Minister Takes His Stand In The Gun Debate

Excerpted from an article published on April 30th, 2018 by NPR Illinois at

The Rev. Martin Woulfe of Springfield has spoken from the pulpit about the need for what he calls saner gun control measures.

His sermons at the Abraham Lincoln Unitarian Universalist Congregation preaching gun safety have gone back more than a decade. And he’s talked about gun violence as a social justice issue.

“It just seems that if you’re going to be a shooting enthusiast, you don’t really need an assault weapon,” he said. “And I think that it is a military weapon that properly belongs in the hands of a trained military person and is not designed to be a civilian weapon at all — that if someone seriously has concerns about guarding his or her castle that is not the weapon that a person ought to have at their disposal.”

What may be surprising is that Woulfe is a gun collector who shoots competitively with black powder weapons through the North-South Skirmish Association. The minister’s 17-gun collection includes modern and antique weapons. He’s got shotguns, handguns, rifles, carbines, a musket and a pistol.

Not every shooting enthusiast is a fan of Woulfe’s approach to guns.

But Woulfe says, “The notion of the militia is obsolete. I think, if we’re going to be honest, that waving the Second Amendment as permission for any individual to carry any type firearm at any time is a gross exaggeration and is contrary to the intent of  the authors of that document.”

Woulfe says something needs to be done in terms of gun control in this era of school shootings and mass murders.

“We wring our hands and we offer our hopes and prayers for the victims and their families, but we don’t do anything as far as curtailing the availability of certain weapons and certain accessories.

I think it’s been demonstrated to horrible effect just how effective it is to upgrade a weapon which is supposed to be fired by single-trigger action into a semi-automatic weapon and a silencer. I cannot see any reason anyone outside of a James Bond movie would need a silencer.”

Read the full story at NPR Illinois

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