June 13, 2014
Gun violence is a public health crisis in our country. 30,000 Americans die every year from gun violence and another 100,000 are injured. We who follow Jesus in his mission of mercy, compassion and hope must respond.
Right now, in Massachusetts, we have a great opportunity. House Speaker Robert DeLeo authored a comprehensive gun violence bill that is going before the House very soon. The bill would expand background checks for private gun sales, establish standard requirements for licenses for handguns and long guns, and prohibit a felon from getting a gun license. It would also bring the state into compliance with the federal background check database. You can read more about this bill here.
I have been corresponding with Julia MacMahon – Lead Organizer for B-Peace for Jorge Campaign of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts. She says for this bill to pass, it must have support from Representatives in Western Massachusetts. She urges us to email or call our State Representatives. Phone calls are more effective than email. The suggested message to leave is: “I am calling on behalf of the Massachusetts Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence to strongly urge Rep.______ to vote ‘YES’ on Speaker DeLeo’s gun violence prevention bill. Thank you.” Click here to search for your Representatives by zip code.
You can read more about the issue of gun violence in this paper I wrote on the anniversary of the tragedy at Sandy Hook here.
Jesus: “Blessed are the peacemakers.”