Following controversial comments alleging that President Barack Obama will potentially rely upon “executive orders” to tackle gun control, Vice President Joe Biden held an unannounced meeting with faith leaders on Wednesday where he purportedly reiterated the same point.
The nation’s second-in-command and his gun violence team discussed the issues surrounding firearms and the country’s most recent crises with 12 national faith leaders in an effort to urge them to “help find common sense solutions.”
During the event, Biden reportedly echoed what he told reporters earlier in the day — that the Obama administration will be taking two tracks to curb gun violence and, coincidentally, ownership. In addition to working with Congress and relying upon a legislative track, the vice-president, again, said that Obama will use unilateral control through executive action. This latter avenue will be taken more quickly, as the president has the ability to more swiftly enact regulations.
CNN has more about the topics of discussion that were on the table during the faith-based discussion:
In the meeting, he did not offer specifics on what type of measures the committee was contemplating. The topics of background checks, assault weapon bans and mental health were discussed, and the vice president mentioned those three as some of the most talked about subjects so far in his various committee sessions.
Leaders of the Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Muslim, Sikh and Hindu religions, as well as Evangelical and Pentecostal Christian communities, were represented. Among other topics they raised: protection of religious buildings and religious intolerance.
Several of the faith leaders in attendance spoke about the horror that gun violence has brought the nation in recent months, with Biden talking about how imperative — at a moral level — it is to take pointed action.
“He was asking the faith community to use the power of our moral voices and persuasion” to help find common sense solutions,” said Rev. Michael McBride, the head of PICO National Network’s Lifelines to Healing Campaign — an effort to reduce inner-city gun violence.
While it’s known that a diverse group of faith leaders was in attendance at this meeting, it is unclear where each individual stands politically and, more specifically, on gun control. But considering the power and persuasion that religious influentials have over congregations, it’s no surprise that the administration is seeking their guidance and assistance in finding solutions.
Rallying people of faith on this issue, though, may be a difficult task. As TheBlaze has previously noted, when it comes to enacting gun control initiatives, there are stark differences among Christian denominations. These disparities grow even more when ethnicity comes into play. While white evangelicals, for instance, shun gun control, black Christians (and Catholics, more generally) tend to advocate for stricter laws.