not the congregation, per se, but the leadership. People say, “Well, pastor, you’re talking about killing some,” and I say, “Well, if I don’t protect my people, I’m being complicit.” A shooting here, that’s not going to happen.’
“The church’s website also features a scrolling message stating, ‘We are not a “Gun free zone” – we protect our people!’ alerting visitors that members of the congregation may be armed.”
The “good guy with a gun” narrative has long been the true antithesis of the liberal gun control argument, popping up in society from time to time to remind the American people that they have a choice when it comes to their safety.
Recent reports from Texas seem to indicate that members of this congregation were concerned that Kelley would have driven to another, larger church in the surrounding area to commit another atrocity had he not been stopped by the brave, armed Texans as swiftly as he was.