IGRC retired pastors pen letter on gun violence
A pair of IGRC retired pastors have authored a letter on the gun violence and are urging legislative action to address the recent shootings in the United States – “self-inflicted” and “willful” violence by fellow Americans.
- The enforcement of present laws, particularly in bringing the data base of prohibited gun purchasers up to date.
- Extending present laws to cover all gun purchases, particularly at unlicensed firearms sales venues such as gun shows – and subsequent re-sales of those weapons in future years.
- Creating new laws to limit the sales of assault weapons, automatic weapons conversion kits, weapons that cannot be detected by metal-detection devices, and ammunition such as “cop-killer bullets” that are obviously designed to wreak massive damage on human victims; they are not for hunting game.
- Passing federal legislation to regulate the importation, manufacturing and sale of guns and ammunition to the general public.
- Developing (possibly through the United Nations) a legally-binding Arms Trade Treaty to regulate the transfer of all small arms and light weapons so as to reduce gun violence throughout the world.
- Bringing together mental health professionals, educators, and clergy, along with other appropriate groups, to initiate a national dialogue concerning the care of mentally and emotionally disturbed persons.
- The easy availability of guns needs to be addressed.
- A dialogue about the violence-obsessed culture in our nation. Surely the excessive depiction of violence in our mass media (movies, TV, video games, etc.) has an impact on our children and youth.
- Churches need to initiate dialogue within their own congregation and in their own community about gun safety, violence prevention, and what adults can do to help keep our children safe.
- A call to pastors to take leadership in their teaching role to help the congregation and community enter a dialogue about a wide-spread ideology in our nation that peace and justice can only be secured by violence.
- Churches and educators should come together with law enforcement officials to discuss issues of keeping our children, schools, and churches safe from gun violence.
- Churches and health care professionals also need to come together to discuss plans for helping children, families, and communities cope in the wake of publicized mass killings in schools and other public places.