HB40 Statement - Dr. Mary Wade

STATEMENT TO PENNSYLVANIA HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVE

Regarding House Bill 40 - SHOOT FIRST LEGISLATION

By Dr. Mary Wade - Associate Minister, Wayland Temple Baptist Church

Thursday, November 19th, 2009

Honorable Representatives:

Thank you for permitting Heeding God’s Call to Address you today.

As I ponder this day I realize that in just one week we will be celebrating thanksgiving; a day of appreciation for all the bounty and blessings we have received and continue to receive as a nation.  So it is incredible that we are even considering something so inhumane as House Bill 40, Shoot First.

I think of how despite our differences we have struggled to be a people united; a people of heart, a moral people, a people who for the most part believe in the common good.  I think of how we are still appalled at brutality and senseless acts of murder, and destruction of human life.

Yes, we still have many problems.  Racism continues to undermine us as a people. Economic disparity, and even religious differences undermine us as a people and as a nation.

But despite these difference, we are at heart a good people; a Godly people who just want to live in safety and security for ourselves, our families and communities. 

The one thing that weakens, that diminishes the good in us is fear.   We have been taught to live out of fear.  This fear makes us unstable.  It prevents us from taking actions that we should take to protect our lives, well-being, and humanity, and on the other hand, fear causes us to give into pressures that threatens life itself, and threatens our moral values and the humanity that we say we respect and prize.

This fear drives us to misjudge, suspect and even to plot against those who have no intent on harming us. 

 It is this same fear that now drives this a bill before you today.  It is not like us. Those of us who consider ourselves moral and ethical do not live by the gun.  Nor are we ruled by snap judgment and fear.  We hold onto our ability to reason, discern, and understand judgments that can and will forever change our lives and the lives of other. 

I am a Disciple of Christ.  The laws governing my life is to Love the Lord with all by heart, and soul, to lean not to my own understanding and in all my ways acknowledge God trusting that he will direct my path. The extension of that law is to  love my neighbor as my self.  Shoot first does not honor God, and it does not honor our neighbor.  Shoot first is not humane, not decent, not orderly, and not Godly. Shoot First it is just not right. 

I implore you not to extend the rule of fear that governs our nation, but rather, reject House Bill 40.

Thank you!

Respectfully;

Dr. Mary L. Wade, PhD

Associate Minister

Wayland Temple Baptist Church