In the aftermath of the deadly Colorado shooting, and the very recent massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School, there has been a big push for gun control legislation nationally. President Obama has now introduced new legislation that would take several steps toward this, specifically by reinstating a national assault weapons ban, demanding background checks for purchasers and banning high-capacity magazines. Actions have already been taken by some states, including New York which voted to toughen up its already very strict gun ownership laws this past Tuesday. However, there has been a very vocal political outcry against these policies, and on Saturday protests sprang up in favor of gun rights all across the US.
Entitled the ‘high noon’ rallies, bringing to mind the iconic Western film starring Gary Cooper, these protests occurred mostly outside state capitols. There were reportedly 500 protestors in Denver, Colorado, over 1,000 in Brooksville, Florida, and remarkably over 1,000 rallying outside of the Connecticut State Capitol. At these events there was a general consensus that the proposed gun control legislation violates the Second Amendment of the United States, and a variety of vehement objection to any proposed restrictions could be found at these protests. The protests were organized by a group called Guns Across America, created by an airline pilot out of Texas named Eric Reed. (reu) (cnbc) Yet, in contrast to these events, there were many pro-gun control actions planned to take place the following day.
It was recently announced there would be an event called ‘The Gun Prevention Sabbath.’ It would take place on Sunday, and involve 150 churches of all denominations with over 100,000 congregation members. Organized by the PICO National Network’s Lifelines to Healing Campaign and Mayors Against Illegal Guns, this event is a faith based effort to give more support to the idea of stricter gun control measures. The plan involves displaying pictures of gun victims and their families for all to see, encouraging preachers to use their time at the pulpit to address the need for a stop to gun violence, and making interviews and photo opportunities with victims available to the media. (pico)(jw) Some of the planned participants include the Riverside Church of NYC and Mother Bethel AME Church in Philadelphia. The idea of linking the cause of gun control with places of worship certainly adds an interesting element to this event.
There will no doubt be a continued back and forth regarding the issue of gun control vs. gun rights. One can only wait and see which side will win out, and what that will mean for the greater national good in the long term.