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Episcopalians Against Gun Violence march in Salt Lake City

Episcopalians Against Gun Violence march in Salt Lake City

This morning in Salt Lake City Episcopalians Against Gun Violence gathered before Sunday Eucharist at General Convention to witness against the culture of violence in the United States. Led by Bishops Against Gun Violence, 60 bishops and many others attending #GC78 marched through the streets of the city.

The Living Church has the story

About 1,500 people lined up behind 79 bishops for an early Sunday-morning march along the streets of Salt Lake City in a rally against gun violence in the streets of Salt Lake City.

In speeches, prayers, and hymns, the Claiming Common Ground Against Gun Violence rally denounced a rash of gunshot deaths in the United States. Gunshot survivors, including Utah Bishop Scott Hayashi and mall-shooting victim Carolyn Tuft, shared their stories.

“I’m here to protect you from this horrible life,” said Carolyn Tuft, who lost her daughter in the 2007 Trolley Square Mall massacre and nearly died herself. She said pellets lodged in her kidney, spine, lung, and tissues have left her constantly battling lead poisoning, pain, and nausea. “I’m always hearing people say: ‘If I would have had a gun, I would have stopped him,’” Tuft said. “I’m telling you right now: If I would have been armed with a gun, there’s nothing I could have done to change anything. The outcome would have been exactly the same. There was no time to react.”

From the Deseret News today:

A prayerful procession led by some 60 Episcopalian bishops traveled through downtown Salt Lake City on Sunday morning calling for an end to the “unholy trinity” of poverty, racism and gun violence.

Hundreds of people, many of them taking part in the Episcopal Church‘s 78th General Convention, walked from the Salt Palace Convention Center to Pioneer Park, joining in song and prayer. Utahns from anti-gun violence groups and civil rights organizations also took part.

“We are here because that unholy trinity threatens the life of us all,” said the Rt. Rev. Michael Curry, presiding bishop-elect of the Episcopal Church. “But we are really here because there is another trinity. There is another trinity that is not an unholy trinity. There is another trinity that is a holy trinity. It is a life-giving trinity.”

The Deseret News reported before the event:

Bishop Beckwith said Claiming Common Ground is an example of the Episcopal Church’s long-held practice of wading into difficult social issues.

“We’re making a witness and we intend to offer that up in prayer, hope, solidarity and peace,” he said.

The bottom line is gun safety.

“What we’re doing is, we’re raising up an issue a lot of people agree on but are sometimes inhibited to say or to witness to their convictions because a very small minority in vocal in saying ‘Oh, we can’t do this.’ We can do this and we can identify all of these areas where we have common agreement,” Bishop Beckwith said.

From Canticle Communications:

The event, called Claiming Common Ground Against Gun Violence, [was to] begin at 7:15 a.m. on Sunday, June 28, outside the Salt Palace Convention Center on the northwest corner of West Temple and South 200, said Bishop Mark Beckwith of Newark, a co-convener of Bishops United.

The service will last roughly one hour and cover a one-mile route, Beckwith said. It will include opening prayers, a stop for testimony in nearby Pioneer Park, and concluding prayers outside the Salt Palace.

Bishop Scott Hayashi of Utah, who survived a gunshot wound as a young man, will be among the speakers. Bishop Jeff Lee of Chicago, Dent Davidson, music chaplain for the House of Bishops, and the Rev. Lester Mackenzie, chaplain to the House of Deputies, will lead prayers and music during the procession.

“The debate over gun violence in our country has become polarized, but it need not be that way,” Beckwith said. “There is broad agreement among people who own guns and people who don’t that universal background checks and other common sense measure save lives while protecting the right of law-abiding citizens to bear arms. We want to focus the attention of our church and the broader public on these common sense reforms, and muster the political will to see them enacted.”

Added: ENS has Gun violence victim Carolyn Tuft speaks at prayerful procession, Bishop Curry speaks at prayerful procession against gun violence, and Former police officer Gayle Fischer-Stewart speaks at prayerful procession against gun violence.

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Stephen Mills

Ok David, your site, your rules - my last post on this topic. I am disappointed. I hoped to find a reasonable discussion but this forum is as doctrinaire as the NRA which explains why you cannot and will not get national legislation passed.
Considering law enforcement as a class above and beyond private citizens does not work out well for communities especially communities of color.
One of the subtexts of the gun control movement is keeping guns out of the hands of the poor and especially minorities. Don't believe me? Look as the comments of the putative leader of the movement, Michael Bloomberg regarding "stop and frisk".
Finally I leave this topic with this quote: "That rifle hanging on the wall of the working-class flat or labourer's cottage is the symbol of democracy. It is our job to see that it stays there." -- George Orwell

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David Streever

Stephen:
"One of the subtexts of the gun control movement is keeping guns out of the hands of the poor and especially minorities"--
well yes, if we seek to reduce gun ownership substantially through gun control, it will certainly reduce it across the full spectrum of economic and ethnic identities. The unexamined bias in your comment though is that this is a bad thing; gun ownership correlates with a large increase in the odds that the owner will die to a gun.

