Rev Richard Weidler MDA vigilReducing Gun Violence

 

Gun violence is responsible annually for an average of 75,000 injuries and 32,000 deaths, including 3,000 children, 62 percent of suicides, and 35 percent of homicides. School shootings average two every month, and 52 women are killed each month with guns by their partners.

 

First Congregational’s work group to Reduce Gun Violence seeks to raise awareness of its daily toll in this country and to develop a consensus on sensible reforms to reduce gun violence that respect responsible gun ownership.

 

Members of the group have joined others in Hendersonville to plan vigils since the Newtown, Connecticut shooting in 2012, including a forum in December 2015 attended by more than 50 people. They have partnered with Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America and the local League of Women Voters to advocate for expanding background checks on everyone buying a firearm, improving gun safety, and other sensible measures.

 

Going forward, members will continue to plan local programs, including a Sunday morning Adult Forum, and expand collaborations with local and national groups. The team welcomes an opportunity to engage in a dialog with gun owners that could begin at the church, to speak with other faith-based communities, and to increase participation by congregants. Co-leaders Diane Swift and Bob Miles state, “We do not have to accept the current level of gun violence in this country, but need to find ways to reduce it.”

 

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