Rev. Larry Wright (courtesy fayobserver.com)

Gun control advocates believe that gun owners are vigilantes. People all too ready to use their firearms to solve problems, rather than calling the police or dealing with confrontation in a non-lethal way. This simply isn’t true. American gun owners are peaceable people who only carry a gun to defend their lives against those who would do them or other innocent life harm. They also tend to believe that people in general should be armed. Here’s an example [via fayobserver.com] where an unarmed church pastor defused a potential killer armed with a rifle  . . .

Someone had seen a man anxiously pacing outside [Heal the Land Outreach Ministries] before the man with the rifle entered at about 11:40 p.m. as pastor Wright was delivering the sermon.

The man then said to the audience that the Lord had told him he needed to go to church before he did something bad . . .

Wright said the man, who has not been identified by police yet, was carrying the rifle without a clip in one hand and a loaded ammunition clip in the other hand. But, Wright said, he didn’t know if the rifle had a round of ammunition in it.

Wright stepped down quickly from the pulpit when he saw the man, who appeared to be in his late 20s..

The man continued moving toward the front of the church, pointing the rifle into the air.

The two met, near the front of the sanctuary.

“Can I help you?” the pastor asked the man.

Wright, who is a 57-year-old retired soldier, said the man’s answer determined his next action.

“If he was belligerent, I was going to tackle him,” said Wright, who is 6-foot-2 and 230 pounds.

But the stranger was calm, and Wright took the weapon from him. He then patted him down, and the pastor summoned four strong deacons to embrace the disarmed man, in an effort to make him feel welcome.

Wright then prayed for the man, who fell to his knees and began crying.

The man was then invited to sit on the front pew, and Wright resumed the Watch Night service. During the altar call at the conclusion, the man came forward and asked for salvation.

“He gave his life to Christ,” Wright said in an interview Saturday with The Fayetteville Observer.

Someone had called 911, and by the end of the service police had arrived. But Wright said he asked the police to remain outside.

“I didn’t want to interrupt the service,” said the two-term councilman, whose church members call him Bishop Wright . . .

Wright said Fayetteville police were planning to take the man to a mental health facility on Roxie Avenue, but he had no other information about him.

Result. No shots fired. Still, would it have been better if pastor Wright or members of his congregation had been armed? I think so. I believe this story highlights the need for armed self-defense, rather than proving that guns should be controlled or church members be disarmed. You?

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33 Responses to It Should Have Been A Defensive Gun Use? Fayetteville Church Confrontation

    • I was about to say the same thing. Easy to have a pair knowing that someone has your back.

      • He didn’t know whether the man had a round chambered. There could have been. We even preach to each other to assume all firearms are loaded.

        So let’s assume some other attendee was armed, too? There was no planning, no coordination among them for this exact scenario, and no guarantee that such armed bystander would leap into action. None of which matters when you’re approaching an armed, apparently disturbed, potentially suicidal individual, anyway.

        What does “having your back” even mean in that context? The pastor could’ve take a rifle round point blank, but he approached the man, regardless. Pretty cool customer.

  1. Great outcome !

    Took certainty of destination to step forward when things could have gone terribly wrong. This will be one of the great stories for the anti-gunners to use as proof this sort of interaction is “normal”, “prudent”, “responsible”, “common sense”, “should be the model.” I am willing to give the antis this one, because the outcome was good for everyone present, all around.

    High risk methodology that worked….this time.

  2. Reverend Larry Wright is also City Councilman Larry Wright. It’s great that no shots needed to be fired and no one needed to die, not even a politician.

    I don’t expect this episode to hurt Councilman Wright’s political career, especially since his next trick will be walking on water.

  3. The key word here is discression. A former soldier now preacher took a chance seeing the magazine was not inserted. Brave man and worthy of claiming black lives matter.

  4. Being armed does not guarantee anything, violent or non-violent. Rather, being armed simply gives us more options to respond to a violent attacker.

