UNITED METHODIST WOMEN
In the aftermath of yet more tragic shootings, it is clear that much is yet to be done to get out the message about ways to address gun violence prevention.
It seems that the events and our response have become simply routine. I saw this news item only in The New York Times on October 11.
“It passed with little notice when an 11-year-old boy shot and killed an 8-year-old girl a few days ago in Tennessee—shot her because she wouldn’t show him her puppy. The boy used his family’s 12-gauge shotgun to kill the second grader./ It passed, as these things do in a country that accepts more than 33,000 deaths by gunfire every year, because we now live by <a> headline that’s long ceased to be satirical: ‘No Way to Prevent This,’ Says Only Nation Where This Regularly Happens.’”
Have we become numb?
Consider that the upcoming Gun Violence Prevention Sabbath weekend (December 10-14) normally has more than 1,000 congregations pledging their participation and, this year, at the end of September, there were just 50 congregations that had pledged so far. The numbers just aren't what they once were. And the same apathy is being felt by other groups struggling to keep the public focused on solutions to the gun violence epidemic.
Yes, while we all care deeply, a large number of us have become numb. But we simply must break the routine and renew our commitment.
As we wait for the opportunity to change Congress' collective mind, we need to commit ourselves to supporting efforts where they exist at the state level AND to making gun violence and potential solutions a regular topic of conversation.
What you can do TODAY:
- Participate in the National Gun Violence Prevention Sabbath Weekend and pass on information about the problem and the solution. Get more information with that
listing in your browser. Resources have been prepared by GBCS to enable places of worship to participate in observing the Sabbath. And our website umwnorthtexas.org also gives opportunities.
- Check out the comprehensive list of 30 Gun Control Actions You Can Take Now.
- Form a working group or committee within your congregation dedicated to gun violence education.
- Participate in the coalition called “Tale of Two States: Handgun Purchaser Licensing Saves Lives.” The UMC is a part of Faiths United to Prevent Gun Violence, a coalition of more than 50 national faith groups and organizations that launched this initiative earlier this summer. The initiative will educate faith leaders and the general public about the effectiveness of purchaser-licensing to save lives from gun violence. Recent studies released by the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy & Research shows that handgun purchaser-licensing legislation led to a decrease in gun homicides in two states. For further information or to endorse this resolution, go to the website www.taleoftwostates.com.
- And you can notify your legislators that we insist they take action— to create laws that are meant to support and protect us equally; to be sure those laws are enforced fairly; to make education and opportunity equally accessible to every citizen; to put us on the path to provide “liberty and justice for all.” Call or email your U.S. legislators.
Our hands are not completely tied. We can change hearts and minds. We can empower our friends and allies with solutions and talking points they can use to counter the falsehoods being propagated by gun enthusiasts.
Please conquer your numbness and stand with other United Methodists and United Methodist Women.