As clergy working with The Metropolitan Organization, we are doing all we can to prevent sickness and death from COVID-19. We believe we must also prevent injury and death from firearms during this time of crisis and in the future by adopting these strategies:
• Mayor Sylvester Turner and Houston City Council must develop a safe gun storage campaign, as recommended by the Mayor’s Commission Against Gun Violence.
• Harris County constables must develop a campaign to widely distribute free gun locks to everyone who needs to secure their guns.
• Gov. Greg Abbott and the state of Texas must quickly take advantage of new federal legislation to provide enhanced unemployment insurance benefits to all who have lost their income due to COVID-19, improve access to mental health care by expanding Medicaid and declare a 60-day moratorium on evictions in the state of Texas.
During this crisis we can save lives by reducing family stress and by increasing our commitment to safely storing guns.
Rabbi David Lyon, Rev. Dr. Rhenel Johnson and Fr. Simon Bautista are members of the Metropolitan Organization, a 40-year-old coalition of institutions (congregations, schools and nonprofits) that teaches people how to work together across lines of difference to improve the quality of life in their communities.
[Photo Credit: Monica Rhor, The Houston Chronicle]
Staying at home with guns too often leads to deaths, The Houston Chronicle, [pdf]