Gun Violence

Kathy Kelly 1-03-2017

One of more than 750 crosses carried in a Chicago rally commemorating homicide victims on New Year’s Eve. Photo by Ed Juillard.

It was a year of social service program shutdowns driven by the governor’s office in Springfield. The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King’s description of a triplet of giant evils, each insoluble in isolation from the others, helps us identify an answer to the Tribune’s question. King spoke of the giant triplets of racism, extreme materialism, and militarism. Training for, and the diversion of money to, wars overseas was a crisis inextricable from the race crisis at home, as were policies promoting radical wealth inequality. Rep. Danny Davis of Chicago, whose grandson was killed by gun violence in 2016, insists that “poverty was fueling the city’s bloodshed, and that Chicago needed to make investments ‘to revamp whole communities.’

the Web Editors 12-15-2016

Image via Charleston County Sheriff’s Office

A federal jury found Dylann Roof guilty on all 33 counts of hate crimes, religious obstruction, and firearms violations, reports the Post and Courier. The jury will return Jan 3. to deliberate whether Roof's charges warrant the death penalty or life imprisonment. 

Da'Shawn Mosley 11-02-2016

Image via Debbie Allen's "Freeze Frame - Stop the Madness" Facebook

The project which Allen spoke of, titled Freeze Frame…Stop the Madness, is a work of theatre written, choreographed, and directed by Allen that combines cinema, dance, and music into a stage performance inspired by the issues of race and gun violence in America. Freeze Frame opened at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. on Oct. 27 and, on Oct. 24, Allen visited the Center for American Progress, in the nation’s capital, to discuss Freeze Frame’s creation and the impact she hopes the show will have on the U.S.

Image via RNS/Charlie Simokaitis

The Episcopal Diocese of Indianapolis has elected the first black, female diocesan bishop in the history of the Episcopal Church.

The Rev. Jennifer Baskerville-Burrows, director of networking in the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago, was elected on the second ballot, during a diocesan convention held at Christ Church Cathedral Indianapolis on Oct. 28.

Da'Shawn Mosley 9-01-2016

Image via carl ballou/Shutterstock.com

August 2016 was Chicago’s deadliest month since August 1996, reports the Chicago Sun-Times. In Aug. 2016 384 shootings occurred in the city, resulting in 472 shooting victims and 90 fatalities.

According to the Chicago Tribune, the city's police superintendent Eddie Johnson believes the mass distribution of guns in the city shoulders some of the blame for the new startling statistics.

Karen E. Park 7-21-2016
Man carries his sidearm to support the permitless carry law going into effect on July 1.

Man carries his sidearm to support the permitless carry law going into effect on July 1. txking / Shutterstock.com

Gun violence has become so ubiquitous in the U.S. that it is changing the very way we talk about our country. The names of our cities and towns have become shorthand terms for gun death: Orlando, Newtown, Dallas, Ferguson, Baton Rouge, Columbine, Aurora.

Image via REUTERS / Carlo Allegri / RNS

Dallas clergy, reeling from the shootings of police in their city and the recent shootings of black men by police elsewhere, say they will start responding with prayer and then move to advocating for concrete societal changes in the aftermath of the tragedies.

“Faith leaders now have a responsibility to say we’re going to pray with our feet until real structural change happens in this country,” said the Rev. Frederick Haynes, pastor of Friendship-West Baptist Church in Dallas.

the Web Editors 6-22-2016

Screenshot via RepJohnLewis / Youtube.com

Coming on the heels of a filibuster in the Senate, House Democrats are staging their own act of political theater in a push for legislation on gun violence.

Led by Civil Rights icon Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), a group of Democrats are holding a sit-in on the floor of the House. 

the Web Editors 6-22-2016

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Image via Gage Skidmore / Wikimedia.org

After a filibuster and four failed bills trying to deal with gun violence, the Senate may have found a way forward, reports The Hill.

Senate Republicans, led by Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), plan to bring forward a bipartisan bill that would block people on two different terrorist watch lists from buying guns.

