Gun Violence Prevention Resources
Whether your faith community is just beginning the conversation or already involved in advocacy, these resources can help connect you to the tools you need to move from conversation into action. Contact Missioner for Community Engagement Rachel Babbit for more information: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Check us out on Facebook to see what we're up to and how you can join in.
You can also sign up here to receive periodic emails with resources and opportunities to engage in local action.
Protect MN is the only independent gun violence prevention organization in Minnesota. Founded 25 years ago as a coalition of 16 organizations, Protect MN is committed to building a strong statewide network and partnership with faith communities, public health groups, businesses, law enforcement agencies, elected officials and national organizational partners.
Join Protect MN's email list and follow them on Facebook here.
Protect Minnesota Interfaith Alliance
Faiths United is a diverse coalition of more than 50 denominations -- including the Episcopal Church -- and faith-based organizations united by the call of our faiths to confront America’s gun violence epidemic and to rally support for policies that reduce death and injury from gunfire. Learn more here <http://faithsunited.org>.
Faiths United "Gun Violence Guide for Faith Leaders" is an especially helpful resource. The guide includes:
1. Forward by the Very Rev. Gary Hall, Dean of the Washington National Cathedral
2. Theological basis for gun violence prevention
3. Evidence showing that background checks are saving lives
4. Responses to common pro-gun critiques
5. Ways your congregation can make a difference
6. Guidance on what your congregation can and cannot do under your IRS tax status
Download the guide here.
Everytown for Gun Safety
Everytown is a movement of Americans working together to end gun violence and build safer communities. Gun violence touches every town in America. For too long, change has been thwarted by the Washington gun lobby and by leaders who refuse to take common-sense steps that will save lives.
Join the movement and get connected here.
Moms Demand Action
Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America is a non-partisan grassroots movement to mobilize moms and families to advocate for stronger gun laws. Their common-sense, middle-ground solutions to the escalating problem of gun violence in America are straightforward. They are moms, aunts, sisters, grandparents, dads, brothers, uncles, and friends, and they want you to join them!
Join Moms here.
Be SMART: A Conversation about Kids, Guns, and Safety
Every year, at least 100 children aged 17 and under die in unintentional shootings, and over 400 die by suicide with a gun. Many of these deaths are entirely preventable with responsible gun storage. Keep our kids safer by introducing these five easy steps to parenting and everyday life:
- S: Secure guns in homes and vehicles.
- M: Model responsible behavior.
- A: Ask about unsecured guns in other homes.
- R: Recognize the risks of teen suicide.
- T: Tell your peers to be SMART.
Learn more about BeSMART here. Want to start a BeSMART conversation in your faith community? Contact the Rev. Gretchen Roeck at email@example.com or 651-955-6322. Gretchen is available on Sunday mornings.
Respectful Conversations Project
Conversations about divisive issues can sometimes be emotional, pick-a-side and fight-it-out discussions that leave us feeling worse about the people we disagree with, and sometimes worse about ourselves. But there is a way to talk that feels open, honest and impartial, where you can actually be heard and learn about the people with whom you disagree.
Learn more about Respectful Conversations here. Interested in hosting a Respectful Conversation in your faith community? Contact The Rev. Jerad Morey, Senior Program Manager for the Minnesota Council of Churches at firstname.lastname@example.org or 612-230-3211.
Joint Religious Legislative Coalition (JRLC)
JRLC is the largest and most inclusive interfaith public interest group in Minnesota — people of diverse faiths bringing vision and wisdom to the public realm for the well-being of Minnesotans. One of their main focuses for the 2016 legislative session is “Gun Violence Prevention and Public Safety”.
Learn more about JFLC here.
Check out these resources for liturgies, prayers and sermon inspiration:
- http://www.claimitgc.org (Liturgical Resources tab)
Episcopal Peace Fellowship (EPF)
EPF is a national organization connecting all who seek a deliberate response to injustice and violence and want to pray, study and take action for justice and peace in our communities, our church, and the world.
Bishops United Against Gun Violence
This is an ad hoc group of nearly 60 Episcopal bishops who have come together to explore means of reducing the appalling levels of gun violence in our society, and to advocate for policies and legislation that save lives. Learn more here.
Presbyterian Peace Fellowship (PPF)
PPF has an excellent (and free!) curriculum available for faith communities here.
ENGAGE: Lutherans to Prevent Gun Violence
The mission of ENGAGE is to meditate on, educate about, and advocate for gun violence prevention in the non-violent spirit of Jesus. As peacemakers and children of God, the members of ENGAGE commit to:
- Addressing gun violence and gun safety in a manner consistent with personal and ministry integrity
- Preaching, teaching, and speaking on matters of gun violence
- Gathering to pray and plan actions to address gun violence prevention
- Working with congregations to host respectful, balanced discussions on the topics of gun safety, suicide, personal protection, and the impact of gun violence on communities
Find more information and how to get involved here.
In the Local News
Minnesota Women’s Press dedicated their February 2016 issue to gun violence prevention. Below are links to the articles.
- "Not a Fringe Issue, Everytown for Gun Safety: Turning Support into Results,” Minnesota Women’s Press, February 2016
- “Everyday Terrorism: The Intersection of Guns and Domestic Violence,” Minnesota Women’s Press, February 2016
- “Profile: Marit Brock,” Minnesota Women’s Press, February 2016
- “The Male Factor,” Minnesota Women’s Press, February 2016
- “On Your Mind: A Hunter’s Perspective,” Minnesota Women’s Press, February 2016
- “Act Now: Safety in Numbers,” Minnesota Women’s Press, February 2016
The Southwest Journal (the Southwest Minneapolis Community Newspaper) recently issued a special report on gun violence. They took a closer look at the impact of President Obama’s executive actions, the HCMC pilot program to intervene in the lives of shooting victims, causes of violence and highlighted victims stories. Read all the articles here.
The City Pages provided coverage on universal background checks here.