Semiautomatic Assault Rifle–Free at Church!

July 16, 2008 by

Only one thing comes to mind when I heard this story: Uh oh.

I don’t want to be sensationalist or over-report this. It’s pretty tough, though. From KOCO in Oklahoma City:

Windsor Hills Baptist had planned to give away a semiautomatic assault rifle until one of the event’s organizers was unable to attend.

The church’s youth pastor, Bob Ross, said it’s a way of trying to encourage young people to attend the event. The church expected hundreds of teenagers from as far away as Canada.

In the church’s defense, I’m sure this giveaway is much more relevant, practical and functional in their own town in Oklahoma and loses a lot in the translation to the national stage. Also, I feel fairly confident that they’re only giving the gun away to someone responsible and legal.

All that considered, what on earth are they thinking? if this gun giveaway were to go sour, the consequences would be grave. The moral of the story is you have to think one step ahead in your marketing, and be prepared to deal with the repercussions of any way you market yourself.

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Joshua Cody

Josh Cody served as our associate editor for several years before moving on to bigger things. Like Texas. These days he lives in Austin, Texas, with his wife, and you can find him online or on Twitter when he's not wrestling code.
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18 Responses to “Semiautomatic Assault Rifle–Free at Church!”

  • James
    July 16, 2008

    we give away ipod nanos, hard to hurt someone with one of those

  • Geoff Brown
    July 16, 2008

    Any time I’m feeling like I am really kicking the envelope, something like this comes along to remind me just how mainstream I actually am….

  • Staci
    July 16, 2008

    I am working at a church in Oklahoma City, and I would like to reassure everyone that this is not “relevant, practical or functional” in Oklahoma. We are stunned along with the rest of you!

  • I was really hoping that this was a link to The Onion.
    Just foolish, not even clever…and we wonder why the world laughs at us.

  • Stephen Barry
    July 16, 2008

    I just enjoy the fact that their Youth Pastor is named Bob Ross.

  • GordonG
    July 16, 2008

    I read about this first elsewhere and am absolutely horrified that such a thing can happen in connection to the Lord of Peace. But I’m also agast that your reaction is to see it as a marketing issue! Surely the key issue is ‘is this something Jesus would endorse?’ and the answer to that question MUST be NO!

  • Josh
    July 17, 2008

    Jesus endorses sword buying…
    whatever. I wouldnt mind a free gun, but I dont think they’d believe me when I cross the boarder…
    other than that, what if someone gave a plane away at a church.. we’ve seen they kill people too…

  • Terrell
    July 17, 2008

    I live in Oklahoma, I own many guns, I love to shoot (for sport). But sorry, this is still extremely inappropriate for a church – even in Oklahoma.

  • Andy
    July 17, 2008

    James…obviously you’ve never been hit in the head with an Ipod nano before…

  • jordan
    July 17, 2008

    So the anti-aircraft surface to air launcher we had saved up for September along with a laser site wouldn’t be a good idea? Dag nab it!

  • Terrell
    July 18, 2008

    @Jordan – sure bring the AA missiles, we can’t give them away, but I’d love to play with them at MinistryCOM!

  • td88
    July 18, 2008

    Semi-Auto? Heck, I would try to win that!
    I probably would have kept it down to a shotgun or handgun though.
    You all are worried that a semi-auto could kill someone. Yes, so can your car. Let’s not allow cars in the parking lot. Baseball bats are very dangerous in the wrong hands, so no more softball tournaments.
    A gun is a tool, no different than anything else.

  • Jim
    July 20, 2008

    It is entertaining to see to postmodern crowd go nuts over a give away. Goes to show that we all have our comfort zones and react when we are pushed out of them.

  • yutman
    July 22, 2008

    I would go to church more often if they would give me an AR.

  • James Dalman
    August 4, 2008

    That’s awesome! The only thing that disappoints me is that it’s not full auto!
    I lived right behind that church years ago – it’s the “perfect” place for that type of giveaway but the church scared me more than my neighbors.
    As for those of you in Oklahoma who are making excuses…quit lying. We all carry guns, have cowboy hats and shoot for pleasure.

  • Jeff Beltz
    August 4, 2008

    Northern California, hunter and logger land.
    We gave away 50 rifles! at a recent Outdoorsmen dinner, our 3rd. We had over 200 people come to Christ including a county supervisor who just died and I did his funeral. The comment card/ticket entry clearly stated he prayed to becomea Christian that night.
    Perhaps that our event is not at our facility and not named as “Church gives away 50 guns, hunts, and gobs of gear” is better. But everyone here knows it is our church that does it. Check out or simple

  • Miles
    October 13, 2008

    A Ruger 10/22 could be considered an Automatic assault rifle by left wingers definition. What kind of rifle was it?

  • ck pierpont
    December 14, 2009

    to stephan barry-Jesus came to bring peace blah blah blah…… sorry buddy I think its odd that you would give away a gun but dragging Jesus into the mix and making it a spiritual matter is not fair. Dont judge homes!
    Love and love

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