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Amazed by reaction to feast and gun giveaway

February 6, 2015
Shepherdstown Chronicle

On Saturday evening I was honored to be a part of the Wild Beast Feast and Gun Giveaway hosted by Fellowship Bible Church at the Ranson Civic Center. The event was attended by nearly 1,000 people who came out and enjoyed a free meal, heard an inspiring Christian message (which was the main point of the evening) and yes, took part in a giveaway of dozens of prizes focused on hunting and the outdoors. Included in these prizes were five hunting rifles. It was a tremendously successful event and an outreach of the church that drew in members from all across the community.

Members of the news media, in some reporting of the event, chose to focus on the part of the evening where the hunting rifles were given away. Guns, not expressly labeled as hunting rifles.

What followed was typical of our society, I suppose, as via social media comments on news articles, individuals posted their thoughts of the evening. While 98 percent of what I read offered nothing but positive praise for an event well-run, well-organized and inspiring, there were of course the few who bashed the church for "giving away guns."

What disturbs me most of these few reactions is the immediate belief that a gun is somehow going to do harm to another individual. Frankly, on the whole gun issue, it's people that do the harm, not the guns. But that is an editorial for another day.

These guns are hunting rifles, given away at an event focused on hunting and the outdoors. What people don't seem to realize is that in our community, and across our state and nation, many individual hunt. Hunting brings enjoyment as a hobby for some, but for so many it is a way to feed their families. To have individuals verbally condemn the church for providing something that will be a resource to a family is shameful to me.

Honestly, where do people think the meat in their grocery store comes from? Do they not realize that someone, somewhere, kills it. And most likely, they don't do it in as humane a way as a good hunter shoots his kill.

Focus on a problem with guns does not lie with a church promoting outdoor hunting by offering hunting rifles. The focus is not even on guns themselves; it should be on the ones who USE guns (or any other tool for violence) to harm other human beings. The FBC event was well-run, provided a family-friendly gathering for all in the community who wished to attend and shared a gospel message of inspiration.

 
 
 

 

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