Minute In Favor of Civil Civic Discourse And A Ban on Assault Style Rifles and High Capacity Magazines
West Newton Friends Meeting
Minute In Favor of Civil Civic Discourse And
A Ban on Assault Style Rifles and High Capacity Magazines
We, the Quakers of West Newton Friends Meeting, as followers of Jesus, in session on August 18, 2019 officially minute our deep sadness over the waves of mass shootings that have been sweeping over our nation, most recently in Dayton, Ohio and El Paso, Texas. We feel that given the frequency with which assault style rifles and high capacity magazines are used in such shootings it is time to ban their sale in the United States of America. This is not for us a second amendment issue. Rather, it is a matter of public health and safety. This is an issue that our country, with its high ideals of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, must address if we are to remain the land that protects those ideals for its citizens.
God says in Deuteronomy 30:19: “I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live.” We Friends do not believe that the killings perpetrated by the persons using such weaponry occur in a vacuum. We feel that the hateful, divisive rhetoric abounding in our country that pits citizen against citizen, race against race, party against party, religious faith against religious faith, and so on contributes to this violence by encouraging the dehumanizing of other people and fanning the fires of fearfulness and hate.
We call on our elected officials, from the President on down, to choose actions and words of “blessing” that unite and elevate us, rather than “curses” that divide and harm. We ask them to choose life by passing legislation banning such assault style rifles and high capacity magazines, instead of death caused by such weaponry. Please do so in order that we and our “children may live.”
We implore them to do this as a matter of public health and safety. We implore them to please do so to protect our citizens as they gather for festivals, go school shopping, or meet for worship. We implore them to please do so in the name of humanity and the best and highest ideals of our country.
We realize that this will not completely solve the problem of mass shootings and other steps will need to be taken to eliminate this scourge. But we do feel this elevation of public discourse coupled with a ban on assault style rifles and high capacity magazines is an important step in addressing this issue.
Thank you for your attention to our support for such important legislation.