The Justice & Witness Council has compiled the following resources with the help of our churches of the MACUCC, members and friends.
"The journey to what the Children’s Defense Fund calls “common sense gun safety laws” will not be easy. We know that the debate will be contentious and divisive. But the difficulty of the passage should not be reason to retreat or take an easier way.
Friends, the lives of our sisters and brothers in general and our children specifically are literally at stake. As noted on the CDF’s site:
If we do value the right of life then we must labor on, seeking laws and policies which protect the lives of all our citizens but especially our children. We need to put our fears of short-term struggles aside in order to assure long-term solutions.
The good news is that there are resources available to equip us for this journey. There are also opportunities to give voice to your concerns through letters, calls and other actions. You will find some below and we will be sharing more at MACUCC.org and elsewhere.
We are also inviting anyone who wishes to be a part of a Conference-wide effort, to contact Kelly Gallagher about your interest: firstname.lastname@example.org.
I would conclude with the words of Mirian Wright Edelman. Her charge if far more eloquent than what I could put down:
“We can free our nation of this scourge of gun violence. No external enemy ever took the lives of so many children and adults. We can and must change this. I am confident that most Americans value children’s safety and right to live more than they value the right of anyone to have assault weapons and high capacity ammunition magazines. If America can’t stand up for its children, it doesn’t stand for anything.”
Read UCC's General Synod proclamations on gun control:
Children's Defense Fund
"One child or teen dies from a gun every 3 hours and 28 minutes. Gun violence saturates our children’s lives and remain the second leading cause of death for children and teens ages 1-19. More children and teens die from guns every three days than died in the Newtown massacre. The number of children under five killed by guns in 2014 was higher than the number of law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty that same year.
"We can do better. Join us in our campaign to stand up, speak out, and organize with urgency and persistence until the President, members of Congress, governors, and state legislators protect children instead of guns. Every child’s life is sacred, and it is long past time that we pass common-sense gun safety regulations to protect all our children."
The debate on gun control that is now taking place in America makes me wonder about the laws the Puritan founders of Massachusetts enacted regarding guns and gun safety. Were restrictions on weapons really looser in the earliest days? The Puritans were fully aware of the challenging environment in which they lived, so they embraced not only the right but also the necessity of bearing arms. The legislature voted on May 29, 1644, that "all inhabitants" (even including sailors) "are to have armes in their houses alwayes ready fixt for service."
But it turns out they were so serious about public safety they passed serious gun control legislation. Read more here.
At the January 30th Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on gun violence, former Representative Gabrielle Giffords, the survivor of a gunshot to the head, gave us our marching orders. The United States stands alone in the world in our tolerance of gun violence but in the wake of the devastating Newtown murders, a powerful outcry of ordinary Americans across the country is saying no more.
Study materials, statistics and more.