Must ad­dress vi­o­lence

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - VOICES -

I live in Lit­tle Rock be­cause I have been as­signed as Bishop of the United Methodist Church in Arkansas. It’s a won­der­ful city that I have come to love. But some­thing has hap­pened this past year. Gun vi­o­lence has ex­ploded. Not only mur­der, but in­juries to in­no­cent by­standers, in­clud­ing chil­dren and ba­bies.

So once again I awoke Satur­day morn­ing to mul­ti­ple news sto­ries about gun vi­o­lence, in­clud­ing one about a shoot­ing at a down­town night­club that in­jured two dozen peo­ple.

I don’t pre­tend to fully un­der­stand the com­plex­ity of what is go­ing on. But I do know that what should be greeted by a huge out­cry has been greeted with deaf­en­ing si­lence. Es­pe­cially from the Chris­tian com­mu­nity. So let me say it loudly and clearly. We are in a cri­sis. And the cri­sis must be ad­dressed. Not used for a par­ti­san po­lit­i­cal pur­poses, but ad­dressed. Not ma­nip­u­lated to cre­ate greater di­vide among peo­ple, but ad­dressed. Not ig­nored, but ad­dressed.

Cer­tainly, it may be painful on so many levels to deal hon­estly with it. But we have no choice.

GARY E. MUELLER

Lit­tle Rock

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