Prevent Gun Violence Now

As we grieve the loss of 28 lives, including 20 children, in Newtown, CT, we share the feeling of loss and sense of urgency this moment presents. As people of faith and clergy, we have mourned alongside families all too often. It’s time to call for an end to the violence that lands us in their living rooms year in and year out.

As people of faith, we are the vanguard of a gun-violence-free future.

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Campaigns (10)

  • The MoveMeant-Ending gun violence one person at a time
    This is important because people's lives are very important. It is personally important to me because my Dad Mr. Clarence Bibbs, Jr. was a hard-working citizen who had worked over 30 years in a local steelmill. He was also a Foreman for many years. My Dad's life tragically ended on July 2, 1997 due to gun violence. His murder has still not be solved. Gun violence hit home for me and I have decided that I must take a stand in his honor and pray that others will stand with me.
    12 of 100 Signatures
    Created by Therese Bibbs
  • Join Newtown Clergy: Tell Senate To Approve Gun Reform
    Dear Senators, It’s been less than three months since our community experienced the unspeakable tragedy of the murder of children and educators at Sandy Hook Elementary School. As the clergy leaders of Newtown, joined by clergy colleagues from across the nation, we have witnessed the scourge of gun violence in our neighborhoods, and we call on Congress to pass comprehensive gun violence prevention legislation that will help stop the slaughter. The moral mandate to protect the weak in our care is clear and present in all of our faith traditions. Our varied faith traditions teach us to seek the peace of the city, to love our neighbor, and to cherish human dignity. To see the rising incidence of gun violence from Chicago to Newtown, Camden to Aurora, Detroit to Tucson – and how that violence particularly targets the young and the poor, especially in America’s urban communities - and yet to refuse to take the steps we know would reduce harm is a violation of religious values so severe that we are compelled to speak out. Nothing any of us do will bring back the victims murdered at Sandy Hook Elementary School. As a nation we must do all we can to prevent the next tragedy. We pray that you will vote for meaningful gun violence prevention laws that include a ban on assault weapons and high capacity magazines, enforceable universal background checks, an end to gun trafficking and prosecution of straw purchasers. After the news crews and cameras leave, after the rest of the nation turns away and resumes their normal routines, it is we who are asked to answer why this happened; to bind up the brokenhearted; and to explain why nothing in Newtown or our many communities will ever be the same again. As faith leaders, while we fully support laws that we believe will increase gun safety, we also believe that the larger underlying issue behind violence is spiritual: how we view our obligations to each other in light of our role in God's creation. We draw from a wellspring of tradition that will spark off a spiritual awakening in America that will transform us into a culture of compassion, reconciliation and civility. As faith leaders, we commit ourselves to fostering a culture of peace to complement and serve as a foundation for any proposed gun legislation. The slaughter of innocence in Newtown awakened our nation to the tragedy of gun violence throughout our land and we shall neither slumber nor sleep. Rather, by tireless commitment, loving hearts and the sustaining promise of our many faiths, we believe that Newtown shall be remembered as the bridge to a new and kinder world. Rabbi Shaul Praver, Congregation Adath Israel of Newtown, CT Rev. Matthew Crebbin, Newtown Congregational Church, UCC, Newtown, CT Rev. Kathleen Adams-Shepherd, Trinity Episcopal Church, Newtown, CT Chaplain Eman Beshtawii, Al Hedaya Islamic Center, Newtown, CT Azeez Bhavnagarwala, Al Hedaya Islamic Center, Newtown, CT Rev. Mel Kawakami, Newtown United Methodist Church, Newtown, CT Rev. Leo E. McIlrath, Lutheran Home, Southbury, CT Khatib Mohamed El Safty, Al Hedaya Islamic Center, Newtown, CT Rev. Jane Sibley, Newtown United Methodis tChurch, Newtown, CT Rev. Jim Solomon, New Hope Community Church, Newtown, CT Rev. Janice Touloukian, Newtown Congregational Church, UCC, Newtown, CT This campaign was launched with the PICO Network, a national network of faith-based community organizations working to create innovative solutions to problems facing urban, suburban and rural communities. Learn more here: http://www.piconetwork.org/about
    5,445 of 6,000 Signatures
    Created by Newtown Clergy
  • The Gun Lobby doesn't speak for New York: Protect our new gun laws
    Two thirds of New Yorkers (an overwhelming majority) support the new gun laws in our state because they take concrete steps to safeguard our families, friends, neighbors, schools, houses of worship, and communities from preventable gun violence. Unfortunately, the new gun laws are now vulnerable to the money and power of the NRA and other gun lobbying organizations. These organizations regard ANY efforts to prevent gun violence as infractions on the Second Amendment. The gun lobbies are equipped with deep pockets and political savvy and will do everything they can to defeat lawmakers who support the new legislation in the next statewide elections. To prevent the repeal of our new gun violence preventions laws, and to keep leaders who support preventing violence in office, we need to raise our voices as people of faith and values! This is a critical window of opportunity to thank and support our elected officials for doing the right thing and ensuring the safety of all New York residents. The laws are respectful of those who own guns while also taking necessary steps to stem the epidemic of gun violence in our nation. The Gun Lobby doesn't speak for NY: protect our new gun laws!
