Roy Jones’ Facebook page says matter-of-factly that his concealed weapons training is “not your typical gun class.”
That is an understatement.
Jones, 67, has taught most of his more than 5,000 students over the last decade in churches across Oklahoma. What’s more, he weaves biblical passages into his talks about how to handle a gun, and the legal fallout that can follow discharging a weapon in self-defense.
Church values and self-defense, Jones says, are not contradictory. Jones says that being a church-goer and a person of strong spiritual values does not mean refusing to strike back when one’s life is threatened.
He notes that Psalm 144 says: “Blessed be the Lord, my rock, who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle.”
“We will turn the other cheek,” Jones told Fox News. “I’m the least likely guy to pull out a gun in a fight. But we will not turn the other cheek if you’re going to assault my family or cut off my head in the process.”
Jones’ certification course takes eight hours and includes lectures that cover handling a weapon, Oklahoma laws regarding gun ownership and shooting in self-defense, practice at the instructor’s private range and a 15-question exam.
Jones says that while people should not go looking for trouble, they should be ready when it looks for them.
He cites the case of a woman in his state who was killed by two pit bulls last month, and another woman who was fatally stabbed at a food distribution center in 2014 by a coworker who had been fired.
We will not turn the other cheek if you're going to assault my family or cut off my head in the process.
If they had been armed, Jones says, they would likely be alive today.
“If they’d had a legal gun and been trained to use it,” Jones said, referring to the woman who was stabbed, “can you imagine what went through her mind the last few minutes of her life?”
His former students, who have included lawmakers, lawyers and spouses of police officers, have praised his course.
One student, Wendy Johnson, took Jones’ course after a friend was mugged.
“One day, my co-worker did not show up for work,” Johnson told WQAD. “Someone had attacked her in a parking lot and had literally beaten her face. I don’t want to see anyone else in the ER with a swollen face because someone hit them in the head for their purse.”
Jones stresses that he is not a pastor, a misperception some have when they learn of his style of sprinkling biblical teachings in his lectures.
But some students have actually grown interested in religion after listening to the verses, he said.
One of the most important things he tries to teach his students is how to avoid being jailed after firing in self-defense.
He tells his students not to consent to a police officer’s request to search their property.
“You show the officer respect,” he said, “but you never consent. You have to articulate that you were the victim, but you say, ‘With all due respect, you will have my full cooperation after I seek my legal counsel.”
Jones has his critics, to be sure. He has been accused of using the Bible to make money.
“People say, ‘You’re getting rich by using God’s name,’” he said. “I’m just one little guy. Do I make a little money? Yes. But I’m not doing this to get rich.”