Bryan Miller, Executive Director of Heeding God’s Call and a trusted friend responded to my blog with some important corrections about the proposed and defeated Toomey-Manchin bill. Apparently it was not as comprehensive as I indicated. What follows is the text of an email sent to me by Bryan Miller setting the record straight on the bill explaining why Heeding God’s Call and other gun prevention groups did not support the bill as proposed. Essentially, it was more of the same smoke and mirrors tactics by the NRA and their Congressional lackeys.

Here is Bryan’s letter:

Good Morning Drick,

Thanks, as always, for your well-reasoned and passionate words at Not So Fast Senator Toomey.

However, and I hope you don’t mind, I must correct one important mistake in your blog, namely – the Toomey/Manchin bill would NOT have “mandated background checks on all sales of firearms in the United States,” which is one of the reasons Heeding God’s Call declined to support its passage.  Rather than the universal background checks (a background check preceding every gun sale or transfer) favored by upwards of 90% of Americans, T/M would have expanded checks, but left major loopholes in the system for criminals, the underaged and gun traffickers to exploit.  For instance, T/M would not have covered sales/transfers between family members, “neighbors and friends” and would have allowed sellers at “flea markets” displaying 75 or fewer guns to sell without performing background checks on buyers.

There was much more wrong with T/M, including access to major new civilian markets for the gun industry, to the point that we felt it was at least as much of a ‘give back’ to the gun industry and lobby than it was positive – this in the face of enormous public call for meaningful gun violence prevention legislation.  Apparently, many in the pro-gun community felt the same way, as evidenced by this video of the head of the second largest (after the NRA) pro-gun organization.

In Heeding God’s Call’s view, rather than a weak compromise, people of faith should work toward that which would save the most lives and eschew the horse-trading in words and lives that T/M was.  We will continue to vigorously support the early proposals of the President – universal background checks and bans on assault weapons and high capacity ammunition magazines.  And, we need to do even more.

Here is a germane piece from Christian Century…

I hope the above is not offensive and am grateful for your thoughts.  Thanks.


Bryan Miller
Executive Director
Heeding God’s Call