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Would Jesus carry? (LETTER TO THE EDITOR)

Modified: Wednesday, Dec 26th, 2012

It saddened me to read the comment in publisher Jeanie Wright’s column (Chronicle, Dec. 19) that suggested we can do nothing to stop mass killings such as just occurred in Connecticut. Such events are man-made and can be stopped. Let’s look at Australia.

In 1996, a gunman with a semiautomatic rifle killed 35 people. Following this, a law was passed that divided firearms into five categories. Some of the large ammunition clips are now all but impossible for individuals to lawfully own.

Firearms are subject to a strict permitting process and dealers are required to record sales, which are tracked by the Australian government. The law also encouraged people to sell their firearms back to the government, which purchased and destroyed about 700,000 of them.

The results are hard to argue with. According to a Harvard University study,  13 gun massacres occurred in the 18 years before the law, and in the 16 years since the law there has been zero.

What I am praying for most these days is that our national leaders have the courage to stand up to the National Rifle Association for once. I pray that sane, sensible gun laws such as in Australia and Canada will be enacted. Both countries have rich hunting traditions, but not mass murders as happen here.

I ask people to think about how often any of us reads about the need for an individual to use an automatic weapon whether it is to defend their home or shoot a turkey for Thanksgiving. There is no need for such. I think of my neighbor who has guns—he has never needed them to defend his house or mine.

I also ask people to ask the “WWJD” question. Does anyone really think Jesus Christ would carry?

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