Let There Be Peace

The following article was created with input from some of the members of our Anti-Gun Violence Committee. We thank Sisters Patricia Conway, Christine Ferrar, Eileen Gannon, and Margo Saich for their input to this important update.

Why do we care and what are we doing about gun violence in our country?

This past week we remembered that it has been a year since a deadly shooting at Michigan State University where 3 students were shot and killed, and 5 other people were wounded. We remembered the shooting six years ago at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, where 17 students and school staff were shot and killed, and 17 more were wounded.

This past week at the Super Bowl Championship parade in Kansas City, Missouri, at least 1 person was killed and many wounded; and in Atlanta, Georgia, 4 high school students were shot and wounded after school in their parking lot.

According to the Gun Violence Archive, more than 54 mass shootings have occurred since January 1, 2024.

Individually we have been horrified by the killings, especially those that have occurred where the victims are children. But following the massacre of 19 children in Uvalde, Texas, on May 24, 2022, we came together to put our collective voice in support of anti-gun violence.

We recognize the shocking fact that gun violence is the leading cause of death for children in the United States. We thought about parents who drop their children off at school and are unsure if they will ever see them again.  Suicide rates are dramatically increased if a gun is available. What totally amazes us is that to drive a car, one gets a learner’s permit, takes a test, and if successful, is granted a license. These restrictions do not exist with gun ownership.

We know that assault weapons are sold in stores near schools and they are readily available online and at gun shows. And despite most citizens in the United States favoring anti-gun violence legislation, our legislators fail to act.

Uvalde really hit our hearts and we connected with the pastor, Father Morales at Sacred Heart Church. His words have remained with us: “We appreciate your prayers but don't forget us.” Two years later, we continue to connect with children at Sacred Heart School, because so many from Robin Elementary transferred there. We are sending cards and candy and also letting them know that we are strong with our Anti-Gun Violence Committee.

Our prayer vigils, especially at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church commemorating victims have also made the shootings very real for us. We have shared the names of individuals and have promised prayers for them and their families.

We've also joined Moms Demand Action and we have connected with them on some of their activities: wearing orange on June 2nd, joining with many at Nyack Park to commemorate the victims of gun violence.

We are not against gun ownership; we are for gun safety and the banning of assault weapons.

We are members of Nuns Against Gun Violence, a coalition of Catholic Sisters and their allies that affirms the value of human life through prayer, education, and advocacy for common sense, evidence-based, gun violence prevention.

Our Anti-Gun Violence Committee has focused attention on this issue and brings information, partner organizations, action, and prayer to the rest of our Congregation.



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