FOSTORIA - Members of Fostoria Area Citizens for Peace are to meet at 6:30 p.m. Sunday at the Presbyterian Church, Fremont and Perry streets, Fostoria. The group is to watch the DVD "Eye of the Storm" about peacemaking efforts in Israel/Palestine.
A portion of the meeting is to be a discussion about the possible formation of a gun regulation group. Spearheading the effort are Jim and Marcia Bailey, Jo Hollingsworth and Ronnie Kromer. The purpose of the group would be to protect public safety by advocating sensible regulations and supporting efforts by reform-minded public officials.
"We speak for ourselves as individual Christians (a Catholic, a Lutheran and a Presbyterian) and on behalf of the Fostoria Area Citizens for Peace and the currently active Fostoria 'Just Faith' group. We hope to increase our effectiveness by gaining the support of other individuals and organizations in Fostoria and in other communities in northwest Ohio. We are already at least a Fostoria coalition - or at least even a tri-county coalition as some of our residents live in Seneca, Hancock and Wood counties," Jim Bailey stated in a press release.
Bailey said he would like to have a public forum at a local church to discuss key issues, to provide an opportunity for individuals and organizations to support changes and to convey that support to officials.
Beginning advocacy points concern:
Banning assault and various semi-automatic weapons. Fully automatic weapons have been banned for decades. "Automatic" means bullets are fired continuously while the trigger is depressed.
Limiting the size of ammunition magazines and ammunition drums to a small number of bullets.
Banning bullets that can penetrate police officers' vests.
Effectively addressing mental health issues.
Requiring background checks before any commercial sale.
Registering firearms and firearm sales (as done with automobiles).
The news release said gun-related deaths are a public health issue. On a typical day in America, it says 80-84 people are victims of gun violence. The gun death total per year is about 30,000.
According to the news release, more American civilians have been killed in gun-related violence in the last 25 years than the number of soldiers killed in battle. It said recent research shows states with a higher percentage of households with guns have more gun deaths per 100,000 people than do states with fewer households with guns.
"Those who oppose any regulation worry about the 'slippery slope' which they think will result with them having no guns. Perhaps we should worry about the slippery slope of believing that the only answer to violence is more violence," Bailey said.
Concerned citizens are welcome to attend Sunday's meeting. The church has an elevator.