    20 of 100 Signatures
    Created by Thomas Yorty
  • New Jersey Citizens for Sensible Federal Gun Violence Legislation
    All of us have been moved by the tragic events in Newtown, Connecticut in December. While there is no one panacea solution to the problem of gun violence, we feel there are some sensible steps the federal government should take that would have an immediate impact on the horrifying numbers of Americans who die by gun each year in our country.
    436 of 500 Signatures
    Created by Rabbi Joel Mosbacher
  • WYOMING CONGRESSIONAL DELEGATION: PROTECT OUR FAMILIES & 2ND AMENDMENT
    As we grieve the loss of 28 lives, including 20 children, in Newtown, CT, Wyoming shares the feeling of loss and sense of urgency this moment presents. As people of faith and clergy, we have mourned alongside families all too often. It’s time to call for an end to the violence that lands us in their living rooms year in and year out. Among us are hunters and sportsmen who abhor gun violence, are members of the NRA, understand they don't need assault weapons to hunt, and want to be a voice of reason within the organization. God bless them. All across Wyoming and the nation, people of faith and conscience are saying that this is the best opportunity in a generation to do something about mass shootings and gun violence in this country. There is no single solution to this problem, and a concerted effort to improve the provision of mental health care in this country must accompany any effort to restrict military weapons. Senator Enzi, Senator Barasso and Rep. Lummis, we offer you our support. As Washington takes up this issue in the coming weeks, we will stand by your side as you attempt to tackle this difficult and pressing issue. Though no policy proposal can single-handedly reverse a culture of violence, we think there are three places we can start: 1. Only allow the military and police to buy and own military assault weapons. The weapon used in Newtown was originally designed by NATO to fight Soviet soldiers in Eastern Europe. The Cold War has long since ended, and though our military commitments continue abroad, shopping malls, houses of worship, and elementary schools are no place for assault weapons. 2. Limit access to high-capacity magazines useful only for mass violence. No competent sportsman needs 30 or 100 rounds to do the job. Large capacity magazines were designed by the military for use in combat. There is no applicable civilian use. This technology was used with horrific effectiveness at Newtown and should end. 3. Make mental health care as easy to access as guns. There will always be guns in America - it’s part of our heritage. There will also always be those among us who struggle with mental illness. It is our duty as countrymen and women, and as children of God, to care for them. Any effort to reduce violence must start with a serious effort to destigmatize, identify, and treat mental illness in our midst. As you take up these issues in Washington, we offer you our support. Next year, when another horrifying mass shooting happens, which community will be forced to bear unspeakable tragedy? Will we have done all we can to protect our children? We pray that community will not be in our home state of Wyoming. We pray that no community will suffer the tragedy of a mass shooting. *** ABOUT THE CAMPAIGN CREATOR Pastor Phil Wold serves Trinity Lutheran Church in Sheridan. This petition was orignally authored by The Rev. Jessica Crist, Bishop of the Montana Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. (The Montana Synod includes a number of Wyoming ELCA congregations.)
