Today is the Inter-Faith Call-In Day to Prevent Gun Violence. The Episcopal Church is participating in this effort in a number of ways. The Presiding Bishop has released a letter in support. The Episcopalians Against Gun Violence group is on facebook. There’s information in all those places on how to participate.
There’s ongoing debate about “God, Guns, and Christianity.” Andrew Sullivan is worth paying attention to on this. He points out, for example, that if one is pro-life, one ought to be opposed to easy access to handguns. Just as an example: Among the over-20s, 60 percent of gun deaths are from suicides, compared with 37 percent for homicides. The presence of guns in a house makes attempted suicide more likely; and increases the odds that an attempt will be successful. The presence of a gun in domestic violence situations increases the likelihood of a killing.
Sullivan also responded to the outrageous and remarkably ahistorical assertion that “Jesus would have backed the Second Amendment. But many Christians disagree and the Arkansas house of representatives has just passed legislation allowing “concealed carry” in churches.
I think we are sometimes inured to how pervasive violence has become in our culture. Apparently, since 2009, there has been at least one mass shooting every month. Every month! This graphic from Slate reminds us of the approximate toll of gun violence in the US since Newtown.
In Madison, I will be participating in a candlelight vigil at First Congregational Church on February 7 at 7:00pm. More about that here.
Today, President Obama spoke about his efforts to reduce gun violence.