Last weekend, Lola took an entrance exam for an Episcopal school in Austin Texas. The school doors were locked. Security was tight. I didn’t see any “no firearms” signs at the entrance (which could have been awkward). When I told the administrator in charge I ran the world’s largest firearms blog, she was non-plussed. As were several prospective parents. So I guess they have a “we’ll ask, you tell and that’s about it” policy. But that’s more than a bit misleading. Further up the food chain, the Episcopal Church’s Executive Council recently reaffirmed the General Convention’s support for the “restriction on the sale, use and ownership of guns.” Interestingly, anglicancommunity.org tries to insert a little wiggle room into the church’s forthcoming civilian disarmament-themed Walk for Peace, prayer rallies and general anti-gun agitation . . .
Bishop of Connecticut, the Rt Revd Ian T. Douglas, indicated that during the upcoming House of Bishops meeting, time will be given over to reflecting on this issue; one which, for a country where people have the constitutional right to bear arms, is not clear cut. Connecticut, for example, is not just the state where Sandy Hook Elementary School is located, it is also one of the oldest and biggest gun producing regions in the United States; so much so that the Connecticut River valley has been known as the ‘Gun Valley’ since the 19th century.
That said, this . . .
These, and other initiatives such as New York diocese’s petition for better gun control and Primate Bp Katharine Jefferts Schori’s Senate Testimony on gun violence, are clear evidence of The Episcopal Church’s commitment to challenge gun violence in the USA.
In her testimony, Bp Jefferts Schori wrote: “I urge lawmakers to press for comprehensive and universal background checks for firearm ownership, regardless of where and how a gun is purchased; for bans on the availability to civilians of assault rifles and high-capacity magazines; and for policies designed to better regulate the manufacture of guns. The Episcopal Church also supports the highest level of accountability for violation of all existing laws pertaining to violence in our midst.”
This focus on challenging gun violence comes only a few months after the Anglican Consultative Council—the consultative group comprising Anglicans and Episcopalians from around the world—added to the fourth mark of mission the call: “to challenge violence of every kind”.
Well, on that point, I think we all agree.
Whether the leaders of the Lone Star State private school where Lola’s applied are more in sync with the Consultative Council or local firearms culture remains to be seen. Hopefully.