Just weeks removed from a horrific mass shooting in Texas that took the lives of 20 people, a church in New York is encouraging its congregation to bring their guns with them on Sundays.

The sign outside the Lighthouse Mexico Church of God in Oswego County, New York, reminds any would-be criminals that this is NOT a gun-free zone.

In fact, the pastor, Ronald Russell, has suggested parishioners bring their guns as a means of protection, explaining to critics that “times are changing.”

“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,’” Russell said.

He added, “A shooting here, that’s not going to happen.”

Russell isn’t afraid to advertise the pro-gun status of his church either …

 

All too often, shootings take place outside or inside institutions which proudly declare to the world that they are a ‘gun-free zone.’ Such advertising gives a madman knowledge that he will not be fired upon by others in self-defense.

The Texas church shooter likely knew his victims were unarmed. The only thing that stopped him from killing more innocent people was a neighbor, who had to come running from his home barefoot upon hearing of the shooting with his own gun.

Mike Jordan, whose son was at the church, openly speculated that had he been carrying – which he usually does but opted not to bring his gun to church this day – even more lives could have been saved.

 

“A small town like this, you know, people go to church, they disarm, leave their guns in the car, because you don’t expect something like this to happen,” Jordan explained. “What if this was the day he didn’t leave that firearm at home? What if he did take it with him?”

The Lighthouse Mexico Church of God is putting that theory to the test, proudly boasting “we are not a gun free zone.”

They also offer parishioners lessons in self-defense and identifying suspicious behavior, letting the world know “we protect our people!”

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