Heeding God’s Call to End Gun Violence (Heeding), the faith-based and grassroots movement to save lives from gun injury and death, called on Americans to honor those lost in a devastating massacre at the Pulse club in Orlando, FL through prayer, but stated unequivocally that “prayer is not enough.” Heeding, headquartered in Philadelphia and operating through volunteer chapters in the Mid-Atlantic region, called for passage of federal legislation to ban semiautomatic assault guns and high-capacity ammunition magazines as the only way to truly honor those wounded and killed yesterday and to make America safer from the rising toll of mass murder.
Fran Stier, Heeding acting board chair, said:
Yes, all members and friends of Heeding deeply grieve for the lost, their families, neighbors and friends, and we pray for them, and we also say loudly – not enough! The country has lost too many to mass murder, law enforcers killed with assault guns, and lives lost every day to gun violence in our cities and towns. In the face of evil and devastation like the Orlando massacre, it is clear that strong and effective action to reduce the carnage must be taken.
“It doesn’t take a genius to note that one man was able to acquire and use such overwhelming firepower that he could kill 50 and wound 53 more” said Heeding board member Rev. Woody Dalton. “This could only happen in the United States, where the Orlando shooter passed the weak Florida background check to purchase an AR-15 assault rifle, a military-style gun made only to kill as many people as possible as quickly as possible. Only in America. There is no place in our civil society for these weapons of mass destruction.”
Heeding board member Lisa Delity said:
We call on people and institutions of all faiths to demand change – to demand that their federal legislators honor the wounded and dead by at once passing legislation to ban the sale and possession of semiautomatic assault guns. We at Heeding will do all we can to make this happen, including reaching out to and, if necessary, confronting the legislators that we can.
“We stand especially with our LBGT and Muslim brothers and sisters,” said Heeding board member Rev. David W. Brown. “Hatred toward a particular subset of Americans, whether due to gender orientation or religion, is nearly as evil as that done by one deranged man who slaughtered so many innocents.”