What About Guns? Pray, Study & Act

Yes, we must put an end to hateful rhetoric that has often become the norm.  However just as forcefully, we as peacemakers must seek out ways to promote nonviolence and understanding.  According to The Brady Campaign on average, 31 Americans are murdered with guns every single day and 151 are treated for a gun assault in an emergency room.  Every day on average, 55 Americans commit suicide with a firearm, and 46 people are shot or killed unintentionally with a gun.

Before the Aurora, CO; Oak Ridge, WI and Littleton, CO shootings there was little interest in any type of serious sensible gun legislation.  Media outlets around the country reflect an assumption that nothing will be done to curb gun violence… advocates for gun law reformation are mocked.  It is true in the past decade the NRA has succeeded in derailing legislation to reduce gun violence.  However, as evidenced in state houses around the country and historic actions on the floors of the House of Representatives and Senate in June 2016, the tide is turning.

In 2015 two resolutions focusing on our Church’s commitment to reduce gun violence at the 78th General Convention of The Episcopal Church.   B008 submitted by Bishop Ian Douglas of The Diocese of Connecticut calls for handgun purchaser licensing and C005 submitted by The Diocese of Los Angeles identifies seven laws local, state and federal legislators should pass as ways of decreasing gun violence.

Please let EPF know if you would like to join the Gun Violence Prevention Action Group by emailing epf@epfnational.org. The Gun Violence Prevention Action Group meets monthly via conference call to explore ways that our chapters and members can work to reduce gun violence locally and nationally.

We need your help, if gun violence has touched your life, if you are ready to get more involved in this nonviolence issue, please write to Allison Liles (EPF Executive Director) epf@epfnational.org.

PRAY for: 

  • An end to senseless gun violence;
  • A new vision for our country where everyone is safe from gun violence;
  • The lives lost and tragically affected every day from gun violence;
  • The friends and families that must struggle every day to live without their loved ones lost to gun violence;
  • The lives that will be touched by gun violence in the future; and
  • Solutions that will make every community across this country safe for its citizens to work, live, and play without fear of being struck down by a bullet

Sermon on the Binding of Isaac by the Rev. Allison Liles

Read this sermon Holy Innocents, Then and Now by the Rev. Gary Commins

STUDY:

Legislation- to support the passage of sensible gun laws.  Where does your state stand regarding sensible gun laws? check it out here (Mayors Against Illegal Guns)

Use the EPF Gun Violence Prevention curriculum in your church or chapter to learn more about the epidemic of gun violence in our country and how you can reduce it.

The Children’s Defense Fund’s 2013 Report Protect Children Not Guns, a compilation of recent data and outlines state by state information, trends and stats by race & gender.

The Presbyterian Peace Fellowship also has many congregational resources. See them HERE.

Read the fact sheets and information from the Gun Victim’s Action Council,   Heeding God’s Call,      Mayor’s Against Illegal Guns,   New York Times article on Mental Illness and Guns

 

ACT:

Write to Allison Liles epf@epfnational.org to show your interest in this issue.

Post the EPF sticker on your church: No Guns in God’s House (from the EPF web store).

Take the ‘Gun Free Zone’ postcards and stickers to local businesses.

Encourage your bishop to join Bishops United Against Gun Violence, a group of 60 bishops who have come together to explore means of reducing the appalling levels of gun violence in our society, and to advocate for policies and legislation that save lives. If you bishop is already a member, ask him or her how you effectively can work together in your state.

Encourage your church to Sing for Peace as a participant in Concert Across America on September 25, 2016. Learn more about the Concert  and pledge your support HERE.   EPF member Daniel Brinson compiled suggested hymns, chants and anthems to make participating even easier.