To: Congress


Reinstate the ban on assault weapons immediately as a first step to ending mass shootings in America. Work with President Obama to address gun violence in America.

Why is this important?

My home State of Connecticut, where I serve as one of the Bishops of Episcopal Diocese, is only the latest venue of terrible, unspeakable violence. And it has marked us forever. But if we do not demand action now from our leaders, which state or community will be next to know our pain and grief?

I ask your prayers for the victims of the shooting in Sandy Hook Elementary School and their families, for the perpetrator and his family, for our churches, our towns and cities. And I call for our action.

President Obama is right. We can no longer be silent about gun violence in our society. We have been timid for too long.

Nineteen years ago, Marcelina Delgado, a 7 year old, was shot and killed as she sat in the back seat of her father's car on the way to see her grandmother in Hartford, CT. The car had been mis-identified by the shooters as belonging to a member of a rival gang.

The tragedy of her death soon was dropped from our community's collective memory. Perhaps that was because she was a person of color or maybe it is just because life moves on.

All of us know such stories. By God's grace, Marcelina's face and story have been seared into my soul - a reminder of the claim our children make on us, and the work that still needs to be done.

Since Marcelina's death, thousands of children and teens have become victims of gun violence in this nation. And now, 20 more children, 6 and 7 year olds, and 6 adults, who sought to protect them, are dead, in large part because of easy access to assault weapons and our lack of organizing and advocacy for change.

It is time for us to demand the reinstatement of the ban on assault weapons as a first step. We need to build on the momentum in Congress that this horrific tragedy has set into motion. We are accountable and we need to hold our lawmakers accountable. Please join me in calling on Congress to reinstate the assault weapons ban as a first step to ending mass shootings in America.

The struggle for significant gun legislation reform will be long term. But now is the moment for direct and immediate action. Our voices need to be heard now.

Advent is the season when we hold terror and hope in our two hands at the same time. The church community is being held together by the love of Christ and the love we have for one another. Let us take that love and pursue action NOW to prevent another horrific tragedy.

The Rt. Rev. James E. Curry was consecrated bishop in October 2000.

Bishop Curry oversees Hispanic and multicultural ministries, Christian formation ministries, Camp Washington, international and domestic mission, and liturgy & music. He is very active locally and nationally in advocacy work, and has been particularly involved in speaking about the Church's opposition to capital punishment and its support of immigration reform. He has an ongoing mission partnership with the Bishop and Diocese of Lebombo in Mozambique and serves on community and church-wide committees involved with mission and advocacy.

Newtown, CT

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