GBCS Urges Prayer for Victims of Aurora, Colorado Shootings

July 26, 2012

Statement calls on Congress to stand up to gun lobby and quickly pass 'common-sense' policies to ensure public safety.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The United Methodist General Board of Church & Society (GBCS) urges all people to pray for the victims of last Friday's massacre at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, a suburb of Denver. The 12 deaths and 58 injuries, including a baby, confirm that such gun-related violence is a public health issue, the agency says in a statement.
Jim Winkler, chief executive, and Bill Mefford, director of Civil & Human Rights, issued the GBCS statement. It urges Congress to stand up to the gun lobby and its efforts to ensure ownership without responsibility.
The statement points out that the United Methodist resolution, "Gun Violence," calls for social policies and personal lifestyles that bring an end to senseless gun violence, including a ban on all handguns.
The GBCS statement says it is imperative for Congress to take action. It suggests three "common-sense policies" that Congress could enact quickly:
  • instituting background checks on all gun sales, including at gun shows; 
  • limiting bulk sales of guns intended to be illegally resold; and 
  • reinstating the ban on sale of military assault weapons to civilians.
"These simple policies would help lessen the increasing violence associated with the current absence of effective gun regulations," the GBCS statement declares.
The General Board of Church & Society is one of four international general program boards of The United Methodist Church. Prime responsibility of the board is to seek implementation of the Social Principles and other policy statements on Christian social concerns of the General Conference, the denomination's highest policy-making body.
Download GBCS statement here.