As you may have seen on the news, Louisville hosted the annual National Rifle Association Convention this week. In response, several organizations came together to organize peaceful events. Four of us, along with several Sisters and Associates from St. Catharine and Louisville, attended the “Moms Demand Action/Everytown for Gun Safety” event at Spalding University. The morning’s weather was gloomy and matched the sobering statistics we heard: there are 91 people killed by guns daily in our country; more guns in our country than people; the NRA has a $350 million dollar budget.
We started with a powerful prayer vigil; we prayed for victims, as well as people attending the convention. We were reminded that our prayer is more than just a request to change the laws; it is a counter-cultural movement of our collective souls to help bend the arch of justice toward God. We witnessed the anguish and sorrow of the parents on the stage whose children were murdered, and were inspired by the family members of gun violence victims who, despite their circumstances, continue to work for change. We were angered by some of our politicians’ indifference to the testimony of these families.
Yet, these bereaved parents are hopeful, and so we left hopeful. It certainly put the discomfort of an almost 8-hour drive into perspective. Shannon Watts, the founder of Moms Demand Action, who had no prior experience in community organizing, encouraged us to consider three ways to make a difference: make phone calls, vote, donate. As Dominicans of Peace, let us contemplate and pray for courage and wisdom so that we may act.