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.