On October 3, 2018, Episcopal Divinity School at Union joined with Everytown for Gun Safety, Bishops United Against Gun Violence, and the Episcopal Peace Fellowship for an Interfaith Vigil Against Gun Violence in commemoration of the one-year anniversary of the largest mass shooting in the United States. A recording of the event is available here and a special podcast interview with Bishops Mark Beckwith, Marian Budde, and Ian Douglas is now posted on EDS at Union Now (available on iTunes, Spotify, and other places where you get podcasts).
EDS at Union Resolution and Statement of Principles on Gun Violence
In collaboration with our partners from Everytown for Gun Safety, Dean Douglas and members of the EDS at Union community drafted the following Resolution and Statement of Principles on Gun Violence:
Whereas 96 Americans on average are killed a day
Whereas on a monthly average, 50 women in America are killed by an intimate partner
Whereas Black Americans who are less than 14% of the population account for more than half of all gun deaths
Whereas gun-related deaths are the third leading cause of death for American children with over 2,700 children and teens (ages 0-19) being shot and killed, and nearly 14,500 shot and injured every year – that’s an average of 47 American children and teens shot every day
Whereas more than 2 million American children live in homes with unsecured guns
Whereas black children and teens are 14 times more likely than white children and teens to die by gun homicide
Whereas the Episcopal Divinity School at Union is committed to building a just earth where all persons —especially our children—regardless of race, creed, color, gender or sexual expression can live and thrive into the fullness of their created humanity without the fear of violence—with guns posing one of the greatest violent threats
We resolve to partner with organizations like Bishops United Against Gun Violence and the Episcopal Peace Fellowship to advance the following principles:
- Common sense gun laws at every level of government,
- Background checks on all gun sales,
- Consistent actions to address gun violence where it occurs,
- Theological foundation for the prevention of gun violence,
- Gun safety education and gun violence awareness in our theological institutions, seminaries, religious institutions, and faith communities,
- Encourage the wider Church, including other theological institutions and seminaries, to join us in this national effort
In reviewing our partner organization websites, EDS at Union wishes to highlight the following key resources for congregational leaders wishing to engage their communities on this issue:
From Episcopal Peace Fellowship:
- Join EPF and indicate your interest in being a part of the Gun Violence Prevention Action Group
- Review the following messaging recommendations from EPF Gun Violence Prevention Action Group Member, Virginia Classick, for engaging congregations. “Resist the false dichotomy of ‘pro-gun/anti-gun.’”
- Pledge your congregation’s participation in the Annual Gun Violence Prevention Sabbath, held each year near the anniversary of the Sandy Hook shooting.
From Everytown for Gun Safety:
- Use this tool to register to vote and get your friends to do so as well!
- Stay connected – Join Everytown’s mobile list of gun sense activists
- Check out Everytown’s list of Seven Actions You Can Take to Prevent Gun Violence
From Bishops United Against Gun Violence:
- Liturgical Resources – A collection of bulletins and liturgies demonstrating how a congregation can give witness through worship
- Check the Roster – Confirm that your bishops is a member of Bishops United Against Gun Violence and ask her or him how you can work together on this issue in your state=
For questions about these resources, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.