WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- Here's a thought-provoking take on the current gun debate: a Washington, D.C. pastor who is a staunch defender of the right to bear arms.
In fact, he's one of a group of conservative black pastors across the country who believe God expects people to protect their loved ones, even with guns.
At a boisterous, evangelical church service in one of Washington's poorest neighborhoods, Reverend Kenneth Blanchard Senior is a shepherd who tends to a fervent flock.He's also a staunch, pro-gun enthusiast.
"You want to have the tools that you can use to defend yourself when you need to," said Reverend Kenneth Blanchard, Senior. He's the Pastor of the Historic Berean Baptist Church.
He's also a Harley-riding, former Marine who worked for the CIA, protecting three of its directors. He has emerged as an unlikely national spokesman for the right to bear arms.
"Politicians cannot legislate human behavior. There's nothing they can say, write or print that will change the heart of man," he said.
Reverend Blanchard is one of a vocal group of conservative black pastors across the country who refuse to be silent about their stand on gun control. He firmly believes God intended us to protect our families, even by deadly force.
"He's given us all the tools you need. It's up to us to take them. If you want to be anti-gun, that's fine. But what you have to do is not encroach on the right of anybody else," he said.
According to the Center for Urban Renewal and Education, blacks are the least-armed, least-protected, most assaulted citizens in the country. So what would happen to DC if everyone who wanted to buy a gun could legally do so?
"Crime would go down. Immediately," said Reverend Blanchard. "Crime would go down. Criminals would say hmm, I don't know. I'm not going to go into this house because they might be armed. Criminals want easy."
Many in the church disagree with their pastor's affinity for gun ownership, but they still pray for him and for our country.
"When good men do nothing, evil prevails," he said.
African-Americans are more likely to be victims of gun violence than any other group in the United States. The Center for Urban Renewal and Education says that 41-percent of whites say they have guns and only 16-percent of blacks.
Written by Andrea McCarren/WUSA9