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A word about Sutherland Springs, TX, shootings

From General Minister and President Terri Hord Owens

28 I go about in sunless gloom;
    I stand up in the assembly and cry for help.

31 My lyre is turned to mourning,
    and my pipe to the voice of those who weep. Job 30:28, 31(NRSV)

How long will we allow high capacity guns to slaughter human beings? The lessons of Las Vegas, Orlando, Sandy Hook, Columbine – all are lost on us. And now 26 more people murdered in church on a Sunday morning. And in a quiet, small community of 400 near San Antonio. Mothers, fathers, children.

We don’t yet know why the gunman chose to attack in that place at that time, but we do know he had one thing in common with the shooters in all those other cities and towns that suffered mass casualties. He had access to a high-capacity gun.

At the 2015 General Assembly in Columbus, the Disciples gathered there passed a resolution “call(ing) on members of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) to demand of their elected officials that gun safety laws be enacted as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics, including: an assault weapon ban, the elimination of the gun show and private-party loophole by requiring mandatory background checks and waiting periods before all firearm purchases, a ban on high capacity magazines, and requiring federally enforced safe firearm storage.”

There is a distinction here. These high capacity weapons are not tools for hunting game. These weapons were developed to inflict the greatest damage possible. There is no reason that such guns should be available to civilians.

Church – we are a movement for wholeness in a fragmented world. One way to address the destruction is to find ways to move the conversation forward in our communities and our legislatures. Having those tough conversations about how to keep our children safe is a step toward healing the fragmentation.   As Representative John Lewis said today, it is not enough to mourn and pray.  We must act.

God, may we be agents of healing and carriers of your love and peace.

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