A slew of misguided clergy in the Quad Cities area of Illinois submitted an editorial piece urging that gun ownership be sharply restricted except for hunters and sport shooters.
In other words: Guns suitable for self-defense against other two-legged predators should be “controlled”.
Their screed follows our reply:
Dear Quad City Clergy:
The gun control you advocate is racist, classist and sexist. The vast majority of Americans don’t support those things.
Furthermore, human beings have experienced a time when ownership of weapons was prohibited to the common man. It was called the Medieval times and most of us have no desire to return to that lifestyle.
We stand together in shared pain and loss at the recent spate of gun violence in our country.
Though we come from varying faith traditions, together we share these common beliefs:
- We proclaim some form of the Golden Rule, imploring us to treat one another as we’d like to be treated.
- We believe in the sanctity of human life.
- We consider it unacceptable to allow a culture of violence to reign in our households, our neighborhoods and our nation.
These common understandings suggest that, while we all need to respect the rights of hunters and sport-shooters to have access to their weapons, we also need to respect the vulnerability of human life that is threatened by allowing weapons to be too easily available. People of good conscience need to take this conversation back from the extremes into real life in which real lives are at stake.
We acknowledge that access to guns is but one part of the issue, however, the consequences of our inability to have this conversation should be obvious by now. Those who believe it hasn’t happened to them or theirs should take notice — gun violence happens to all of us when it happens to our neighbors, near or distant. We are all immeasurably impoverished when one person needlessly dies. How much more loss can we bear? We are united in the belief that we have lost too much already. Please join us in imagining and creating a safer world.
Dr. Talia I. Alvi, Muslim Community, Bettendorf; Imam Saad Baig, Islamic Community, Moline; The Rev. Robert Bowlin, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Davenport; The Rev. Joyce Chamberlin, Presbyterian Church, USA, Milan; The Rev. Tim Darmour-Paul, United Church of Christ, Davenport; The Rev. Becky David, Spiritual Care, Genesis Health System, Davenport; Pastor Brian Fischer, American Baptist Church, East Moline; The Rev. Dave Geenen, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) Rock Island; Rabbi Tamar Grimm, Rock Island; The Rev. Bob Hamilton, United Church of Christ, Elkhart Lake, Wis.; The Rev. Randy Heckman, United Church of Christ, Moline; The Rev. Rich Hendricks, Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community, Davenport; Cantor Gail Karp, Reform Judaism, Davenport; Rabbi Henry Jay Karp, Reform Judaism, Davenport; The Rev. Janet Lepp, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Rock Island; The Rev. Katherine Mulhern, United Church of Christ, Davenport; The Rev. Jean M. Norton, United Church of Christ, Davenport; The Rev. Dr. Mary N. Pugh, Presbyterian Church, USA, Blue Grass; The Rev. Ron Quay, Churches United of the Quad-Cities, Bettendorf; The Rev. Frank Samuelson, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Rock Island; The Rev. Dr. Pamela S. Saturnia, Presbyterian Church, USA, Davenport; The Rev. Jay Wolin, Unitarian Universalism, Davenport