Giving away crazy

What do you make of a church – or any organization, really – that makes the decision to give away a free semiautomatic assault rifle? Oh… and they planned to give it some lucky young person who decides to attend a weekend youth conference.

Before I get going… I just have to say I’m completely ignorant when it comes to guns. Even though I grew up in Texas… can you believe it? But I’ve heard that “semiautomatic assault rifle” is an oxymoron. If this is true, should there be some concern that adults who apparently don’t know enough about the gun to term it properly are going to hand it off to a young person who may or may not know anything about it either?

Anyway, I get that this is Oklahoma – there’s probably a decent chance the gun will find its way to someone who maybe likes to hunt, or at least understands guns… But really? At best, you’re opening yourself up to some serious liability challenges. At worst, you’re taking one step closer to indoctrinating some youth’s mind into a violent and overreactive religion, and outfitting them to carry it forward.

The church’s youth pastor, Bob Ross (apparently not as peaceful as the Bob Ross from The Joy of Painting fame), had this to say:

“I don’t want people thinking ‘My goodness, we’re putting a weapon in the hand of somebody that doesn’t respect it who are then going to go out and kill,’” said Ross. “That’s not at all what we’re trying to do.”

Really? Can you elaborate on what exactly you are trying to do? Or better yet, what steps you’re taking to prevent exactly that from happening?

The truly scary thing is that this event was canceled – not because someone finally came to their senses. No:

Pastor emeritus Jim Vineyard, who ran the event, injured his foot and wouldn’t be able to attend.

I’m sorry.. I can’t help but wonder exactly how this vague foot injury happened – sure, I’m jumping to conclusions, but the old saying, “shot himself in the foot” just won’t leave my head.

Finally, just as they gave away the gun at an event last year, they fully intend to do so at next year’s youth conference. In a nation that is an estimated 74% Christian, yet still regularly experiences school shootings, gang violence, and teen suicide, perhaps this is not the wisest course of action. Can’t they shell out the $800 bucks to get a safer raffle prize? I hear the kids are into some wacky things nowadays – like Playstation 3s or Xbox 360s..