Twelve Newtown clergy have signed a mass open letter, beginning "Dear Senator," calling for legislators to consider an assault weapons ban and other gun control laws.
"As the clergy leaders of Newtown, joined by clergy colleagues from across the nation, we have witnessed the scourge of gun violence in our neighborhoods, and we call on Congress to pass comprehensive gun violence prevention legislation that will help stop the slaughter," said the letter.
Religious leaders join others -- -- who have called for stricter gun control measures in the aftermath of the Dec. 14 Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings.
"The slaughter of innocents in Newtown awakened our nation to the tragedy of gun violence throughout our land, and we shall neither slumber nor sleep," the letter continued. "Rather, by tireless commitment, loving hearts and the sustaining promise of our many faiths, we believe that Newtown shall be remembered as the bridge to a newer and kinder world."
- Rabbi Shaul Praver, Congregation Adath Israel
- Rev.Matthew Crebbin and Rev. Janice Touloukin, Newtown Congregational Church
- Rev. Kathleen Adams-Shepherd, Trinity Episcopal Church
- Chaplains Eman Beshtawii, Khatib Mohamed El Safty and Azeez Bhavnagarwala, Al Hedaya Islamic Center
- Rev. Mel Kawakami and Rev. Jane Sibley, Newtown United Methodist Church
- Rev. Leo McIlrath, Lutheran Home (Southbury)
- Rev. Jim Solomon, New Hope Community Church
- Monsignor Robert Weiss, St. Rose of Lima
More than 4,000 clergy from across the country signed as well, according to the letter, circulated on the faith-based community network PICO and other sources.
Advocates for gun rights have also been active this week. More than 1,000 supporters took to Hartford Monday to protest proposals for gun control, according to the New York Times.