After nine black churchgoers were murdered at Charleston’s Emanuel AME Church earlier this year, Michael Render said, “I wish those folks in that church had been armed.”
Render isn’t your stereotypical gun-rights advocate. He’s a rapper and actor, better known as Killer Mike. But his words reflect growing support among the black community for armed self-defense.
Polls indicate this support has grown steadily—but the Charleston attacks proved a tipping point for the faith community. Pastor Theron Wiggins, of Flint, Mich., says his congregation believes “angels will protect us.” While they’re in church, Wiggins considers himself “one of the angels.” And Bishop Ira Combs of Greater Bible Way—whose services feature armed security—declared, “All of us here are not going to turn the other cheek while you shoot us.”
We don’t need to speculate whether this approach will save lives. We can ask Pastor Keon Allison—who recently defended himself with a pistol against a brick-wielding intruder.