    43 of 100 Signatures
    Created by Philip Wold
  • Nevada: End The Violence
    The level of gun violence today is intolerable. The recurrence of mass killings with semi-automatic weapons is intolerable. These are separate issues that require separate responses. But moving beyond passions and suspicion to enact reasonable legislation for the safety of our people, especially our children, is a must.
    43 of 100 Signatures
    Created by Dan Edwards
  • Protect Children, Not Guns
    We are deeply shaken by the horror at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut. The 20 children and 6 educators slain there are the latest victims of America’s gun violence plague. Each week, 350 children and teens are killed or injured by guns—enough to fill 14 more classrooms of 25 students. Today, one child or teen will experience gun violence every 30 minutes and a child will die every 3 hours. What have we become as a people when even in the face of such sin and suffering, we continue to protect guns before children?
    8,773 of 9,000 Signatures
    Created by Children's Defense Fund
  • Montana Congressional Delegation: Protect Our Families & 2nd Amendment
    As we grieve the loss of 28 lives, including 20 children, in Newtown, CT, Montana shares the feeling of loss and sense of urgency this moment presents. As people of faith and clergy, we have mourned alongside families all too often. It’s time to call for an end to the violence that lands us in their living rooms year in and year out. Among us are hunters and sportsmen who abhor gun violence, are members of the NRA, understand they don't need assault weapons to hunt, and want to be a voice of reason within the organization. God bless them. All across Montana and the nation, people of faith and conscience are saying that this is the best opportunity in a generation to do something about mass shootings and gun violence in this country. There is no single solution to this problem, and a concerted effort to improve the provision of mental health care in this country must accompany any effort to restrict military weapons. Senator Baucus, Senator Tester, and Rep. Daines, we offer you our support. As Washington takes up this issue in the coming weeks, we will stand by your side as you attempt to tackle this difficult and pressing issue. Though no policy proposal can single-handedly reverse a culture of violence, we think there are three places we can start: 1. Only allow the military and police to buy and own military assault weapons. The weapon used in Newtown was originally designed by NATO to fight Soviet soldiers in Eastern Europe. The Cold War has long since ended, and though our military commitments continue abroad, shopping malls, houses of worship, and elementary schools are no place for assault weapons. 2. Limit access to high-capacity magazines useful only for mass violence. No competent sportsman needs 30 or 100 rounds to do the job. Large capacity magazines were designed by the military for use in combat. There is no applicable civilian use. This technology was used with horrific effectiveness at Newtown and should end. 3. Make mental health care as easy to access as guns. There will always be guns in America - it’s part of our heritage. There will always be those among us who struggle with mental illness. It is our duty as countrymen and women, and as children of God, to care for them. Any effort to reduce violence must start with a serious effort to destigmatize, identify, and treat mental illness in our midst. As you take up these issues in Washington, we offer you our support. Next year, when another horrifying mass shooting happens, which community will be forced to bear unspeakable tragedy? Will we have done all we can to protect our children? We pray that community will not be in our home state of Montana. We pray that no community will suffer the tragedy of a mass shooting. *** ABOUT THE CAMPAIGN CREATOR The Rev. Jessica Crist is Bishop of the Montana Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. **** Issue Background: http://www.elca.org/Who-We-Are/Our-Three-Expressions/Churchwide-Organization/Communication-Services/News/Releases.aspx?a=5167 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/18/gun-control-debate_n_2321552.html http://www.jontester.com/issues/protecting-gun-rights/
    540 of 600 Signatures
    Created by Jessica Crist
  • ENOUGH IS ENOUGH: END GUN VIOLENCE NOW!
