Washington Times columnist Cheryl K. Chumley is biking the battleground states as part of an ongoing series, visiting 14 states in 14 days to hear what real Americans think of the 2020 election. All of her interviews may be found HERE.
JACKSONVILLE, ARKANSAS — Imagine if you will a place where kids as young as 3 years old are taught to handle a firearm — where women with increasing frequency are trained to defend self and family with guns — where middle-schoolers and high-schoolers alike are both competent and competitive at ready-aim-and-firing — and where going to church on Sunday is as natural as hitting the shooting range on Monday.
Nope. That’s the AGFF/Jacksonville Shooting Sports Complex in Jacksonville, Arkansas. That’s the scene of small-town, beyond-the-D.C.-bubble-Beltway America, where God, guns and flag-waving patriotism is part and parcel of the normal growing experience.
Where Christians who shoot are as American as apple pie.
“In my opinion, it’s our right as a Christian, as a non-Christian,” said Jerry Hill, the manager of the Jacksonville shooting range — which is actually operated and funded under the local Parks & Recreation Department, rather than privately owned and maintained.
Gasp, go the liberals.
What would Jesus say, scold the leftists.
But this just shows how different the thinking and mindsets between Outside City dwellers and Inside City dwellers — between the largely Democrat-dominated cities and the largely Republican-dominated suburban and country settings.
“He is the ultimate peacemaker, but he also lost his temper … and tore everything apart,” Hill said, in reference to the Bible passage about Jesus turning out the money-changers in the temple.
In other words: Jesus approves of righteous anger and self-defense. Being Christian doesn’t mean being a docile victim.
“I would … have to ask somebody, if you say, ‘Well, I don’t think Christians ought to own guns,’ I’d ask him, ‘Why, why do you think that,’” Hill said.
The shooting range he manages is one of the region’s most competitive, offering children, teens, women and men alike the opportunity to train and compete skeet and trap shooting. Parents have brought their 3-year-olds, their 8-year-olds, their sixth-graders, their high-schoolers, their teens to the facility; and for the most part, Hill said, they don’t get a lot of negative anti-Second Amendment types telling them how wrong they are to put weapons in the hands of minors.
“It’s all about education,” he said.
It’s all about teaching the proper handling for weapons; the proper respect to give the weapons.
Train the children in the way they should go — and they won’t run wild in the streets, smashing storefront windows, shooting rival gang members, gunning down innocent bystanders and citizens.
That’s sort of biblical in itself, in a Proverbs’ spinning kind of way.
But that’s America, right? God, guns, family, country.
Keys to keeping the country free.
“The Second Amendment and our prayer,” Hill said. “I think it goes hand in hand.”
And it does. Everywhere in America — except where partisan leftists reign.
• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter, @ckchumley. Listen to her podcast “Bold and Blunt” by clicking HERE. And never miss her column; subscribe to her newsletter by clicking HERE.