Geof Peabody, the owner of Peabody's Shooting Range, trains pastors and parishioners to shoot guns in Placerville, California.
The shooting last week at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, has prodded some churchgoers to sign up for gun lessons.
Debbie Caudle, a church-attending gun students, told News 10:
I never have held a handgun before in my life and I wanted to be comfortable with it.
We need protection. People that go through classes and, you know, get licenses and stuff to carry a gun. I feel that you know we need this in our lives. We need it in church and in our businesses.
Peabody claims the goals of the class are to learn how to shoot and to stop someone else from shooting; one technique is grabbing the cylinder of a revolver to stop the bullets from entering the chamber.
"One person that takes the training in this class, if they never touch another gun in their life, they can still interfere with a revolver or a semi-automatic and make it stop operating," Peabody stated.
However, to stop a shooting the way Peabody describes, one would have to get very close to the shooter.
Pastor Dominic Triveri, of Calvary Chapel Placerville, said:
Many people have a problem with somebody in ministry, or even a Christian in general, having anything to do with firearms. But firearms are just firearms and what is done with them is up to the individuals who use them.
In 2012, Mother Jones analyzed 62 mass shootings over a span of 30 years and found not one armed citizen stopped a shooting, despite the mass proliferation of firearms in U.S. society.
Mother Jones adds, "And in other recent [but less lethal] rampages in which armed civilians attempted to intervene, those civilians not only failed to stop the shooter but also were gravely wounded or killed."
The Harvard Injury Control Research Center notes: "Most purported self-defense gun uses are gun uses in escalating arguments and are both socially undesirable and illegal," and "Firearms are used far more often to intimidate than in self-defense."