Religion Unplugged

God and guns

People of faith debate solutions to America’s string of mass shootings.

By Bobby Ross Jr. | Religion Unplugged

Editor’s note: Every Friday, “Weekend Plug-in” features analysis, fact checking and top headlines from the world of faith. Subscribe now to get this newsletter delivered straight to your inbox. Got feedback or ideas? Email Bobby Ross Jr. at

TULSA, Okla. — God and guns.

After a string of mass shootings nationwide, conversations with people of faith inevitably turn to that subject.

Ken Factor and Lawson Vaughn are friends and fellow Christians. I met both while in Tulsa this past weekend to report on their church mourning the massacre of four people.

I asked Factor and Vaughn about possible solutions following the recent attacks at a Buffalo, New York, supermarket, an Uvalde, Texas, school and a medical office in their own community.

Factor stressed that he has been a registered Republican for nearly 40 years.

Related: After yet another mass shooting, Tulsa church grieves, reflects: Is there a solution?

But he said, “I think we need some kind of restrictions on guns. I don’t know that the Second Amendment applies to things like me deciding, ‘I’m going to go get an AR-15 today.’”

In Vaughn’s view, though, firearms aren’t the real problem.

“I think there’s something to be said just for the erosion of the home, the family,” he said. “I mean, it starts with raising kids to respect others and having families that go to church.”

As The Associated Press’ Deepa Bharath and Holly Meyer report, the recent shootings have exposed divisions on the gun issue in faith communities and raised this question: “Are you pro-life if you are pro-gun?”

At The Oklahoman, Carla Hinton offers in-depth coverage of religious views on gun control — including a letter signed by more than 50 leaders that was recently delivered to Tennessee’s Republican governor, Bill Lee.

Read the full column.

This column appears in the online magazine Religion Unplugged.

Featured photo via Shutterstock

%d bloggers like this: