Members of Larry Cook’s church in Minnesota, an all-black congregation, carry guns and provide protection to the pastor and church members. They’ve had threats, and Charleston provides a reminder.
Police chiefs usually don’t like the idea of citizens carrying concealed guns for self-defense, but Craig says he had to be realistic about the situation in his hometown.
“It was a well-known fact here in Detroit,” he says. “People didn’t have a lot of confidence that when they dialed 911, that the police were going to show up. In fact, we know they didn’t.”
So he endorsed a trend that was already well under way — the trend toward more people carrying legal guns.
The same NPR article reports:
According to a survey by the Pew Research Center, 54 percent of blacks now see gun ownership as a good thing, something more likely to protect than harm. That’s up from 29 percent just two years ago. In places like Detroit, more African-Americans are getting permits to carry concealed weapons.
And again, more pastors are encouraging carrying in vulnerable places like churches:
Detroiters are even taking their guns to church. When Rosedale Park Baptist had trouble with drug dealers and car thefts, Pastor Haman Cross Jr. told his congregants from the pulpit that they should consider getting concealed-carry permits.
“I love the Lord; I’m a Christian,” he says. “But like I told the congregation, let’s send a message right in front. I want the word out in the community, if you steal any of our cars, I’m coming after you.”
At another black church, Greater St. Matthew Baptist, Pastor David Bullock points out the pews that where his armed congregants usually sit.
“The chairman of my deacon board, he carries,” Bullock says. “And then on the west side, there’s a middle-aged woman who also carries.”