If ending gun violence were easy, nightmares like Sandy Hook would never happen. Young lives would not end on urban streets in a hail of bullets. We wouldn’t need to parse the difference between automatic and semi-automatic. Just as taking away guns does not inherently make us safe from harm, we need to move beyond the lie that minimal regulation of those guns makes us any safer either. Some leaders in North Carolina seem more threatened by a topless woman than a limitless arsenal. Sometimes in our fight to be right we seem to lose our common sense.
The National Gun Violence Prevention Sabbath is this weekend but faithful involvement in the discussion must continue beyond those few days. We can respectfully disagree with one another, but must be a part of the ongoing conversation. And we cannot be drowned out by those who condemn even the most thoughtful opposition.
For those, like the Council, who have been working on issues of gun violence for years, the endless string of tragedies is heartbreaking. But spring marks a time of renewal for many faiths. May our commitment to our children and to each other be to creating communities where we feel less threatened and are, instead, more united in God’s call to peace.
–Aleta Payne, Development and Communications