The Common Good

God, not guns: Religious coalition takes on the NRA

Date: January 18, 2013

Dozens of the nation's faith leaders are ready to take on the gun lobby and have demanded that politicians take quick and concrete steps to stem gun violence.

At a Capitol Hill press conference Tuesday and in a letter to Congress, more than 45 clergy and heads of religious groups — representing the spectrum of U.S. religious life — petitioned lawmakers to reinstitute a ban on assault weapons, require background checks on all gun buyers, and make gun trafficking a federal crime.

Organized by Faiths United to Prevent Gun Violence, the signers said the slayings at a Newtown, Conn., elementary school last month had pushed them to redouble their efforts, and created an opportunity to beat back the gun lobby.

The Rev. Jim Wallis, the evangelical who heads the progressive Christian group Sojourners, took on Wayne LaPierre, the outspoken executive vice president of the National Rifle Association, directly.