"I wasn't trying to make a statement, but a statement was made," said Meza, a former Baptist preacher who converted to Judaism and studied to be a rabbi.
"I'm not advocating for everyone to walk around with an AK-47, but I walk around with a handgun on the Sabbath, and I think it would be better if most Jews did. It's better to have the gun and not need it than need it and not have it, especially in a religious environment."
But Tommy Baer, a Richmond attorney who was president of B'nai B'rith International, a Jewish service organization, called that statement "vigilante nonsense." He said he viewed the video with "complete revulsion" and found it offensive.
"Weapons, especially … an automatic rifle, have no place in a synagogue," Baer said.