In 2013, the ten member denominations of NH Council of Churches approved a statement on gun violence. On the day after the tragedy at First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, Texas, we will reprint a portion of that statement:
In light of the on-going tragedy of mass gun shootings our faith commends us to “weep with those who weep” (Romans 12:15). We believe that every human being is created in the image of our Creator God (Genesis 1:26) and is therefore entitled to live in community free of the fear of gun violence and gun death. Scripture calls us to “beat our swords into plowshares” (Isaiah 2:4, Joel 3:10); our faith teaches us that our ultimate safety and freedom lies in God. It is therefore idolatrous to imagine that guns, especially semi-automatic and automatic weapons, will protect us from harm.
We urge government leaders:
- to take reasonable steps to restrict civilian ownership of certain types of weapons;
- to take steps to keep guns out of the hands of those who are not responsible;
- to seek ways to identify and provide for greater care of those with mental health issues and their families; and
- to take other effective measures to reduce the risk of firearm violence
To these ends we call on our communities and governmental leaders to take measures enumerated above that will increase the assurance that human life, especially the lives of our children and youth are protected and free from the threat and reality of gun death.