Rev. Eric is our guest this week…
In my newsletter column earlier this month I wrote about going to Dayton the day after the shootings there in August.
This last Wednesday I joined 20 other First UUers at the Statehouse in a rally for our elected leaders to take gun safety seriously. Folks from all over Ohio, including UUs from Dayton and Cleveland, gathered to listen to those who have lost loved ones to gun violence and speak with one voice as the legislature returned from its summer recess. Echoing the phrase that was chanted when Gov. De Wine visited Dayton, we were there to say Do Something!
Whether you are a gun owner or are someone who abhors them, something must be done to reduce the epidemic of shootings in our nation.
When I was a teenager, I naively thought that after the singer Marvin Gaye was shot and killed by his own father, that something would give, and we would look at guns differently. If only.
As I wrote in a newsletter column here several years ago, prior to my time in seminary a good friend of mine, a proud NRA member, invited me to join him at a gun range. I’m glad I took him up on the offer. We ended up going twice. The first time I used his .22 Browning handgun. Beyond learning that I’m a bad shot, this wasn’t the experience I wanted. A couple weeks later we returned to the range, and I rented a more powerful weapon, a 9mm pistol. This was more like it. This one had a kick. There was power here, something both to admire, and also to fear. That was the last time I ever held a gun.
What I didn’t expect, was by telling that story to family members and friends, I heard more gun stories than I ever heard before. A female boss talked about the time her husband took her deer hunting. “It was the most natural thing I’ve ever done,” she related.
Many of us have gun stories. Guns aren’t the enemy. But access to assault weapons and tactical gear is not what the framers of our constitution had in mind. What “well-regulated militia” was the Dayton shooter Connor Betts a member of?
And so, we march. We gather to have our voices heard against the influence of the special interest of the NRA, which has leaned far away from the group it was 20+ years ago.
Below are some pictures of some of us at last week’s event. Together our voice carries further than any of our single voices ever can.
In shared faith,