Urge Congress to Pass Ethan's Law to Improve Gun Safety
Support Gun Violence Prevention Now
In 2022 our nation has also been traumatized by 332 mass shootings, Bishop Latrelle Easterling has released multiple statements as new events of mass shootings have occurred, including gun violence in Smithsburg, MD, Uvalde, TX, and Buffalo, NY. We mourn, grieve and to pray for those who have lost their lives and we must engage in concrete actions to stop gun violence.
What Does the Church Say?
As United Methodists we follow Jesus who commissions us to be peacemakers (Matthew 5:9 NRSV). This identity holds us in relationship with God and echoes God's dream for peace for all people so that no need to live in fear of violence (Micah 4:2-4 NRSV):
“Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob, that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths.” For out of Zion shall go forth instruction, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. He shall judge between many people and shall arbitrate between strong nations far away; they shall beat their swords into plowshare and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation; neither shall they learn war any more; but they shall all sit under their own vines and under their own fig trees, and no one shall make them afraid, for the mouth of the Lord of hosts has spoken.”
Violence, in so many ways, is fueled by a culture of misplaced fears and a distorted desire for self-preservation. And too often, today’s “swords” and “spears” take the form of gun violence: random mass murders by enraged, and distraught individuals; white supremacists and Christian nationalists; disputes resolved at one time through alternative means; domestic and intimate partner aggression; and tragic, suicide and self-harm suicide and self-harm. Unaddressed gun violence escalates every other form of violence in our families and communities.
Ask Congress to pass Ethan’s Law by clicking on this Action to Write a Letter. Your letter will be sent to your Representatives, Senators, and the White House asking that they support Ethan’s Law.
An estimated 4,600,000 minors in the United States live in homes with at least 1 unsecured firearm.
Seventy-three percent of children under the age of 10 living in homes with firearms reported knowing the location of their parents’ firearms.
Thirty-six percent of those children reported handling their parents’ unsecured firearms. The presence of unsecured firearms in the home increases the risk of unintentional and intentional shootings.
Over 75 percent of firearms used in youth suicide attempts and unintentional firearm injuries were stored in the residence of the victim, a relative, or a friend.
To learn more watch our recent BWC webinar “Safe Firearm Storage Saves Lives” and read
Ethan Song and his friend died in a neighbor’s home where a firearm was not properly stored. Both children had played with unsecured guns hoping to make a Tik-Tok video. The owner of the gun was not held liable. According to the family's memorial page for Ethan, “handguns were often not secured or locked up in this home. A rifle was frequently stored in the front hall closet. According to police reports, kids pulled the trigger of the rifle on at least one occasion. Young people were able to access weapons for months, even when a parent was in the home.
As a matter of faith and conscience we ask Congress to pass and President Biden to sign Ethan’s Law (H.R. 748) law so that we have storage requirements of firearms within residences at the federal, state, and tribal level if a minor under the age of 18 is able to access the firearm without permission, or if a resident within the household is ineligible to possess the firearm.