One More Gun Death Too Many -- and Three Things You Can Do About It

At about midnight we heard the shots ring out. My friend ran to the door and I heard him yell, "Shane, a kid has been shot, come down." As we looked down the street we could see a young man staggering as he walked down our block. Then his knees gave out and he fell to the ground. We called for an ambulance and ran outside to be with the boy.

Cities Light Up for Life

In November, 1,150 cities around the world—including 60 capitals—lit up public buildings to support an end to the death penalty. The “Cities for Life—Cities Against the Death Penalty” campaign was started by the Rome-based Catholic Sant’Egidio Community in 2002. The most recent event resulted in a special evening lighting of the Coliseum in Rome, Cathedral Square in Barcelona, and St. James Cathedral in Toronto.

Art Laffin, a member of Murder Victims’ Families for Reconciliation and the Dorothy Day Catholic Worker in Washington, D.C., attended the Cities for Life event in Maputo, Mozambique. “My brother Paul was murdered 10 years ago and it was only my faith that carried me through that unspeakable tragedy,” Laffin told Sojourners. “In Maputo, I told that story but I also spoke about Dennis Soutar, the mentally ill homeless man that fell through the cracks of U.S. society and ended up killing Paul. I asked them to pray for Dennis. Mercy and forgiveness are the only ways to break the cycle of violence. That’s why the death penalty should be abolished.”
In 2007 and 2008, the U.N. General Assembly adopted two resolutions calling for the worldwide moratorium on executions. In the last three years, three states in the U.S. have abandoned the death penalty, bringing the total to 15.

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Sojourners Magazine February 2010
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Learning from Iraqi Good Samaritans

Just a few days ago, I returned from a short trip into Iraq with a small group of Christian peacemakers. Most of us had been to the country before, but under varying circumstances: I was on a combat deployment in 2004; Greg Barrett, our organizer, went as a journalist in the run-up to the invasion in 2003; and four were part of a peace team protesting the bombing campaign during that same period.

Shane Claiborne, Cliff Kindy, Weldon Nisly, and Peggy Gish were leaving Iraq in March 2003 when one of their vehicles was involved in an accident, leaving Cliff and Weldon with life-threatening injuries. Had it not been for a few Iraqi Good Samaritans, they may have never made it out alive.