Pastor Encourages Parishioners to Carry Guns at His Church

Pastor Says, “I don’t like victims, I like victors.”
Parishioners of Lighthouse Mexico Church of God openly carry guns when they meet for Mass every Sunday. The church authorities have no issue with the flock carrying lethal weapons. On the contrary, they encourage bringing firearms into God's house. Ron Russell, the 70-year-old pastor of Lighthouse Mexico Church, exhorts members of his church to carry concealed weapons after he heard the incident of Dylann Roof slaughtering nine congregants at Charleston's Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. The shooting happened in 2015 in South Carolina.

Pastor Russell defends his pro-gun stance by pointing out his sacred duty is to keep the church safe. He liked to remind skeptics that God has commissioned pastors to protect their congregants. The pastor has a gun himself. Pastor Russel encourages gun training. His logic is that if he cannot be termed active in his tries to stop mass shootings, then at least he preferred to be remembered as complicit in this action. He vocalizes his line of thinking when he confesses to favoring victors and not victims.

Russell himself has been associated with the church since 1994 and is aware of all the supposed dangers which can harm his parishioners. He has thus patched together a security team which patrols church grounds every week. According to Russell, the security is a must as mass shootings tripled during the 2011 to 2014 period. The latter half of 2017 and beginning of 2018 have seen horrific shootings in Sutherland Springs, Las Vegas, and Parkland.

The Lighthouse Mexico Church of God‘s pro-gun stance has made several church members feel safe. One of them is Janine Fortino, one of the church singers. She told the media that she is happy with church policies as she sings in the front and thus more vulnerable to harm by shooters. She expressed satisfaction with the present arrangements as she knows that she is being taken care of and protected.

Researchers, however, warns that there is no evidence that “good guys” carrying guns can stop mass shootings. On the contrary, after reviewing almost 40 years of crime data, the opposite is true. Fatalities are more in states which have gun carry laws because armed amateur civilians have more risk of killing each other.

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