    My home State of Connecticut, where I serve as one of the Bishops of Episcopal Diocese, is only the latest venue of terrible, unspeakable violence. And it has marked us forever. But if we do not demand action now from our leaders, which state or community will be next to know our pain and grief? I ask your prayers for the victims of the shooting in Sandy Hook Elementary School and their families, for the perpetrator and his family, for our churches, our towns and cities. And I call for our action. President Obama is right. We can no longer be silent about gun violence in our society. We have been timid for too long. Nineteen years ago, Marcelina Delgado, a 7 year old, was shot and killed as she sat in the back seat of her father's car on the way to see her grandmother in Hartford, CT. The car had been mis-identified by the shooters as belonging to a member of a rival gang. The tragedy of her death soon was dropped from our community's collective memory. Perhaps that was because she was a person of color or maybe it is just because life moves on. All of us know such stories. By God's grace, Marcelina's face and story have been seared into my soul - a reminder of the claim our children make on us, and the work that still needs to be done. Since Marcelina's death, thousands of children and teens have become victims of gun violence in this nation. And now, 20 more children, 6 and 7 year olds, and 6 adults, who sought to protect them, are dead, in large part because of easy access to assault weapons and our lack of organizing and advocacy for change. It is time for us to demand the reinstatement of the ban on assault weapons as a first step. We need to build on the momentum in Congress that this horrific tragedy has set into motion. We are accountable and we need to hold our lawmakers accountable. Please join me in calling on Congress to reinstate the assault weapons ban as a first step to ending mass shootings in America. The struggle for significant gun legislation reform will be long term. But now is the moment for direct and immediate action. Our voices need to be heard now. Advent is the season when we hold terror and hope in our two hands at the same time. The church community is being held together by the love of Christ and the love we have for one another. Let us take that love and pursue action NOW to prevent another horrific tragedy. ***** The Rt. Rev. James E. Curry was consecrated bishop in October 2000. Bishop Curry oversees Hispanic and multicultural ministries, Christian formation ministries, Camp Washington, international and domestic mission, and liturgy & music. He is very active locally and nationally in advocacy work, and has been particularly involved in speaking about the Church's opposition to capital punishment and its support of immigration reform. He has an ongoing mission partnership with the Bishop and Diocese of Lebombo in Mozambique and serves on community and church-wide committees involved with mission and advocacy.
    1,373 of 2,000 Signatures
    Created by Jim Curry
  • Take The Pledge: 5 Things to do to stop gun violence in America
    After the 28 deaths, including 20 children, in Newtown, it is time that we immediately turn the tide of gun violence around us before the next tragedy strikes. Here are five things we can pledge to do: (1.) Reach out to young people – especially those who express feelings of being alienated, isolated, or disenfranchised – and those who need mentoring, encouragement, and opportunities to break out of cycles of despair, hate, rage and frustration. Provide that guidance – a “hand up” for success. (2.) Help parents – particularly single parents who need practical support in responding to challenges with older children and teenagers, including those in need of mental healthcare. Determine and achieve what is needed to strengthen those lives, one family at a time – and work to support the availability of services to all people regardless of socioeconomic backgrounds. (3.) Make sure there is a moral compass firmly in the hand of every person. Start with the Golden Rule, build to the 10 commandments, and teach and model peacemaking and non-violence at every opportunity. Demonstrate alternatives to behavior fueled by anger, or by violence seen in media. Parents, teachers and clergy must not neglect these responsibilities. (4.) Support federal policy changes while securing weapons. Write an email or call public officials locally, regionally and nationally to insist on reinstatement of the federal assault weapon ban and increased mental healthcare resources. Every first-grader’s right to learn safely in his or her classroom far outweighs any claim I might invoke to own or operate an assault weapon. Meanwhile, make certain that any firearms in homes are fully locked down, or better yet – surrender those weapons to any local police station. (5.) Express your support for local police officers and first responders who stand in harm’s way on a daily basis. More than ever, these professionals need our care and encouragement to meet the challenges of protecting and serving our communities. If we paid more attention to meeting societal needs in the way of education and mental healthcare, we would not have to depend solely on the expertise of our police and fire safety personnel. ****** The Rt. Rev. J. Jon Bruno is Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles and founder of Hands in Healing, a non-profit initiative dedicated to advocacy and education for stopping violence and increasing peace. Prior to his 35 years of ordained ministry, he was for six years an officer in Southern California’s Burbank Police Department.
    639 of 800 Signatures
    Created by J. Jon Bruno