Thursday, December 3, 2015

J. Herbert Nelson Responds to Shootings In California and Georgia

“Tell Congress not to go home for Christmas until Common Sense Gun Legislation is passed.”
…but test everything; hold fast to what is good; abstain from every form of evil.
Thessalonians 5:21-22 (NRSV)
I am saddened to issue another statement on gun deaths in the United States. My prayers are extended to the families impacted by the Savannah, Georgia and San Bernardino, California mass shootings on yesterday. In Savannah one person was left dead and four injured. Fourteen lives were taken in San Bernardino. 

While law enforcement investigates the senseless deaths, our nation remains trapped in a discussion over access to guns. Today, I am sure that the National Rifle Association (NRA) is searching for the words to spin the reality of this ongoing list of national tragedies. However, there is no adequate spin to comfort those who were told yesterday and everyday in the United States that their loved one was killed by gun violence.

While we attempt to cope with our fears, we arm ourselves with more guns, add locks, to our doors, place cameras and alarms in our homes, and convince ourselves that these devices are enough to keep us safe. Our reality is that none of us are safe. We are all trapped in the malaise of news reports that remind us that we live in an out-of-control gun culture. The biblical name for our obsession with guns is called “idolatry.” Interestingly, the guns we buy to protect ourselves are the objects used to take 30,000 or more lives per year in the United States since 1979.
Once again, I plead with you to assist the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and other faith groups to free our nation from the scourge of gun violence. Call your Congressional Office today and demand that they not go home for Christmas until Common Sense Gun Legislation is passed (1-866-961-4293- Congressional Switchboard).  Let them know that your vote for their reelection will be highly based on how they push to establish Common Sense Gun Legislation in the United States.
Common Sense Gun Legislation will have the following measures outlined below.Demand that they pass Common Sense Gun Legislation before leaving Washington, DC for the holidays;

1. Universal Background Checks for the Purchase of All Guns

2. The reinstatement of the assault weapons ban.
3. The end to all straw purchases of guns. (no one should buy a gun for someone who cannot legally buy a gun for themselves)
4. Closing the gun show loophole
5. Making the trafficking of guns a federal crime (currently gun trafficking carries the same sentence as trafficking poultry)
Commit to vote and contribute only to those elected officials (locally and nationally) who are willing to vote for significant Common Sense gun laws
Our nation is in a crisis! Each of us can make a difference. Our lives depend on it.