The Annual Council of the Diocese of Virginia adopted two resolutions on gun control:
Adopted as amended; text pending final review.
Resolved, that the Diocese of Virginia supports the strengthening and subsequent reinstatement of a federal ban on military-style semi-automatic assault weapons; and be it further
Resolved, that the Diocese of Virginia opposes the repeal of any existing laws or regulations in the Commonwealth of Virginia that promote safety and responsibility in the purchase, possession, or use of firearms and ammunition; and be it further
Resolved, that the Diocese of Virginia urges the Virginia General Assembly and the Congress of the United States to adopt additional state and federal firearm legislation, including a ban on the future sale of military-style semi-automatic assault weapons, high-capacity ammunition magazines, and high-impact ammunition, which would promote the safety of God’s children; and be it further
Resolved, that a copy of this resolution be sent to the Presiding Bishop’s office with a request that the Episcopal Church address the preventable tragedies of gun violence including, but not limited to, the adoption of a clear policy stand against the sale, use and private ownership of military-style semi-automatic assault weapons, high-capacity ammunition magazines and high-impact ammunition.
Adopted by Council; text pending final review.
Resolved, that the 218th Annual Council of the Diocese of Virginia, in response to the recent deaths from gun violence, including the loss of 28 of God’s children in Newtown, Connecticut, joins with many faith communities in an emerging moral consensus by calling for the following steps to be taken by lawmakers:
1. A clear ban on all future sale of military-style semi-automatic weapons, high-capacity ammunition magazines and high-impact ammunition (i.e. ammunition more deadly than ordinarily used in hunting);
2. Tighter controls (including background checks) on all gun sales;
3. Mental health care reform, including increased funding and improved care for our most vulnerable citizens;
4. A critical look at our culture’s glorification of violence;
and be it further
Resolved, that the 218th Annual Council of the Diocese of Virginia encourages all members of this Diocese, individually and with our faith communities, to take the following pledge, as requested by The Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs and The Episcopal Public Policy Network:
“As an Episcopalian committed in baptism to seeking justice and peace and promoting the dignity of every human being, I commit to being part of the solution to the violence in our culture that claimed the lives of 26 people at Sandy Hook Elementary School and that claims the lives of 2000 innocent children through gun crimes each year. I commit to the pursuit of laws that keep guns out of the hands of criminals, prioritize the needs of at-risk children, provide care for mental illness, and address the many ways in which our culture both celebrates and trivializes violence. I commit to holding my lawmakers, my community, and my own household accountable. I commit to accomplishing these things in 2013. I commit to being the change we need;”
and be it further
Resolved, that the 218th Annual Council of the Diocese of Virginia encourages all members of this Diocese to work within our churches through prayer, preaching, education and advocacy, toward reducing the gun violence that kills so many of God’s children in our nation.