A fringe Christian ideology helped stoke an out-of-control gun culture. People of faith are working to take back the conversation.
As a Black woman, I’ve always known that my skin color could get me killed. As I watched Capitol rioters carry the Confederate flag through the Capitol on Jan. 6, I knew the danger was more present than ever. In the wake of the Jan. 6 insurrection, the increase in white nationalist terrorism made me realize that I needed to take drastic measures to ensure my safety.
For those who have lost loved ones due to COVID-19, racist violence, or gun violence, Jesus’ apocalyptic hope that “the world as such” comes to an end is, perhaps, relatable. Here in the United States, we are expected to numb ourselves to the death-for-profit economy that’s been established; we are expected to go on with business as usual, never once pausing to cry out in judgment, “Woe to the world.”
God, our nation feels the loss / as our children pay the cost / for the violence we accept, / for the silence we have kept.
With each new instance of gun violence, creation cries out with the victims. Creation also helps us center ourselves in relation to God when God feels absent.
Since November, more than 100 local municipalities, counties, cities, and towns have called for their residents to become Second Amendment Sanctuary cities and oppose “unconstitutional restrictions” on guns. Falwell also told Starnes that he would not be surprised if citizens and law enforcement officers “in the good part of Virginia” decided not to enforce whatever laws are passed.
The news on Friday was devastating: There had been yet another mass shooting, this time in Virginia Beach, and 12 people were killed. Many of us had the same painful reactions of grief for the families, fear that this could happen to someone I love one day, anger at the gun manufacturers whose influence through the NRA makes them complicit in both the mass shootings and the daily epidemic of gun violence.
One year after the Valentine's Day massacre inside a Florida school, students and families leading a nationwide push for gun safety will pause on Thursday for the anniversary of the deadliest U.S. high school shooting.
Many students were expected to stay home from a shortened class day at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., where a former student with an assault gun killed 17 people on Feb. 14, 2018.
This week, scores of people will once again experience the grief of missing loved ones who were cut down by a deranged young man with multiple deadly weapons in the high school he shared with his victims. The Parkland, Fla. mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, which killed 17 people and injured 17, joins the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, which wiped out a classroom of precious children, as two of the most horrific moments in American history. The irony that the Parkland slaughter was on Valentine’s Day only increases the suffering. While many will celebrate having and enjoying their loved ones in their lives, the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School survivors will only feel afresh a terrible vacuum.
It’s 8:20 a.m. on March 20, 2018. I’m sitting in my math class, anxiously refreshing Google, waiting for anyone to confirm what my classmates and I suspect is going on downstairs. News confirmations won’t start coming out for about another 10 minutes. We heard the sirens and knew something was wrong, but still none of us wanted to believe our worst nightmare. None of us wanted to believe a school shooting would happen to our school.
This mourning begins with eyes:
ours which open
and the eyes a gun closed,
the barrel a chamber in which there is found no heart,
for every latch and mechanism of the machine moves with menace
and every finger entangled and wound around its trigger
draws closed the stage curtains of peace.
This mourning begins with flesh—
our stance under a persistent sun
as a body stretches across a coroner’s table like the hide of a deer.
In such an occasion, a body’s bullet holes
become mouths. They speak of the perils our muscles
hope not to know. They reveal what it’s like
to be whole and come undone
and linger like litter.
For you, we combine this mourning
with the mournings that have become before it.
Students from high schools across the country met with Democratic members of Congress Wednesday to discuss gun control reform just days after another shooting claimed the lives of 10 and injured more than a dozen at Santa Fe High School in Texas.
Thousands of students across the United States will mark the 19th anniversary of the massacre at Columbine High School by walking out of classes on Friday, in a show of unity intended to put pressure on politicians to enact tighter gun restrictions.
"But I think everyone should be responsible and deal with the problems that we have to confront in our lives. And ignoring those problems and saying they're not going to come to me and saying some phony gun law is gonna solve it. Phony gun laws don't solve these problems."
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Organized by Avaaz, a U.S.-based civic organization that emphasizes global activism, intends for the "Monument for our Kids" to put pressure on Congress to take action on gun control. Images of the striking visual have been widely shared on social media, with the hashtag #NotOneMore.
Since 26 students and teachers were murdered and two injured by a gunman at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., there have been 10 more fatal shootings at American elementary, middle, and high schools. In all, 57 people were killed, excluding the shooters.
Our children are leading us, and our youth groups can help point the way forward. It’s time to listen and follow their lead.
After each massacre, guns are defended with religious fervor, as though owning a weapon is akin to owning a Bible. We’re told that the problem in our society isn’t unfettered access to weapons, but a failure by godly people to arm themselves and go out and kill the ungodly people. We’re told we need more “good” people buying guns and perfecting their aim so they can shoot all the “bad” people.