The other part of your comment that I'll mention is paragraph 2 about law enforcement: you may not be aware of this, but the gun control crowd also seeks to greatly restrict the actions and powers of the police, through a variety of mechanisms. Speaking for myself, this is because changing policing makes more sense than letting citizens 'compete' with them in the arms race. I'm not sure why you bring up law enforcement in this context; do you think that citizens fare better against police abuse when they are carrying guns?
What does that hypothetical scenario look like to you? Citizen faces police abuse, citizen draws firearm and kills police, citizen gets 500k donations, a book deal, and a nice retirement? The data tells a different story, seeming to suggest that privately owned guns do not seem to change at all the safety of private citizens who face the police. Have you ever heard of a citizen who shot a police officer & didn't see their life change very dramatically?

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Leonardo Ricardo

I hope Bishop Armando Guerra Soria supported the march...we can certainly use gun control (murder control) in Guatemala.

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Mark Mason

"Are cars really so deadly that they must be regulated and guns so safe that we can ignore them?"

We have a right to own a gun but not to own or drive a car.

"certain things like extended capacity magazines for weapons serve no legitimate purpose for either sporting use or self defense."

Do we want the government limiting us to things it deems are legitimate? Like cars that can go 200 mph? Do you have a legitmate need for a 4000 square foot house? Think green.

"I fail to see why this is such a big problem for so many people."

If for some reason a citizen is determined not to be able to exercise their right to gun ownership; should they still be able to vote?

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Jim Frodge

There is no absolute right to own a gun under the Second Amendment. The courts have ruled that certain reasonable restrictions can be placed on gun ownership. These restrictions include how the gun can be carried, what type of gun a person can own and who can legally purchase a gun. Some jurisdictions can require open carry while others permit concealed carry. In order to possess fully automatic weapons you must have either a Class 3 firearms license or purchase a very expensive federal tax stamp. The federal law forbids persons with certain prior criminal violations in their past from legally purchasing a firearm. The same is true for people with certain mental or substance abuse issues from legally purchasing a gun. Some communities are allowed to require gun owners to purchase permits. Since the courts allow certain reasonable restrictions on gun ownership there is no valid claim that anybody can legally purchase a gun.

I simply am advocating laws that encourage responsible gun ownership. When I was working I was required to qualify twice a year with a 45 caliber pistol, a 380 pistol, a 12 gauge shotgun and a 223 caliber Bushmaster rifle. In addition once a year I had to demonstrate proficiency in a firearms training simulator where I was graded on response time, accuracy and friend or foe target identification. Now I am retired and I am allowed to carry a gun but I do not have to demonstrate any type of proficiency.

I suspect that if we decided that the police could carry guns without demonstrating any type of skill in judgment or accuracy there would be a huge and justified public outcry. However many advocate that citizens can carry guns without demonstrating any type of skills or proficiency.

Responsible gun ownership is not a problem. Irresponsible gun ownership can be a big problem. I fail to see why we cannot agree on that and have gun laws that encourage and support responsible and reasonable gun ownership.

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Jim Frodge

In order to drive a car you must obtain a license and go through a process where you are tested on your knowledge of motor vehicle laws and pass a skills test. If you own a car it must be licensed with the state. In order to operate a gun you can simply buy one at a gun show and you do not have to demonstrate any knowledge of how to operate it nor do you have to demonstrate any skill in using it. Are cars really so deadly that they must be regulated and guns so safe that we can ignore them?

I am a gun owner and have been one for over 40 years and I believe in reasonable gun regulation. I think that most agree that we should try to keep guns out of the hands of certain people. Universal background checks will not prevent all gun violence but our experience has shown that they will stop some transactions. In addition certain things like extended capacity magazines for weapons serve no legitimate purpose for either sporting use or self defense.

It is true that many gun related deaths are from suicide. I believe that it is also true that many of these deaths were events with no prior warning. During my years as a police officer I investigated many suicides and almost without exception friends and family said they had no idea that the victim was contemplating suicide. The gun simply made it fast, easy and certain.

A recent survey showed that a majority of NRA members support universal background checks for gun owners. I fail to see why this is such a big problem for so many people.

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Stephen Mills

Jim if extended capacity magazines serve no legitimate purpose for self defense why do the police use them?

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David Allen

That's four for today. Please move on. You aren't actually discussing this topic, you're just interjecting straw-men and red herrings.

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Stephen Mills

Here I will disagree with you David. In terms of personal defense private citizens can face the same threats as the police. I served in the United States Army and have fired more rounds and am more familiar with the M-16 than are most law enforcement officers. Actually the weapons training most law enforcement officers receive is appallingly pathetic.

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David Allen

Again apples & oranges. At this point you are just tossing out red herrings.

police ≠ everyday citizen

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Cynthia Katsarelis

The presence of a gun significantly increases the likelihood of violence. They clearly, according to the data, make everyone LESS safe. And other First World countries do not have the problem of gun violence any where near this scale. It is a nightmare from which we refuse to wake.

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