Our hearts are torn apart when we hear someone was shot and injured or killed, when innocent lives are lost because someone had easy access to deadly weapons that can render their impulses lethal. It is not enough simply to grieve with God for the destruction of lives. We are God’s hands in the world; it is ours to act to end gun violence.
Need to know more about gun violence? Everytown for Gun Safety is an organization that works on the national, state and local level to educate, empower and change policy to make Americans safer. You can learn from evidence based solutions that research has shown saves lives. Reducing gun violence is not impossible, it can be achieved by enacting common-sense public safety policies.
Each state is different. NJ at a Glance looks at specific gun violence statistics and priorities in our state.
The culture around guns in America is complicated. To better understand the views of our fellow Americans, read the Pew Research Foundations report, America’s Complex Relationship with Guns.
What Does The Episcopal Church Say?
The General Convention has passed many resolutions concerning and advocating study and action related to gun violence. The 79th General Convention (2018) recognized gun violence as a public health crisis; urged Congress to repeal the Dickey Amendment limiting funded gun violence research, and encouraged advocacy for research into the impact of gun violence on public health. The 78th General Convention (2015) encouraged legislators to implement laws to help decrease gun violence through permitting procedures, banning certain weapons, and regulating the trade and transfer of guns. All in all, a total of fourteen resolutions affirmed the National Churches’ concern and support of specific policies that reduce gun violence.
Act – Get Involved
The work of advocacy within the Episcopal Church nationally falls under the Office of Government Relations (OGR) where you can sign up for action alerts and contact your elected officials on this issue. They also offer a variety of resources to respond to gun violence.
Moms Demand Action, an affiliate of Everytown for Gun Safety, works through chapters in every state across the country to create a culture of gun safety and fight for public safety measures that can protect people from gun violence. You can find out about the NJ Chapter, events in your area or contact them via email email@example.com or Facebook.
Contact the Justice and Peace Commission and let us know how you want to be involved.
And of course …
Healing and Holy God: Be with all those who suffer from the lasting trauma incidents of gun violence leave in their wake. Help us, your church, find our voice. Empower us to change this broken world and to protest the needless deaths caused by gun violence. Give us power to rise above our fear that nothing can be done and grant us the conviction to advocate for change. All this we ask through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Justice and Peace Commission
The Rev. Diane Riley, co-chair
Dr. Jody Caldwell, co-chair