Other ceremony-goers who were unable to legally purchase and carry an “iron rod” were encouraged to “purchase a $700 gift certificate from a gun store, as proof of their intention to buy an “iron bar” in the future. depending on the group. Some people also attended without any firearms – Regis Hanna, the Church media coordinator, said teen vogue that about 20% of the attendees (about 75-100 people) had assault rifles.
The ceremony, Cosmic True Parents of Heaven, Hearth and Humanity Cheon Il Guk Book of Life Registration Blessing, was part of a week-long “Festival of Grace,” according to the Applicant. On Saturday, they hosted a “President Trump Appreciation Dinner.”
Paul Helmke, a professor of practice at Indiana University’s School of Public and Environmental Affairs and former chair of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, says some people call the group’s belief system “dementalism.” firearms” – a mixture of fundamentalism, religion and guns[.
“The guns are part of their identity,” Helmke said. “Part of their self worth, how they protect [themselves], which helps to define [them] as individuals, protects them from the wicked. It is the idealization of the American myth of the militiamen and gunslingers of the Wild West.
“Our goal is to create God-centered families,” Hanna said. teen vogue. He added that the church does not worship or bless firearms. “[God centered families] are sovereign and ready to defend themselves with the iron rod, which is represented in the AR-15.
The handover ceremony forced a nearby primary school to cancel classes. In a letter to parents of students at Wallenpaupack Primary School, the principal announced his intention to cancel lessons not because of guns around the corner, but because of “logistical problems”.
There was a small protest outside the church, with one protester telling the AP that “it scares people in the community.”
But sowing fear was not the purpose of the groups.
“This event was planned four months ago,” Hanna said. “There was a specific date that was important to us. I’m sorry if someone somewhere got scared.
Helmke said that while it was difficult for the public to understand the purpose of the church, there are three main reasons why people tend to open firearms like the AR-15.
“Either they want to help people, or they want people to understand that there are a lot of guns, or they want to scare people,” Helmke said.
Helmke thinks that church’s public admiration for the gun could help gun control advocates.
“There are responsibilities in taking up arms like this. We test, train and train the armed forces and the police,” he said. “They’ve gone through psychological tests, physical tests and they’re still sometimes wrong because they’re human.”
“When people see things like that, it makes them realize that maybe not everyone who has a gun knows how to use it,” he continued. “The shock value of this is helping people realize the need for gun control.”