Over the past 29 days, we’ve prayed for the victims of mass shootings in our daily prayer on Facebook. Twenty-nine was the number of those killed in El Paso and Dayton and we started our litany right after those shootings. We prayed for 432 individuals killed and 794 injured in mass shootings.
These are only a faction of the mass shootings occurring in the U.S. on a regular bases and don’t include the average of 100 people killed each day by gun violence. Those killed are men and women, sons and daughters, mothers and fathers, siblings, friends, co-workers, neighbors… all killed by gun violence. Is this the reward of living the second amendment in such a broad way?
In a study by the Children’s Defense Fund in September 2018, children were asked about what worried them the most. The top two responses? Being bullied (42%) and a shooting happening at school (33%). One third of children go to school anxious about their safety.
At a Big Table gathering in Columbus, I sat with four high school students from both inner city and suburban high schools. They described being afraid that their school would be the next site of a shooting or strategized about the best place to hide from a shooter. (Not under the desk – too obvious.) Kids should think about their futures not their deaths.
What’s next? Will everyone need to lose someone close to them to do something? Anything?
So here’s my challenge, sisters and associates – write a personal, handwritten letter to one of your senators and demand that they act on common sense gun safety legislation. Tell them how gun violence has touched you… your family… your students. Use your righteous indignation to demand change. Remember gun safety is a pro-life issue.