Affirming that their mission to peace isn’t just an effort to end armed conflict, but entails the need to create “peace” in our daily lives as well, the Episcopal Peace Fellowship is standing up against the gun violence that adversely and disproportionately affects Americans.
Episcopal Peace Fellowship (EPF) calls upon its members to demand state and federal legislators stand up to the gun lobby and vote to make this country a safer place to live. Thoughts and prayers are not enough; our leaders must find the courage to take action. Three of the five worst mass shootings in modern U.S. history occurred during the last year with two in the last month. America’s gun violence crisis is neither normal nor inevitable. According to The American Journal of Medicine, Americans, are 25 times more likely to be killed by a gun than people in other developed nations. In fact, no other country like ours comes close.
We cannot keep living this way.
While no one gun law will prevent every shooting, here are solutions that can reduce gun violence and save lives. Policies like universal background checks and prohibiting dangerous people from accessing guns will make our communities safer. “We cannot continue to blame mental illness for these massacres,” said EPF Executive Director Rev. Allison Liles. “The Sutherland Springs’ shooter was court-martialed in 2012 for two counts of assault on his spouse and assault on their child and two years later received a “bad conduct” discharge from the military. Despite this documented history of domestic abuse, he was able purchased an a firearm. It is far too easy for dangerous people in our country to obtain weapons that have no place in civilian life.”
Episcopal Peace Fellowship began as The Episcopal Pacifist Fellowship on November 11, 1939, Armistice Day. In the early days of World War II, EPF supported Conscientious Objectors, urging the whole church to do so. At that time members were required to sign a commitment: “In loyalty to the Person, Spirit and teachings of Jesus Christ, my conscience commits me to His way of redemptive love and compels me to refuse to participate in or give moral support to any war.”
image: victims of the recent mass murder in Sutherland Springs, TX from NBC News