As proud American citizens, and God-fearing pastors, we celebrate the Second Amendment, among the other rights guaranteed by our Constitution, we feel the need to speak resolutely, and as apolitically as possible, to the decision of the non-binding resolution recently passed naming Walker County a Gun Sanctuary County.
¨God has not given us the spirit of fear/timidity, but of a sound mind,¨ says the scripture. It speaks to the age in which we live. Much of our society is gripped by anxieties, rooted in myths. We count on our leaders to be sober. Not gripped by paranoia, or popular whims. We consider public statements to be all inclusive, and we do not feel this statement considerate enough of our community and the public good.
No confiscation legislation would successfully pass by this Congress, this President, this State Legislature, this Governor, this County Commissioners Court, this County Judge, and most reasonable citizens would rightly protest such a move. So then, to what pressing need was such a resolution remedy?
We´ve prayed over victims in hospital beds, and in caskets below. Same guns. Same wounds. Same church. We can no more celebrate the gun, than we honor the dead, and those living with the memories, especially our veterans. Those who tremble when thunder claps, fire crackers blow, cars backfire, or someone actually shoots a gun in their hearing. How does this honor them? The first who should be considered on the subject.
How do communities right here in Walker County gripped with disproportionate poverty, less than responsible and oftentimes illegal gun owners, unhealthy levels of undiagnosed mental illness, hypervigilant homes that (more times than we like to admit) harbor domestic violence and abuse, feel about your pledge not to intervene?
How do mothers watching breaking news of another school shooting breathe easier knowing our public officials are going to keep their hands off taking guns out of the hands of people that shouldn´t have them?
This resolution doesn´t make one person safer, and arguably, means our law enforcement will be reluctant to intervene or be proactive. You, our public servants, are saying you won´t do whatever it takes to keep the public safe, so much so that you would unnecessarily and literally cede weapons to those who would do harm in this community.
This is unwise. This is irresponsible. This feeds into myths spun by perennial conspiracy theorists that the government is coming to take Americans´ guns. This is a lie. And you should have the courage to call it out.
We hire you for your judgment. This resolution does not represent the best of Christian values like peace, goodwill, and sobriety. On this weekend where we celebrate American Christian leader Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and I’m the spirit of his legacy of providing prophetic witness to our government, we ask you to reconsider this resolution in light of these concerns.