Pueblo pastors organize gun buyback program

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No. 1. -- Require background checks on all gun sales. "Studies estimate nearly 40% of all gun sales are made by private sellers who are exempt" from a background check, Obama said.

PUEBLO, Colo. — Stricken with grief and stuck answering question after question about how God could have allowed the slaying of innocent children at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., a group of Pueblo pastors decided action was needed as much as — if not more than — words.

That is the reason, Wesley United Mehotdist Church pastor Kim James told the Pueblo Chieftain, that the group of clergy members organized a gun buyback program in the city of Pueblo over the weekend.

“The clergy should be doing more than comforting the grieving and actually try and make (these tragedies) stop,” James told the newspaper.

The Chieftain reported Sunday’s buyback saw a mere seven rifles, one handgun and 30 rounds of ammunition turned in. Never expecting to buy back all of the weapons in the conservative southern Colorado city, the pastors said what their event lacked in numbers, it made up for in meaning.

”That statement here is there doesn’t have to be fear in the world, and the immediate reaction to tragedies doesn’t have to be, ‘Let’s go get armed.'” James said. “A lot of the people who (turned in weapons) are older. They have to consider what’s going to happen to their guns and who’s going to possess them in the future.

“This event is symbolic of a culture of peace.”