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Dominican Sisters of Peace use a Columbus Billboard to send message on Gun Violence

The Dominican Sisters of Peace, advocates for peace and justice, have joined with other regional congregations of Catholic women religious to sponsor a billboard campaign utilizing the message, “Put the Guns Down! Nobody is Winning. Let Peace Begin with Me.”  The message is now running on a digital billboard visible from Interstate 270.  

The idea is part of an effort adopted by the congregations to end gun violence, promote peace and transform communities where all adults and children are safe from violence and promote  peace. 

Watch the news story on ABC-6 Columbus

“We wanted to get the billboard up in April, thinking there is good visibility on the road and a high flow of traffic due to the solar eclipse,” says Sr. Gemma Doll, Dominican Sisters of Peace Justice Promoter. “We know that gun violence is a problem in Columbus and too many children are the victims. The years 2020 and 2021 were particularly bad. Our hope is this will be one of the better years. We support the Columbus Mothers of Murdered Children organization – which is striving to keep the number of people killed by guns under a triple-digit number in 2024.” 

The billboard idea sprung from the Nuns against Gun Violence organization, whose mission  statement reads: “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.” Sr. Gemma Doll is a member of the organization as well.

Those involved in the billboard campaign report that Everytown Research and Policy tabulated  120 deaths and 200 injuries daily from the use of firearms (Feb. 13, 2023). And the Giffords Law  Center to Prevent Gun Violence as well as the CDC state that the leading cause of death of children and teens in the United States is firearms (Jan. 11, 2024).  

For the Dominican Sisters of Peace, sponsoring the billboard in Columbus was a natural fit. “The promotion of sensible gun control is one of our Congregation’s Corporate Stances. It is great that this effort came together as a collaborative plea for nonviolence and peace. We pray that the message has a positive effect on those who see it. “The billboard gave us a way to publicly raise awareness,” adds Sr. Gemma. 

The Dominican Sisters of Peace are involved in other efforts to curb gun violence. The religious organization has advocated for common-sense gun control laws such as universal background checks before purchasing arms; banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines; and red flag restrictions for those with mental illness and a history of domestic violence.  

The Congregation is preparing for participation in what has become an annual summer action (since 2021) of walking the streets of Linden with other like-minded groups to raise awareness about gun violence, pass out literature, and talk to the people of the area about ways to stop the problem. 

“We will continue to help in various ways where we can. The first walk in the Linden area is  April 22 and the walks will continue through September. The group seeks to engage the people of the neighborhood and show them we are here to help,” adds Sister Gemma. 

Sr. Robin Richard, OP, has also participated in the Linden walks for the last several years and  says, “I am very upset about gun violence and when you get involved in these walks and rallies it  makes you feel like you are doing something about the problem; it is good to interact with the  residents – they almost seem like family to me, there is such a sense of solidarity.” 

Sr. Gemma summarizes, “The billboards and the walks are all steps towards turning things around. We need to continue to get involved with this problem, inaction in the face of a major epidemic in this country is just unacceptable. Our charge is to work for peace.”

Sisters Bea Tiboldi, Margie Davis, Pat Dual, Associate Gaye Reissland, and Sr. Robin Richard join residents of the Linden community of Columbus, OH, to encourage peace.

One thought on “Dominican Sisters of Peace use a Columbus Billboard to send message on Gun Violence

  1. I am proud of the involvement of the Dominican
    Sisters of Peace with the neighbor walks in the
    Linden area and the anti-gun billboard. May our
    witness result in success.

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