Letters to the Editor: February 8 – 14, 2018
We Oppose Bill to Allow Guns in Houses of Worship
Representing Lewinsville Faith in Action, we oppose HB 1180, which passed the Virginia Senate and is scheduled for a vote in the House of Delegates this week. It would repeal the current prohibition on bringing firearms into houses of worship.
As people of faith, we are called to speak clearly about moral injustices. What will shatter legislative numbness?
At a recent press conference for Faiths United to Prevent Gun Violence, LFA cited grim statistics: in January there were 1,170 people in America killed by guns; twice that number wounded. But statistics, no matter how gruesome, don’t work.
We do know that states enacting even modest gun laws have reduced deaths. California, with the nation’s strongest laws, reduced gun mortality an astonishing 56 percent from 1993 to 2010. Connecticut’s laws reduced gun crimes by 40 percent. But dramatic statistics haven’t moved Virginia’s legislators to act.
Will faith tradition texts like “When the house [of Solomon] was built, it was with stone prepared at the quarry, so that neither hammer nor axe nor any tool of iron was heard in the temple”)I Kings 6:7) persuade? The answer is “no.”
Neither statistics, reasonable public policy nor religious words have jolted legislative numbness. What will? It’s the voices of all citizens that will turn the tide. This week a hotel reservation clerk in Richmond, on learning about the bill, said, “Sunday is my day! That’s where I’m the most happy. I praise. I am with friends. I am at peace… They can’t take away my peace from me, can they?”
And make no mistake, this dangerous and irresponsible bill allowing guns in sacred spaces will do just that. The General Assembly prepares to remove the peace of worshippers across Virginia. Threatened by the loss of these safe places, citizens must demand that their delegates say no to this theft of sanctuary.
Jack Calhoun and Cindy Speas
Lewinsville Faith in Action
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