Washington, DC, USA | Bettina Krause / ANN

Seventh-day Adventist women from around the United States joined more than 700,000 women on Sunday, May 14, for what was the country’s largest ever protest against gun violence. Marching through the streets of Washington before gathering at a rally on the steps of the Capitol Building, participants in the “Million Mom March” called on the federal government to enact stricter gun safety and licensing regulations and for gun owners to exercise greater individual responsibility in the way they use and store guns.

Kay Rosburg, a member of Washington-area Sligo Adventist Church, attended the event with 25 other women from her congregation. She says that the rising level of gun violence-from homicide to accidental shootings to suicide- convinced her that it was time to get involved. 

“I feel strongly about this issue,” says Rosburg. “We all have to be licensed before driving a car in America.  How much more, then, should a deadly weapon such as a handgun be subject to reasonable government regulation?”

Rosburg acknowledges, however, that opinion on gun control is divided in the United States, even among Christians.  She knows of at least one fellow Adventist who attended a rival march on Sunday, which opposed any increase in federal government regulation of gun ownership.

Organizers of the “Million Mom March” are calling for federal legislation requiring that all handgun owners be licensed and registered, that built-in child safety locks be used on all guns, and that handgun purchases be limited to one a month.

Rosburg believes that Christians have a significant role to play in tackling important societal issues such as gun violence. “I think Jesus taught us by His actions that we should try to help our neighbors,” says Rosburg, “and if we’re not willing to be involved in this kind of thing, we’re letting Him down.” 

An average of 12 children and young people are killed each day in the United States as a result of either accidental or intentional shootings, say proponents of stricter gun regulation. Federal laws in the United States require a criminal record background check for all people buying guns from firearms dealers, but other gun licensing and regulation laws differ from state to state. Legislation is currently pending in Congress that would also mandate background checks on people purchasing guns at weekend gun shows, closing what has become known as the “gun show loophole.”

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