Baret Fawbush of the popular Instagram account TRUEXODUSrecently held a public range day in his background shooting gallery just outside the Southern Indiana town of Poseyville. Admission was free as long as folks signed a COVID-19 release form. This wasn’t the first shoot that Baret had hosted behind the church that he is currently serving as a paster and hopefully it won’t be the last because everyone who came out had a safe and fun day shooting many of the interesting firearms that Baret brought out (essentially his entire collection), or personal firearms that were welcomed at the shooting tables under the watchful eye of the RSOs.
The event was catered as well by none other than an active component of the Indiana National Guard that brought food, drinks, and of course some machine guns for a static display, along with a MAT-V tactical vehicle and even a towed howitzer. Despite much convincing, the fifty and two-forty didn’t roar that day but was still a good opportunity for folks not normally toiling in a miserable fighting hole to see these lead slinging apparatuses in the flesh.
If you aren’t familiar with Baret Fawbush, we’ve mentioned him a couple times on TFB. One article that I was particularly impressed with was his reaction to firecrackers placed on top of his steel targets, and shooting back when they started igniting. Check his Instagram out as it really is a wealth of neat products, tips, tricks, and talking about maintaining a good self-defense mindset for the concealed carrier.
A component of active recruiters from the Indiana Army National Guard showed up with a static display of a howitzer, MAT-V tactical vehicle, and of course what we were most interested in, the latest service versions of the M240 upgrade kit, FN Herstal .50 BMG M2A1 heavy machine gun with quick-change barrel (only took the design a century to incorporate…), a Mark 19, and the new HK M320 underbarrel/standalone 40x46mm low-velocity grenade launcher.
We were able to catch up with Baret after the shoot when most of the shooters had left and the steel wasn’t clanging as much to get some more history behind his career as a preacher and instructor.
So what got you started with these public shoots?
Well, it started several years ago when we were having a number of break-ins around this area, mostly connected to meth dealers and labs that operate all around southern Indiana. Law enforcement is pretty scarce around here as it is, due to this being a rural area. So when I first moved here in 2010, it wouldn’t be a thing for a meth lab to be burning down just about every month. My family wasn’t really that scared of the high rate of crime, but folks in my church were actually afraid of it. This is where the idea of a public shoot started because I realized that everyone in this area has firearms but no one really has much training. So I hired a security team from Decisive Action and along with me, we hosted some basic firearms classes to get people more competent with the firearms they had. Initially, we had 320 shooters from eight different states come to what we ended up calling “Zombie Day”. I had to ask the church if I could build a berm for a safe backstop and they agreed. And it was great, I learned a lot about hosting events like that, and I also learned about the gospel, seeing that this was a way that the church could fulfill a particular need within our community that wasn’t necessarily being met. In that you shouldn’t be fearful of what is happening around you because you can arm yourself with the capability to defend yourself. I have no idea how the church agreed to have a zombie shooting course in our backyard but we did it. Because of the success, I felt that maybe God has something with me and firearms. So we kept the berm up, kept shooting, and here we are today.
Whatever happened to the crime that you spoke about?
Since 2013 or 2014 it really has gone down. But before that, this part of Indiana was really bad, much of it do to the criminals dealing in meth. I don’t think any of our shoots or training had any impact on the crime, it was really just something that we could contribute to the community. I mean when it comes to training, if you aren’t keeping that up every day and constantly working and trying to get better, you aren’t going to be the best prepared that you can be. So for me when I’m teaching shooters I see it more as a way to make them better people, learning about “learning stuff”. Getting better at processes and understanding. At the end of classes, I want to remind people that the same way people learned about how to be more competent with a firearm, maybe they should try being more competent at being a better father, a better wife, whatever it is in your life that you are. I think any good instructor wants that of any student.
What kinds of events are these shoots aimed at?
We do varying firearm events throughout the year, Father and Son, Police Appreciation Shoots, clay pigeon shoots, among others. This particular one was more about getting out of COVID in Indiana and finally breaking into summer. But this is probably our last event that is going to happen at this range.
Can you explain the ‘try before you buy’?
Many of the firearms on the line are available to sell through my FFL and it is a way to drop some of our inventory because of our expected move. Folks can pick out which handguns they want and we’ll send them prices and get them shipped to their local FFLs.
Where do you see yourself within the firearms industry?
That’s an interesting question… I don’t see myself in the firearms industry, I don’t lay claim to that. They lay claim to me. I’ll go to the SHOT Show, work with companies, etc… but I’m really more interested in sharing Jesus with people. I mean, I’ll see folks at SHOT and they’ll say the most incredible things to me after a simple phone call that we’ve had previously. It’s an opportunity for people to connect and just have fun. I’m almost interested in just deleting the Instagram because I’m a preacher, that’s my full-time job. This is less than 10 percent of all my time, energy, and effort. The rest goes into my church, my family and my life. Really this is just a byproduct of what I like to do in my spare time.