#IAMMADASHEAVEN – A Response to Gun Violence and Call to Action from PIIN
Righteous indignation is the mobilizer that gets us beyond “my thoughts and prayers are with you”! There are things that must transform our emotions into meaningful action. In my faith tradition, the Divine is angered by unrighteous actions. God’s heart grieved as 21 lives were savagely massacred in Uvalde, Texas. That was right on the heels of 10 other lives mowed down while at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York.
Like every caring hearted person, I extend condolences to the families who won’t get to wrap their arms around their loved ones again in this life. As, I pen these thoughts, my mind careens to the four darlings that call me PapPap. It is not lost to my sensibilities the tragic event in Uvalde could happen in ANY neighborhood, regardless of ethnicity or socioeconomic standing. Evil is a peril of the human condition. Gratefully, all hope is not lost. There is work we ALL can do to reduce the probability of this happening again.
After 9/11, we did not ban airplanes. Airplanes were not the problem. Using them as a weapon was. The world enacted some simple measures that have made air travel much safer. Cockpits are now locked. Security lines at airports are longer. We are more inconvenienced, and we are safer. We limited the means by which airplanes could become a misused, lethal weapon.
Inherently, guns are lethal weapons. If it made sense to safeguard an inherently non-lethal weapon (an airplane), It makes even more sense when it comes to guns! If 90% of Americans truly want sensible gun safety regulations, why is it usually less than 50% of us show up at the polls? Candidates on both sides of the aisle run on kitchen table issues. The blood of our babies’ tugs on our hearts but it doesn’t appreciably move our feet or affect our vote. We must stop asking the paid and bought politicians to do what we refuse to do in sufficient numbers. Make the blood of our children matter!
Our partner, CeaseFire PA, is part of a coalition to move sensible gun safety legislation from advocacy to law. Read and sign it here. Additionally, a link is attached to aid you in identifying your state representative and state senator.
Three things we want you to do:
First, personally call the office of your representative and senator to determine whether they will be voting in support of this legislation? See below for links and call talking points.
Second, share and advocate in your sphere of influence that they do the same.
Third, join CeaseFirePA, PIIN, and other partner organizations in Pittsburgh’s Historic Hill District for the Wear Orange Pittsburgh community gathering on Friday, June 3 from 5:00 – 7:00 PM for Gun Violence Awareness Day. We will honor and recognize gun violence survivors, community partners, and those whose lives have been taken due to gun violence. A community walk from the Hill District to the Cultural District will take place following the community gathering.
Sign up to attend here: https://secure.everyaction.com/PCel9BrWWUWNIjqd9g5EVQ2
The Rev. Richard Freeman
Gun Violence Prevention – ACTION STEPS
Click this link to find your legislators: https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/legis/home/findyourlegislator/
Click the link on or near their name to obtain their office number and make the call!
When the call is connected, introduce yourself and say that you are calling because you want your legislator to take action on gun violence prevention. The individual answering the phone will pass your message on to the member of Congress.
Talking points when you are on the phone:
- Tell Your State Lawmakers: Require Waiting Periods for Gun Purchases. Pass Senate bill SB761 and House Bill HB1306.
- Tell your State Representative: Co-sponsor Extreme Risk Protection Orders. House Bill 1903
- Tell Your State Lawmakers: Pass Safe Gun Storage Requirements. Co-sponsor bills for safe storage HB699 and SB582.
Report back to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know the results!