Gun Violence

Da'Shawn Mosley 09-01-2016

Image via carl ballou/

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 07-21-2016
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 /

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 06-22-2016

Screenshot via RepJohnLewis /

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 06-22-2016

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Image via Gage Skidmore /

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 06-21-2016

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 06-20-2016

Image via Eric B. Walker /

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 06-16-2016

Tweet via @ChrisMurphyCT /

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 06-15-2016

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“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 06-15-2016

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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 06-03-2016

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 05-12-2016

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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 04-27-2016

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 03-02-2016

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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 02-26-2016

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.

Jesse James DeConto 02-11-2016

Jennifer Pinckney. Image via Megan Mendenhall/Duke University/RNS

The first lady of Charleston’s Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church offered two enduring images: her late husband’s smiling face lying in a casket, and the bullet holes that riddled the church walls when she went to clean out his office a week later. “Clementa was a peaceful person,” said Jennifer Pinckney, the widow of the late preacher and South Carolina state senator Clementa Pinckney, during a visit to Duke University to talk about gun control, race, and faith.

Rose Marie Berger 02-01-2016
gangis khan / Shutterstock

gangis khan / Shutterstock

AFTER MASS a few months ago, I asked a member of my parish how her search for a new apartment was going. She said, “I’m so scared where I’m living right now that I went out and bought a gun.”

I was shocked. “I hope you didn’t buy any bullets to go with it,” I quipped. She gave me an eye-roll; I gave her a hug.

Like many Americans (dare I say most)—from President Obama on over—I despair of our country ever regaining sensible gun-ownership standards.

If I had my way, society would have no guns. Period. My motto is: The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is ... the unarmed cross of Jesus Christ.

However, I recognize that in rural areas a gun can be a tool for wildlife maintenance.

I recognize that a well-ordered society relegates certain uses of force to the state—generally understood as police and military—for the protection of its members, especially the vulnerable.

I recognize that the U.S. Constitution has a Second Amendment—controversial as it may be—that allows for people to “keep and bear arms” (in the context of a “well-regulated militia” that was deemed “necessary to the security of a free state”). It’s a system of checks and balances built into our democracy’s operating manual.

Olivia Whitener 01-15-2016

No guns, no gun deaths. That was the mantra ingrained in me from a young age. It is the line that runs through my head when I read reports stating that around 3,000 of the more than 30,000 gun-related deaths in the U.S. each year are of children. In 2015, 265 minors were responsible for accidental gun shootings and 83 of these children killed someone, often because they found a loaded gun in the house and were curious.

Dallas Bishop Kevin J. Farrell on Oct. 20, 2014. Photo courtesy of The Texas Catholic, via Catholic New Service

In a blistering critique of what he describes as congressional kowtowing to the “gun lobby,” the Roman Catholic bishop of Dallas is praising President Obama’s new actions on gun control and ripping the “cowboy mentality” that allows “open carry” laws like one that just went into effect in Texas.

“Thank God that someone finally has the courage to close the loopholes in our pitiful gun control laws to reduce the number of mass shootings, suicides and killings that have become a plague in our country,” Bishop Kevin Farrell wrote in a column, posted on his website on Tuesday.