By the Rev. Mary Frances Schjonberg, Episcopal News Service

TECThe Episcopal Church’s Executive Council Feb. 27 took a stand against gun violence and gun trafficking, and called on Episcopalians to “repent of our own roles in the glorification and trivialization of violence.”

The resolution “really bubbled up from the grassroots,” Byron Rushing, vice president of the House of Deputies, said during a press conference in the middle of the last day of council’s Feb. 25-27 meeting at the at the Maritime Institute Conference Center here.

The resolution expresses “profound sorrow at the epidemic of gun violence” and urges Episcopalians to work toward “comprehensive social responses that seek to stem the cycles of violence that fuel gun crime.” It affirms a number of previous General Convention resolutions, including Resolution 2000-D004 that spoke about the church’s “deep concern about the repeated use of easily available hand guns and assault weapons by and against children,” and called for Episcopalians to seek ways to develop community strategies and create sanctuaries for children, “so that all may come to identify and value themselves and others as the precious children of God that they are, and that they may come to know peace in their lives and to create peace for future generations.”

Episcopal News Service has the full story.

 

 


By Jordan Fabian, ABC News

President Barack Obama used his State of the Union address on Tuesday to call for new programs to bolster the middle class and create jobs while pressuring Congress to pass key items of his ambitious second-term agenda.

But the most powerful moment of the speech came when Obama implored lawmakers to take up “common sense” gun-control measures like expanded background checks and a ban on high-powered “assault weapons” and high-capacity magazines.

“Each of these proposals deserves a vote in Congress. If you want to vote no, that’s your choice. But these proposals deserve a vote,” the president said. “Because in the two months since Newtown, more than a thousand birthdays, graduations, and anniversaries have been stolen from our lives by a bullet from a gun.”

Obama made these comments with nearly four dozen victims of gun violence and their families in attendance, including former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) and her husband Mark Kelly. In response, scores of lawmakers rose to their feet during a crescendo of applause. Read the full article at abcnews.com.


DonnellyTim

California legislator Tim Donnelly

By Cavan Sieczkowski, Huffington Post

A California Republican legislator, who is a vocal opponent of President Barack Obama’s gun control proposal, believes that guns are “essential to living the way God intended.”

Assemblyman Tim Donnelly called in to the AM740 KBRITE Christian radio show, “The Bottom Line,” to discuss gun control on Wednesday, when he revealed that he believes firearms are part of God’s plan.

“Guns are used an average of 3 million times a year according to the Clinton Justice Department,” Donnelly said via RawStory. “That’s like 6,900 times a day. That’s the high end of the statistics. Other people say it’s only 200 times a day. Whatever that number is, they are used to defend human life. They are used to defend our property and our families and our faith and our freedom, and they are absolutely essential to living the way God intended for us to live.

Annie-Rose Strasser of ThinkProgress notes that Donnelly’s “God and guns” argument can be disputed by Bible verses pointing to the notion that “life should focus on family, not firearms.” Read the full story at HuffingtonPost.com.


By Alex Seitz-Wald, Salon.com

Last week, people were shocked when the Drudge Report posted a giant picture of Hitler over a headline speculating that the White House will proceed with executive orders to limit access to firearms. The proposed orders are exceedingly tame, but Drudge’s reaction is actually a common conservative response to any invocation of gun control.

The NRAFox NewsFox News (again)Alex Jonesemail chainsJoe “the Plumber” WurzelbacherGun Owners of America, etc., all agree that gun control was critical to Hitler’s rise to power. Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership (“America’s most aggressive defender of firearms ownership”) is built almost exclusively around this notion, popularizing posters of Hitler giving the Nazi salute next to the text: “All in favor of ‘gun control’ raise your right hand.”

In his 1994 book, NRA head Wayne LaPierre dwelled on the Hitler meme at length, writing: “In Germany, Jewish extermination began with the Nazi Weapon Law of 1938, signed by Adolf Hitler.”

And it makes a certain amount of intuitive sense: If you’re going to impose a brutal authoritarian regime on your populace, better to disarm them first so they can’t fight back. Read the full article here.