“Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God….”
I John 4:7

Guns have the potential to destroy life. Destruction of life is contrary to God’s will. God wills love. Similarly, the American Constitution is committed to “…insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity….” (Preamble) Love and life are dominant themes in the Biblical witness and Constitution.

How? Teresa Watanabe of the LA TIMES interviewed Dr. Garen Wintemute, a UC Davis emergency room physician who frequently treats gun shot wounds. His suggestions for “loving people and respecting the Constitution”: 1) Regulate or eliminate high capacity magazines; 2) Expand the criteria for denial of firearm purchase to include people who actively abuse alcohol (top of the list); 3) Prohibit the purchase and possession of firearms by people who have been convicted of violent misdemeanor crimes such as assault and battery for 10 years; 4) Prohibit people who have been hospitalized for mental health emergencies involving dangerousness to self and others for five years; 5) Prohibit people from buying guns who are subject to domestic violence restraining orders; 6) Mandate universal background checks; 7) Outlaw Saturday night specials; 8) Allow for judges to issue gun violence restraining order when imminent hazard exists.

I find these recommendations by a physician who is on the front line of gun violence treatment worth consideration and possible adoption. They demonstrate love for people and respect for our Constitution. Let’s be honest, guns in the wrong hands are killing machines. It is time to discover ways to keep guns out of possession of those who are threatening to themselves and others so that those who are responsible can enjoy gun usage in a safe manner.

Rev. Dr. Ron Letnes