Words from Our Bishops

Arming Civilians

Texas Governor Rick Perry opined a few days ago [1] that, had moviegoers in Lafayette, Louisiana, been allowed to bring their guns into the theater, they could have stopped John Russell Houser when he opened fire on July 23, 2015. Similar sentiments were expressed...

There is nothing funny about gun violence

I recently shared on Twitter and Facebook and in every way I could the notice of the Claiming Common Ground against Gun Violence procession we will participate in at General Convention in Salt Lake City on the morning of June 28th.  I received many great replies, and...

Bishops United Against Handgun Violence

Maine legislators are debating a bill to authorize the carrying of concealed handguns without a permit. The legislation enjoys broad bipartisan support from our elected leaders. The bill’s sponsors are asking us to believe that if someone is already legally able to...

Public Passion for the Reign of God

Two years ago I was being interviewed on the set of a TV station in Springfield, Massachusetts about the proposed new gun laws that were going before the legislature in our commonwealth. The young reporter asked me if any of those laws stood out for me. I said, “There...

Good Friday

About 200 of us from about a dozen churches spent much of Good Friday on the streets of Jersey City. We honored Jesus by observing the fourteen Stations of the Cross; and we also honored fourteen Jersey City residents whose lives were either taken or dramatically...

A Letter to Iowa State Senators

The following is a letter to Iowa state senators from Bishop Alan Scarfe, Episcopal Diocese of Iowa and Bishop Julius C. Trimble, Iowa Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church 14 March, 2015 Dear Senators, We are writing to express concern about elements of...

The Evidence

Background Checks Save Lives…

In states where background checks are required for the purchase of a handgun, we’ve seen a reduction in gun violence across all categories. Compared with states that do not have a background check requirement, here is how they fare:

  • Fewer women shot to death by an intimate partner 38%
  • Fewer suicides with a gun 49%
  • Fewer police murdered by a handgun that was not their own 39%
  • Fewer “crime guns” exported to other states 64%

Interactive Map on Gun Trafficking

Follow the movement of crime guns in America by clicking a state

What happens when you repeal your handgun licensing law?

New research by Johns Hopkins School of Public Health shows that the repeal of Missouri’s permit-to-purchase requirement (required a background check to receive a permit) resulted in an additional 55 to 63 murders per year between 2008 and 2012, an overall increase in murder by gunfire of 23%. Read the full release.

  • Increase in Missouri’s murder-by-gunfire rate after the repeal of their background check law 23%