Elizabeth M. Edman 6-21-2016

Image via REUTERS/Elijah Nouvelage/RNS

As our country asks how to protect itself from the terror of more mass shootings, elected leaders who call themselves Christian might look to the LGBTQ community for inspiration. Queer people have a weapon in our arsenal that no gun will ever defeat.

We dance.

the Web Editors 6-20-2016

Image via Eric B. Walker / flickr.com

The Senate is set to begin voting on four gun control bills this evening, due largely to Sen. Chris Murphy’s (D-Conn.) filibuster begun June 15 and carried into the early morning the next day.

After one of the worst mass shootings in U.S. history, Murphy said he’d had enough.

the Web Editors 6-16-2016

Tweet via @ChrisMurphyCT / Twitter.com

The Senate’s plans to debate a spending bill for the Justice Department went out the window June 15, as Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) took the floor, beginning what turned into a 15-hour filibuster.

Murphy launched the talk-a-thon to protest the Senate’s lack of movement on legislation to curb gun violence.

the Web Editors 6-15-2016

Screenshot via C-Span.org

“I'm prepared to stand on this floor and talk […] for, frankly, as long as I can because I know that we can come together on this issue.”

That’s how Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) explained his mission on June 15 — to hold the floor until the Senate decides to act on gun violence prevention. Murphy has temporarily yielded to other senators, most notably his fellow democratic Connecticut senator Richard Blumenthal, but his filibuster is still going, hours after it started at 11:21 a.m.

the Web Editors 6-15-2016

Screenshot via C-Span.org

Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) is occupying the floor of the U.S. Senate until the chamber agrees to pass gun violence legislation, reports The Hill.

So far, Murphy has yielded the floor a few times — without losing the right to keep speaking afterwards — to both Republican and Democratic senators so that they can ask questions or make comments.

the Web Editors 6-03-2016

Screenshot image via PBS News Hour

"People who we know have been on ISIL websites, U.S. citizens, and we’re allowed to put them on the no-fly list when it comes to airlines but because of the National Rifle Association I cannot prohibit those people from buying a gun. This is somebody who is a known ISIL sympathizer, and if he wants to walk into a gun store or gun show right now and buy as many weapons and ammo as he can, nothing’s prohibiting him from doing that, even though the FBI knows who he is. So sir, I just have to say respectfully, that there is a way for us to have common sense gun laws."

Image via Rev. Jeff Bunke / RNS

Orange isn’t a traditional liturgical color in the Episcopal Church.

But on Sunday, June 5, Episcopal clergy across the country are planning to wear orange stoles as a stand against gun violence, inspired by the Wear Orange campaign.

Stephen Mattson 5-12-2016

Image via /Shutterstock.com

Millions of Americans worship the gun. Guns are used in a state of sobriety and drunkenness, by the young and old, the rich and poor — regardless of race, age, gender, or demographic. Guns are sold, traded, gifted, stolen, and smuggled — but rarely destroyed. They are kept, reused, and invested in. Many increase in value over time.

They are adored and idolized for being able to wipe away someone’s existence in a matter of seconds — which is exactly what happens. No matter what the conflict, its existence is lurking in the background — close, handy, and accessible. A source of indisputable power.

This is why many Americans — and Christians — trust more in the gun than they do in Christianity. Jesus didn’t use weapons to kill others or as a method of getting his way. Instead, Christ’s nonviolent humble love for humanity caused him to get crucified on a cross. Very un-American.

the Web Editors 4-27-2016

Liberty University’s board of trustees voted last week to allow students with concealed-carry permits to bring handguns into residence halls, reports NBC Washington.

Olivia Whitener 3-02-2016

Image via /Shutterstock.com

Without his community of his sisters and family, who have been mourning his death and questioning God for not saving their brother and friend, Lazarus would remain entombed. Without community, we remain bound and entombed. I’m not saying that our actions are as great as Jesus raising someone from the dead. But I am saying that God entrusts us with living into community, so that we may welcome our brothers and sisters out of death and into life.

the Web Editors 2-26-2016

A man in Mason County, Wash. killed his wife and children and proceeded to call 911, reports KING-TV.

The shooter then killed himself, according to the Mason County sheriff.

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