On the one week anniversary of the horrific shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, President Christopher Blake joined seven other Iowa college presidents – and hundreds throughout the nation – in calling for increased gun control. The open letter to President Barack Obama demands an end to the gun show loophole, a ban on military-style semi-automatic assault weapons, a requirement for customer safety standards for all guns, and the opposition to legislation that would allow guns on college campuses and in classrooms.
Dr. Blake released the following statement to The Des Moines Register yesterday:
"My colleagues across the nation and I recognize the frightening trifecta of accessibility to guns obtained both legally and illegally, festering mental health issues and cultural motifs that often glorify violence, which has characterized too many atrocities, of which last week's tragedy may be a tipping point. We urgently need a thoughtful debate on how to prevent future Newtowns - of which colleges and universities have a unique responsibility in advancing rational, open and diverse dialog about such an issue. In the coming months, Mount Mercy University will be a place where this kind of dialogue among our students, faculty and the public takes place. As the only Catholic, Mercy university in the state of Iowa, I am duty-bound and proud to call for sensible gun safety that honors the ideals of the sanctity of human life and defense of the vulnerable espoused by our founders, the Sisters of Mercy."
Read the full article in The Des Moines Register.
From the Sisters of Mercy on December 17: "We will continue to work toward a culture of nonviolence including addressing the root causes of gun violence and addressing the needs of those suffering with mental illness. May our God of Mercy enfold us all with comfort, peace and healing." Read full statement