The leader of the Kentucky Council of Churches believes faith communities can help reduce gun violence. The comments come as the Lexington community deals with three shooting deaths in the past week.
Mayor Jim Gray has said there are ongoing conversations about youth violence with the local faith community. Peggy Hinds is interim director of the Kentucky Council of Churches, representing 11 Christian denominations. “Many of our congregations have curricula that try to teach peaceful resolution of conflict and things like that,” Hinds said. “So, we do have congregations doing things.”
Hinds said congregations of various faiths, not just Christian churches, are reaching out to young people with alternatives to gang and drug involvement. She said there are a lot of efforts on the local level. But, Hinds says, religious leaders are all scrambling to figure out what to do that will work.
The Kentucky Council of Churches is expressing support for legislation it believes could help decrease gun violence.
Hinds said the bill, sponsored by Fayette County Sen. Reggie Thomas would give localities more say in gun regulation. “Cities particularly cities like Lexington and Louisville that have had such a high number of gun violence incidents should have the ability to regulate within the city limits what they feel is appropriate to handle the gun violence in those areas,” she said.
Hinds said weekly “Prayer in Action” sessions are being held at the state capitol and participants are meeting with lawmakers on gun-related legislation.