- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 27, 2013

A group of black faith leaders citing Martin Luther King Jr. have taken to Capitol Hill to push lawmakers to crack down on gun ownership and pass a national law requiring background checks for all purchases.

The coalition sent a letter, just in time for the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, citing a responsibility to “sound the clarion call to end gun violence in our communities,” The Washington Post reported.

From the letter: “On this national anniversary, we must not only herald the progress we have made as a country, but we must take stock of the detrimental decisions and policies of indifference that turn a blind eye to the alarming magnitude of lives cut short too soon.”

The clergy members continued: “As faith leaders, we write this open letter to, in the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., ‘dramatize a shameful condition’ — the injustice of rampant gun violence in our communities and the staggering availability of guns to dangerous individuals.”

The leaders have asked lawmakers to pass new laws requiring nationwide background checks for all gun purchases — even those between private owners and buyers.

They also said 60,000 black children have been killed in gun violence since King delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech.

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• Cheryl K. Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com.

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