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Gun stamped with Psalm 144: 1 called Crusader boasts year-long waitlist

Alexandra Ciufudean June 8, 2022
Gun stamped with Psalm 144: 1 called Crusader boasts year-long waitlist
Photo by PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images

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As the debate on gun control in the US grows deafening and 2022 surpasses 240 mass shootings halfway through the year, a tweet went viral highlighting a link between guns and Christianity. The gun, an AR-15 stamped with Psalm 144: 1 and called Crusader, is in high demand with a 12-18 month waitlist to purchase it.

The tweet is part of a larger discussion on how gun control and Christianity interweave. It’s all worth a read if you’re curious and have a bit of time to spare, but here we want to explore how the Crusader AR-15 came to be.

Photo by PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images
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A gun stamped with Psalm 144: 1 designed to ‘stop Muslim terrorists’

The AR-15 assault weapon – sold as the Crusader – was first manufactured by Spike’s Tactical in 2015 and bears an inscription with Bible Psalm 144: 1: “Blessed be the Lord my Rock, who trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle.”

According to company spokesman and former Navy Seal Ben “Mookie” Thomas, the idea was to create a gun that would “encapsulate Christian values”.

Thomas had made an off-the-cuff suggestion he’d like to have a gun “that if a Muslim terrorist picked it up a bolt of lightning would hit and knock him dead.

“I half expected to be fired or not taken serious,” he went on, “but [Spike’s Tactical] took the bone, and they ran with it.”

The Crusader’s safety selector has three settings: peace (meaning off), war (single shot) and “God wills it” (fully automatic), and comes inscribed with a Knights Templar Cross for good measure.

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There’s a 12 to 18-month waitlist for the Crusader due to high demand

Spike’s Tactical describes the Crusader rather redundantly as a “balanced reliable rifle that would bring an excellent fighting rifle to people of all abilities and resources. The every man fighting rifle.”

As for why the manufacturers chose to engrave Psalm 144: 1 onto a gun, the website explains: “We named it Crusader and engraved Psalm 144:1 on the lower receiver to hoist the flag of our faith and to make a statement, reminding our customers that we are with you. The war is here. We have a duty to defend our homeland and our way of life.”

Currently, the Crusader retails on the Spike’s Tactical website for $1,700, but is subject to a 12 to 18-month waitlist due to overwhelming demand.

They note they are “currently experiencing higher than normal demand for firearms.”

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Why do people want an AR-15?

The AR-15 assault rifle – a powerful weapon designed for “maximum wound effect”, as one manufacturer put it – has been called “America’s rifle” by the NRA.

Accordingly, the hashtag #ar15 currently has 2.9 million posts on Instagram, with new ones being added every few minutes.

When asked why they like owning an AR-15 (which stands for Armalite Rifle, not ‘Assault Rifle’), people cite things such as its lightweight, rugged build, with relatively little recoil. It also helps that it reloads automatically and can fire about 60 rounds a minute.

If you’re fighting an army of zombies while tramping across the continent with your preteen daughter and bandana-ed border collie named Russ, that might be a useful feature. But in one of the most prosperous countries on Earth in peace-time? Many have a hard time understanding why people would want to own an AR-15 (or several).

And, when pressed, many have a hard time explaining it. When CNN reporter Manu Raju asked lawmakers why people need an AR-15, many of their responses fell short of being convincing:

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Alexandra is Head of Entertainment at The Focus, managing a growing team of outstanding graduate and experienced writers. She has worked previously as an editor, writer and content specialist across web, video and social platforms and has a bachelor's in English Linguistics and a master's in Comparative Literature.