When I was in vacation bible school back in the summer of ’97, I was given a badass rainbow bracelet that read WWJD for “What Would Jesus Do?” I can’t remember why I stopped wearing it, but it happened around the time I learned how to get away with saying bad words.
But when I did wear it, it prompted me to ask myself if my actions would be Jesus-approved. If I’d known Jesus would’ve let me bring my BB gun to church, maybe I would have wore it a little longer. Thanks to House Bill 2632, my Red Rider and other firearms may soon be more common in church than peace and understanding.
House lawmakers on Tuesday approved legislation that would expand civil lawsuit immunity to Oklahoma churches when someone uses a gun or other deadly force in self-defense.
State law — known as the “Stand Your Ground Law” — already shields businesses and property from lawsuits stemming from an accidental injury or death by someone who was acting in self-defense on that property. House Bill 2632 adds “place of worship” to the list.
Now before you get too riled up in the comments section, know that I am a gun owner and really haven’t been excommunicated from as many churches as you’d think. That being said, I am also not a gun nut who gets all hot and bothered fantasizing about using deadly force like Batman while Father Carl is handing out Jesus crackers and juice in Sunday mass. Which seems to me what Representative Greg Babinec is doing…
“This is necessary to protect the place of worship from basically being sued out of existence,” said state Rep. Greg Babinec, R-Cushing. “It’s proactive, and I think it’s necessary based on what we’ve seen in the past.”
Democrats, however, criticized the bill by alleging that its wording would give the same immunity to the person responding to a threat. State Rep. Collin Walke called it an unintended consequence.
“If you vote for this bill, you are foreclosing any possibility of seeking justice in a court of law for the death of one of your loved ones,” said Walke, D-Oklahoma City. “If you love guns more than you love your family, vote for this bill.”
So basically, this allows anyone with a gun to be Batman for a day. If an active shooter comes into a place of worship, it will be within your right to also become an active shooter to take ‘em down. What could possibly go wrong!
State Rep. David Perryman, D-Chickasha, said he doesn’t want a vigilante protecting him inside his church.
“Many of us would like for you to put your sword away and don’t try to protect me in my house of worship,” he said, referencing the Bible verse that says a person who lives by the sword dies by the sword. “If they shoot someone, regardless of their negligence, this says an innocent person who is harmed, cannot bring an action against that vigilante.”
Food for thought: being that on average even cops only have a 50% shooting accuracy, what makes you think that your potbellied church deacon Walter who has spent the last 38 years managing a Maytag appliance store will have the ability to protect members of the congregation without sacrificing a few? I know these are churches we are talking about, but I think Babenic is putting a little too much faith into his bill…
“If I’m in my church and something happens, and I discharge a weapon, and I haphazardly injure folks who have nothing to do with aggression, I promise you I will be adjudicated because that is the law,” he said. “The person with a weapon is responsible for that bullet from the barrel to the backstop. With great freedom and rights come responsibility.”
So what if other people’s lives would be in danger? I would get to be Batman.
You’ve never seen Hayley and Batman in the same room at the same time. Follow them on twitter @squirrellygeek