EPF Press Release on the Charleston Murders
The Episcopal Peace Fellowship (EPF) affirms President Barack Obama’s call for tougher gun laws in the wake of the racially charged killing of nine black persons in the historic Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina June 17. “Once again,” President Obama said, “innocent people were killed in part because someone who wanted to inflict harm had no trouble getting their hands on a gun … At some point as a country, we have to reckon with the fact that this type of mass violence does not happen in other advanced countries. It is in our power to do something about it."
“A long-time advocate for sensible gun regulation, EPF urges the US Congress to immediately strengthen our nation’s gun laws,” said the Rev. Allison Sandlin Liles, EPF executive director. “It is overwhelmingly tragic that Dylann Roof walked into a church with a tradition of safety and sanctuary, sat for approximately one hour Wednesday night, then allegedly fatally shot nine individuals."
Maryland Bishop Gene Sutton – a member of EPF who has spoken out against gun violence during an EPF event last year – released this statement http://episcopalmaryland.org/what-will-it-take/
“As the 2015 General Convention of the Episcopal Church begins June 24 in Salt Lake City, Utah, EPF supports and is working for passage of three gun violence resolutions slated for a vote. They are C005 Decreasing Gun Violence – C030 Control of Automatic Weapons – and, D0118 Curb Gun Violence,” Liles said.
Bishop Scott Hayashi of the Diocese of Utah who will host General Convention in Salt Lake City said, “I am deeply mournful and angry that we have yet another incident of innocent people murdered. We know that the horrific crime of racism is also paramount in this case. The scourge of racism has been compounded by an epidemic of gun violence."
"It is right for the Church to pray, to weep and to grieve over another mass shooting in our country, but as the Church we must also transform these prayers into action for stronger gun laws in our country,” Liles said.
The Episcopal Peace Fellowship has advocated for peace since its founding on Armistice Day 1939. EPF website – http://epfnational.org/