    I see no down side to having more options during a violent attack.

    • That is only common sense. In the event that the pastor’s approach did not/could not resolve the incident without violence it would be prudent to have an armed option before the magazine was inserted and murder commenced.

  5. Sorry – I was on security today (like most Sundays) at my church. Dude would have had a number of weapons pointed at him with demands to drop the rifle, get on the ground, and spread your arms and legs. My pastor would have kept on preaching, but this guy would have gotten a serious whuppin’ if he did not comply with orders (we also have a deacon who is 6’6 and weighs 250 and played college ball. . . ).

    • Most likely the same thing would have happened at my church. But he wouldn’t have made it past the lobby with a rifle in his hand without being confronted by our “safety” team.

      I would like to think we would try to talk to him before drawing on him, but there are lots of variables there.

      Good for the Pastor in this situation.

      Keep calm and carry on.

  6. CNN reported that he just got out of prison and that he came to do terrible things.

    Since CNN didn’t report white guy in black church, nothing to see here. Doesn’t fit the WH template.

  7. The problem with violence is that it requires only one side to breed it. Those who do not possess swords can still die upon them. It is not noble to die meekly at the hands of a killer, protecting life and the lives of others that is where nobility lies.

  8. Yeah I saw this earlier. In MY church he would NEVER have gotten anywhere close. Armed security(uniformed and plainclothes, and tons of CC-the pastor may be armed too). He has talked about defense too. My late mother-in-law was a minister on the westside of Chicago(she also had a church)-always had a shiny 38 in reach(and illegal at the time). Glad everything worked out-but I read nothing here except a brave pastor. Plenty of equally brave dead Christians all over the world(like Iraq and Syria). Stay armed…

    • I’m glad your mother in law broke this immoral anti gun law. I wish other christians would break this immoral law where they live.
      Most evil people like to keep living. The more good people who carry a gun the better.

  9. “People all too ready to use their firearms to solve problems, rather than calling the police or dealing with confrontation in a non-lethal way.”

    I study what I can about armed confrontations. Frankly, in M opinion, conceal weapon holders tend to have much more restraint than civilian police these days. Civilians are taught that deadly force is only used as a last resort, and for good reason. Courts will always scrutinize every detail of the DGU, including motive. Life is hell for someone after a DGU. Modern police training tends to have very precise conditions when deadly force is legal, and they often act as soon as that line is crossed. I am not saying what is right or wrong, just what it is.

  10. The only thing this story says to me is that when cool heads prevail good things happen. Nothing really in favor or against armed self-defense.

  11. The man will be taken to a mental health facility, he’ll get “stabilized” and then let go. Under the current laws, they have to let him go as soon as he is stabilized. Before those laws were relaxed by Ronald Reagan, he would have been institutionalized, diagnosed and treated, and then let go when he was was able to assume a normal life. Exactly what happened with the person who shot Reagan. But that isn’t done anymore and the public should be scared. Our current system of “take 2 pills and call me if the voices return” just isn’t working, is it? We need stricter mental health laws to protect the public.

  12. I call BS, heard on the local newz the pastor was preaching a sermon on “gun violence” seems a little to convenient to me for it to be a coincidence.

  13. all this shows is that it’s the PEOPLE that need more control not inanimate objects. preaching to the choir, i know.

  14. Seems too showy, but if true, the Pastor kept his cool and so did everyone else and was a good outcome. I am surprised that not one person of the 60 people there was carrying.

  15. A happy ending is a happy ending regardless of any shots fired or not. I don’t see a lot of ways this could have turned out any better. The bad guy was stopped, no innocents were harmed and there is less paperwork to deal with in the aftermath. I call that a win/win/win.

    Remember, not all dangerous situations require a gun to successfully solve. This one didn’t but all situations are different.

  16. Thank God for the cool heads and that no one was hurt. I hope the man gets some help and turns to the Lord.

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