Gun Of A Preacher Man: Evangelical Pastor Says Jesus Justifies Firearms

JOHN: What fuels my passion for guns and self defence? First and foremost, is my Christian
faith. 00:08
COMM: John Correia is not your average preacher. The former Naval officer is the senior pastor
at West Greenway Bible Church in Glendale, Arizona, and uses the bible to justify America’s
rights to bear arms. 00:24
COMM: A guided tour of the different firearms that I own, that would take a while. A running
joke is that if you know how many firearms you own, you probably don’t own enough. 00:33
COMM: And the love of guns runs in the family. The Evangelical Christian from Phoenix lives
with his wife Laura and their three children, James, 15, himself an NRA apprentice instructor. 00:47
COMM: Sarah, 12, who has her own shotgun. 00:52
COMM: And 8-year-old Abby, who was recently given her very own pink cricket .22 rifle
for her birthday. 01:01
COMM: John currently owns more than twenty weapons, including three break action shotguns,
a Glock 19 handgun and a AR-15 rifle, the weapon used in both the Sandy Hook and Colorado
theatre massacres. 01:16
COMM: Every Sunday 38-year-old John delivers sermons before a congregation. 01:21
COMM: I wish that everybody got along, I wish that everybody was nice, but they’re not.
And until we get into that perfect world where Jesus comes again, we need to be able to protect
ourselves. in Luke 22:36 I believe Jesus said, he said let the one who has no sword sell
his cloak and buy one. 01:35
COMM: And John’s views appear to go down well with his congregation. 01:38
JUSTIN: When you’re in a small church it’s important for the pastor to have more accessibility
than just being a figure on stage talking to you about what the bible incorporates.
And if you know John, then you know that he is passionate about firearms, you know that
he’s passionate about cooking, you he’s passionate about his family and I love that about him. 02:00
COMM: However, as John’s wife Laura acknowledges, his passion for guns has not been to the taste
of all worshippers. 02:07
LAURA: There have been some people that have left because they don’t like his stance on
guns, they don’t like it being brought up ever in church, they don’t like the fact that
he’d go out to shoot with fellow members of the church. 02:17
COMM: Laura grew up with a negative view of firearms, but changed her mind after John
decided to buy a weapon for home defence. 02:24
LAURA: How do I feel when I’m shooting a gun? I feel very competent, I feel safe, but in
a more protective way, I feel powerful against somebody who might try and hurt me. 02:36
COMM: John, who has been licensed to carry a concealed firearm in Arizona since 2006,
carefully restricts his children’s access to firearms, and only let them use them under
careful supervision. 02:51
COMM: And the family regularly attend the local gun range. 02:55
ABBY: My friends at school and other places, they think guns are really dangerous and you
should never own a gun. I think that you – it’s okay to own a gun as long as you know how
to use it and when it’s okay to use it and where its okay to use it. 03:10
JAMES: It’s a lot of fun, it’s y’know, kind of hard to describe why it’s fun, I mean why
do kids think tag is fun? it’s just running around. I don’t know, it’s just fun. You get
to see what you did to the target. 03:23
SARAH: My friends at school, um they don’t really know that I have guns, we don’t really
talk about it much. but my friends at church, they’re fine with it. They like guns. But
yeah, my school friends don’t really know. 03:37
COMM: While high school shootings like Sandy Hook have created a backlash against gun ownership
in parts of the state, they’ve made John even more determined to pass on his gun knowledge
to his young family. 03:49
JOHN: If you look at the murder, the rampage that happened at Sandy Hook, that young man,
murdered his mother. To steal her firearms, to then, to then transport them in the cause
of a felony which is another felony. Took them on a school campus, murdered 25 more
people, and when did he stop? 04:07
JOHN: He stopped when the police cars pulled up. He took his own life, because good men
with guns were there to stop him, and as soon as they were, he stopped. A rifle in the hands
of a good man is good, a rifle in the hands of an evil man is evil. 04:22
JOHN: What does God think of guns? It’s just a tool. 04:25
COMM: And John will continue to spread his faith in God, and firearms, to his devoted
flock. 04:30
JOHN: If you said John, Jesus came and said give up your firearms today, and you can show
me definitively that’s it’s Jesus, I’d give them up. Because my commitment to Christ comes
first. But i don’t think he does, I think he says, John, you’re a bearer of the image
of God, and so protect that, protect it in smart ways. And firearms today are the best
way to do that.

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