The National Rifle Association is coming to the rescue of fearful true believers in Arkansas, who fear they might be shot in church and wake up in hell. These worshipers recently had their demands to bear arms in places of worship turned down by the state senate after a number of church shootings across the country.
The fear is so great that state authorities estimate that last month 120,000 Arkansas churchgoers purchased handguns, rifles, automatic rifles and even used Soviet tanks and an aircraft carrier to protect themselves from crazed worshipers, who take the Bible injunction, “an eye for an eye,” literally. The FBI expects shootings in churches to rise 800 percent this year as unemployed executives fight for control of church coffers.
Currently Arkansas only excludes concealed weapons from churches and bars. Common wisdom in the state is: “Beware a man who owns one gun-he probably knows how to use it.” The average man in Arkansas owns 35 guns, a requirement of citizenship.
The National Center for Disease Control estimates that 30,000 deaths a year result from disputes over religious superiority. Under former President George Bush, Justice Department officials estimated that allowing concealed weapons in bars under a new Drunks Can’t Shoot Straight program, could cut yearly deaths from firearms in half.
Urged on by the Southern Baptist Church, Witness for the Dead Christ, the NRA and a plethora of Pentecostal denominations, voters flooded the state capital in Little Rock with petitions to allow concealed weapons during worship services. A political battle ensued-many legislators carry concealed weapons during debates in the state legislature, but no gunfire erupted during the session-and the Senate rejected imposing state authority over churches.
“Let’em make up their own minds if’en they want to carry guns in church,” said Robert E. Lee XIV, director of the Concealed Big Bore Association. Lee pointed out that 42 states in the U.S. allow churches to decide whether worshipers should carry firearms. “Churches don’t no longer cotton to none a them idears of layin’ down with no lambs,” Lee said. “Today we’re all preachin’ musclear Christianity. Member the Crusades!”
After defeating the bill by asserting freedom of churches to decide whether to arm worshipers, the National Rifle Association pledged support for church members who feel naked in church without their handguns. The NRA’s “Never Enough Guns” program, in conjunction with the Charlton Heston Dead White Guys Rule Foundation, provided free gift certificates for “a gun of your choice” to “white males over the age of 50.”
“People like them big guns and thar takin’em off the shelves fastern I can put’em up,” said Joe Joe Wiggins, owner of Joe’s Pool Hall, Beer Joint, Dance Hall and Used Gun Emporium in Mayhem, Arkansas. “They’re coming from all around here. We even fixed up the basement to look like a church so they can get’em some target practice.”
While there are almost no restrictions on firearms in Arkansas, ex-Nazis, skinheads, KKK-members and other Aryans with arrest records will receive “get out of jail free” cards provided by the NRA and the Pacific Foundation for Legal Fabrication. “We are honored that Mr. Heston can still fight for our freedom from the grave,” said Ray Gun Young, president.
The opposition defeated the measure because Southerners traditionally object to government forcing moral decisions on religious institutions. “Sometimes shootin’ someone is okay accordin’ to the church,” said Billy Wing Wright III, president of Southerners for the Old Rugged Cross.” The state cannot take away church control.”
Nevertheless, security remains an issue. Some churches are resorting to placing machine guns in strategic locations in case church members become unruly during services.
“A lot of them teenagers ain’t recognizin’ the authority of their church elders no more,” said Reverend Yahoo Johnny Johnson, minister of McDonald’s Airport Salvation Church in Halfwitt, Arkansas. “Why my flock is supportin’ the deacons, vice ministers and other faithful carrin’ guns to keep’em in line.”