Leadership response to gun violence
Violence in any form is reprehensible.
In Matthew 5:21-22, Jesus said, “You have heard that it was said to those of ancient times, ‘You shall not murder’; and ‘whoever murders shall be liable to judgment.’ But I say to you that if you are angry with a brother or sister, you will be liable to judgment; and if you insult a brother or sister, you will be liable to the council; and if you say, ‘You fool,’ you will be liable to the hell of fire.”
While senseless violence involving guns has taken place for years, it seems that during the past decade, the frequency of the violence has increased tenfold.
We Sisters of Providence have taken many stances against all forms of violence. We pray for an end to violent behaviors and attitudes – throughout the world – as well as within ourselves.
It seems that mass shootings and incidents of meaningless gun violence are plastered in newspapers and glaring on the television screen practically on a weekly basis.
For example, according to everytown.org statistics, there have been 185 reported school shootings in America since 2013, which is close to an average of one per week. In addition, everytown.org reports that there were 370 mass shootings in the United States in 2015; more than 450 people were killed. Bradycampaign.org reports that 297 people in America are shot in murders, assaults, suicides and suicide attempts, unintentional shootings and police intervention every day.
And, americanprogress.org reports that the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence has given the State of Indiana an “F” for the strength of its gun laws. In contrast, the National Rifle Association, according to americanprogress.org, has given seven of the state’s nine Congressmen an “A” rating.
On June 2, Americans will recognize National Gun Violence Awareness Day. The event was officially created in 2015 to honor the memory of Hadiya Pendleton, a teenager who was shot and killed on the Southside of Chicago, only one week after performing at President Barack Obama’s second inauguration.
On June 2, people will don orange ribbons to honor the victims and survivors of gun violence.
The General Council of the Sisters of Providence has signed a petition at everytown.org asking that Terre Haute Mayor Duke Bennett declare June 2 as National Gun Violence Awareness Day in the City. We encourage all residents to also sign the petition in memory of the victims and survivors of these senseless acts.
Our Sisters of Providence “Litany of Nonviolence” prayer begins, “Provident God, aware of own brokenness, we ask the gift of courage to identify how and where we are in need of conversion in order to live in solidarity with all Earth’s people,” and concludes, “God of love, mercy and justice, acknowledging our complicity in those attitudes, action and words which perpetuate violence, we beg the grace of non-violent hearts.”
Will you pray with us?