Gun Violence

The NRA's Dangerous Theology

KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images
A membership card for the National Rifle Association. KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images

Tuesday was the 84th birthday of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. I don’t know about you, but I miss his words, so I offer a few. King said “people often hate each other because they fear each other, they fear each other because they don’t know each other, they don’t know each other because they cannot communicate, they cannot communicate because they are separated.” I would add to his words: ‘and in that separation they seek guns.’ As an evangelical Christian, I’m going to make this theological. 

Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president of the National Rifle Association, said this as his response to the massacre of children at Sandy Hook elementary in Newtown, Conn.: “the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.” 

That statement is at the heart of the problem of gun violence in America today — not just because it is factually flawed, which of course it is, but also because it is morally mistaken, theologically dangerous, and religiously repugnant. 

What We Think About Guns Reveals What We Think About God

Man carries his sidearm to support the permitless carry law going into effect on July 1.
Man carries his sidearm to support the permitless carry law going into effect on July 1. txking / Shutterstock.com

Gun violence has become so ubiquitous in the U.S. that it is changing the very way we talk about our country. The names of our cities and towns have become shorthand terms for gun death: Orlando, Newtown, Dallas, Ferguson, Baton Rouge, Columbine, Aurora.

After the Shootings, Dallas Clergy Will Pray, Then Advocate for Change

Image via REUTERS / Carlo Allegri / RNS

Dallas clergy, reeling from the shootings of police in their city and the recent shootings of black men by police elsewhere, say they will start responding with prayer and then move to advocating for concrete societal changes in the aftermath of the tragedies.

“Faith leaders now have a responsibility to say we’re going to pray with our feet until real structural change happens in this country,” said the Rev. Frederick Haynes, pastor of Friendship-West Baptist Church in Dallas.

Some Republicans in Senate Planning to Break with NRA on Guns

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Image via Gage Skidmore / Wikimedia.org

After a filibuster and four failed bills trying to deal with gun violence, the Senate may have found a way forward, reports The Hill.

Senate Republicans, led by Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), plan to bring forward a bipartisan bill that would block people on two different terrorist watch lists from buying guns.

Senate Nears Vote on Guns After Sen. Chris Murphy's 15-Hour Filibuster

Tweet via @ChrisMurphyCT / Twitter.com

The Senate’s plans to debate a spending bill for the Justice Department went out the window June 15, as Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) took the floor, beginning what turned into a 15-hour filibuster.

Murphy launched the talk-a-thon to protest the Senate’s lack of movement on legislation to curb gun violence.

5 Powerful Moments From Chris Murphy’s Senate Filibuster on Gun Legislation

Screenshot via C-Span.org

“I'm prepared to stand on this floor and talk […] for, frankly, as long as I can because I know that we can come together on this issue.”

That’s how Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) explained his mission on June 15 — to hold the floor until the Senate decides to act on gun violence prevention. Murphy has temporarily yielded to other senators, most notably his fellow democratic Connecticut senator Richard Blumenthal, but his filibuster is still going, hours after it started at 11:21 a.m.

Democratic Senator Launches Filibuster Until Senate Agrees to Act on Gun Legislation

Screenshot via C-Span.org

Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) is occupying the floor of the U.S. Senate until the chamber agrees to pass gun violence legislation, reports The Hill.

So far, Murphy has yielded the floor a few times — without losing the right to keep speaking afterwards — to both Republican and Democratic senators so that they can ask questions or make comments.

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