Author urging faith community to discuss gun issues

Local groups are hoping that a visit by author James E. Atwood will spark discussion in the religious community about the availability of guns.

Atwood is the author of America and Its Guns: A Theological Expose, as well as a pastor and avid hunter.

He’s also chair of Heeding God’s Call of Greater Washington, a faith-based ecumenical movement encouraging gun shops to adopt a code of conduct that deters illegal purchases and the trafficking of handguns.

Laura Curry Sloan, the local organizer of Atwood’s visit, says she hopes when people hear Atwood’s story, “it could maybe get our community talking.”

Sloan says she knew Atwood’s daughter in college, and recently heard that he had written a book about his experiences as a preacher and hunter who then dealt with a parishioner who had been shot. He argues that while access to guns is seen by many as a political issue, it should also be looked at from a faith perspective.

“Atwood contends that the 30,000 gun deaths America suffers every year cannot be understood apart from our national myth that God has appointed America as “the trustee of the civilization of the world” and even “Christ’s light to the nations,” according to the book description on

His presentation is co-sponsored by: The Kansas City Public Library; Ad Hoc Group Against Crime; American Friends Service Committee; Community Christian Church; Heartland Presbytery Mission and Social Justice Division; Mindful Heart Meditation Buddhist Sangha; Penn Valley Meeting of Religious Society of Friends (Penn Valley Friends Meeting); Rime Buddhist Center; St. Thomas More Parish Justice Ministry Team; Second Presbyterian Church; True Blue Women Missouri; and Visitation Parish Faith Formation Team.


Thursday, June 13

  • 6:00 p.m. Public reception for Atwood
  • 6:30 p.m. Presentation and book signing at the Plaza Library
  • 4801 Main St.
  • Admission is free. RSVP at or call 816.701.3407

Friday, June 14

  • 7:30 Candlelight vigil commemorating the 6-month anniversary of the Sandy Hook school shootings and the gun deaths in the local community.>
  • Miller Nichols Fountain, Mill Street Park Country Club Plaza, 47th Street

Sunday, June 16

  • 8:15 – 10:15 a.m. Pastor Atwood will preach and answer questions at Second Presbyterian Church
  • 318 E. 55th

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