The Christian life is a COMPACT between God and the People of God. God graces us with love and calls us to respond in love for each other. As the song goes: “We love because God first loved us.” Together, we make a compact to make love happen.

Gun safety is an expression of this COMPACT. In his book, GUNS DOWN, Igor Volsky, co-founder and executive director of Guns Down America, writes of a “New Second Amendment Compact” to make society more gun safe. He lists 10 elements in the compact:

1. End gun manufacturer immunity from civil lawsuits and criminal prosecution. Unlike toy and general product manufacturers who can be sued for product danger, gun manufacturers cannot be sued for inattention to gun safety designs.
2. Increase oversight and regulation of gun manufacturers. Demand safety changes such as fingerprint identification by the owner before the gun can be fired.
3. Regulate gun dealers. Tighten requirement of record keeping of all gun sales, following through with background checks, and recording serial numbers. Authorize significant fines and threat of closure for breaking these laws.
4. Prohibit the sale of semiautomatic weapons and high-capacity magazines to civilians. AR-15s and similar weapons are weapons of war for use on the battlefield. They are the weapons of choice in mass shootings.
5. Provide incentives for people to give up their firearms. Support a government buy-back program. Guns in the home dramatically increase domestic and youth gun violence.
6. Make licensing and firearms registration mandatory. Accountability and traceability are vital for keeping guns out of the hands of irresponsible persons.
7. Require all gun owners to have insurance. Guns are more dangerous than automobiles. Owning and using a car requires the driver to have insurance.
8. End open carry. Easy accessibility to a weapon makes it easier to use. It also creates a fearful atmosphere.
9. Fund scientific research to identify the best ways to reduce gun violence. Since the late 1990s, funding for gun violence research has been stifled. Recently the funding spigot has opened somewhat, but there is great need for improvement.
10. Invest in community-based GVP programs.

This COMPACT will create a broader gun safe environment. While protecting the right to purchase and use a weapon responsibly, it will nurture community responsibility and create a more inclusive beloved community by preventing irresponsible persons from gun purchase. Let us create a COMPACT of LOVE.


Ron Letnes (Rev. Dr.)