Tenn. Legislative Session Fails Kids on Gun Safety

Advocate Andy

Group condemns lack of action on gun safety during special session

Pastors affiliated with the Southern Christian Coalition condemned what they say was a lack of action to protect children from gun violence during a recently concluded special legislative session on public safety.

Chaplain Dahron Johnson, Licensed Minister and Chaplain of the Southeast Conference of the United Church of Christ, said:

"We have seen how the (legislative) Supermajority has treated our lives with indifference and demonstrated just how contingently they view our value, criminalizing more, protecting fewer, and enacting laws that add more and more weapons of violence and death into our communities, our schools and our day to day lives."

Rev. Morgan Gordy, Assistant to the Bishop for Disaster Ministry for the Southeastern Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America said that while the group is disappointed in the lack of substantive action to curb gun violence, they will not stop raising their voices:

"So today I have a message for our legislators. You took an oath when you took your seat to not pass bills that would bring harm to the people of Tennessee and to enact laws that would provide for the wellbeing of the people of this state. So I ask, what gives? Who are you serving? Instead you silence voices inside the chamber and run from the voices of constituents outside. You may think this is over since you have adjourned this special session, but we will be back in January, and every month after, again and again and again, until our communities are free from the fear of gun violence. We have to. It is my hope and prayer that you join us instead of running away from us."

Pastors speaking outside the Tennessee State Capitol on August 30, 2023Photo bySouthern Christian Coalition

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Andy Spears is a middle Tennessee writer and policy advocate. He reports on news around public policy issues - education, health care, consumer protection, and more.

Nashville, TN

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