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Assembly Issues Calls for "Removal" of Handguns and Assault Weapons
PCUSA NEWS <email@example.com>
20 Jun 1998 17:42:26
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Assembly Issues Calls for "Removal" of Handguns
and Assault Weapons
By Jerry Van Marter
CHARLOTTE, N.C.--The 210th General Assembly has called on Presbyterians "to
intentionally work toward removing handguns and assault weapons from our
homes and our communities."
Acting on a recommendation from its Assembly Committee on National
Issues, the Assembly adopted a Commissioners' Resolution submitted by the
Rev. Nancy Trevino of Grace Presbytery and Elder Nancy Collin of Northern
New York Presbytery. The resolution passed 393-120 with seven abstentions.
The Assembly easily defeated an amendment that would have removed
handguns from the ban. Elder Bill Ward of Southern Kansas Presbytery, who
said he teaches competitive handgun shooting, supported the amendment,
arguing, "It seems like many things that I enjoy the church is saying I can
no longer do."
The Rev. Bernice Warren of Philadelphia Presbytery countered, "I have
been to too many funerals of young people, particularly young black men,
who have been killed by handguns. I have seen too many young people,
particularly young black men, disabled by gunshots. We must get the guns
out of our communities."
Several speakers argued that banning handguns violates the second
amendment to the U.S. Constitution, but the Rev. Jean Kiskaddon of Wyoming
Presbytery pleaded, "We have repeatedly said at this Assembly that we have
a passion for the welfare of our children and we know the violence that
guns do to them. Please, let's say something!"
The resolution also calls on the National Ministries Division and the
Presbyterian Peacemaking Program to develop a poster which will point
Presbyterians to resources for further study and reflection on the issue of
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