Anglican leader backs gun control in the US

RAPHAEL SATTER
Last updated 07:45 23/12/2012

Relevant offers

World

BBC says sorry after tweets suggest UK queen hospitalised Former New Of The World editor Andy Coulson cleared of perjury Large Hadron Collider is cranking up again: prepare to have your mind blown Professional basketball player Luke Martin charged over Lindt cafe vandalism US says 10,000 Islamic State militants killed in nine-month campaign Divers comb capsized China ship, death toll jumps to 18 Alan Bond fighting for his life in hospital Toddler dies in hot car as mum teaches inside school Another 'sea serpent' from the deep shows up Dark Knight cinema shooter James Holmes 'calm and collected' before massacre

The spiritual leader of the world's 80 million-strong Anglican Communion has thrown his support behind stricter gun laws in the US, saying the easy availability of powerful weapons drew vulnerable people toward violence.

On Saturday (Sunday, NZ time), Rowan Williams, who is stepping down from his role as the Archbishop of Canterbury at the end of the year, referred to the recent massacre of 26 children and staff at a school in Newtown, Connecticut.

Williams said it was hard to get into the spirit of Christmas given the "lives cut so brutally short and of the unimaginable loss and trauma suffered by parents".

He made the comments on BBC radio program Thought for the Day, a slot devoted to religious perspectives on life and current affairs.

Williams acknowledged gun control was a sensitive issue in the United States, but said the firepower that weapons manufacturers were putting at Americans' disposal made such massacres more likely.

"People use guns but, in a sense, guns use people too," he said.

"When we have the technology for violence easily to hand, our choices are skewed and we are more vulnerable to being manipulated into violent action."

Britain has far stricter controls on firearms and far lower levels of gun crime than the US - so much so that few British police officers carry guns and one of the country's biggest crime-prevention priorities involves keeping teenagers from carrying knives.

Authorities in England and Wales generally record between three and five dozen gun homicides a year; in the US, comparable figures range between 10,000 and 11,000.

The Episcopal Church, a member of the global Anglican Communion, has around 2 million baptised members in the US.

Ad Feedback

- AP

Special offers

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content