Tennessee advocates applaud Biden Administration effort to reduce gun violence
A group of Tennessee pastors affiliated with the Southern Christian Coalition is expressing support for President Joe Biden's creation of a federal Office of Gun Violence Prevention.
The group said the federal effort is encouraging following a failure by state policy leaders to adopt gun safety measures during an August special legislative session on the topic.
"As a Christian pastor I believe that every American, no matter where they live or the color of their skin deserves to live safe from the fear of gun violence and I'm so grateful that President Biden has created the Office of Gun Violence Prevention," said Rev. Rick Roberts, Pastor of St. John's Lutheran Church of Nashville. "It's past time that our elected leaders prioritize safe schools and communities and do more than offer thoughts and prayers."
"Today I celebrate the first-ever US federal office of gun violence prevention," said Rev. Ingrid McIntyre, Pastor of Glencliff United Methodist Church. "We all deserve to live in safe spaces. We deserve to send our children to schools that are free from gun violence. And it's past time we have elected leaders willing to make our safety a priority."
The Southern Christian Coalition spoke out after the special session on public safety to say that Tennessee policymakers had failed to lead.
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."