Just over one year ago, violence erupted at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High in Parkland, FL resulting in the death of 20 students and 6 adults. Once again our nation grieved at the senseless violence and the stark sadness of lives lost. Since the Parkland shooting, over 1200 children, of whom more than 80 are infants and toddlers, have died as a result of gun violence. Gun violence in America increases each year, with nearly 40,000 deaths in 2018. Momentum on gun violence prevention legislation has continually been stymied by our culture of gun adoration and near reverence for the Second Amendment. Up until this point, it has been nearly impossible to enact sensible changes to gun laws that could help curb the number of shootings that happen on a daily basis.
After a hearing on background checks and gun violence (the first in eight years), the House Judiciary committee recently passed HR 8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019, which would require background checks for gun sales and transfers in the United States. The legislation will now head to the House floor for a vote. HR 8 is a simple piece of legislation that could have a direct impact on curbing gun violence.
It is a moral crisis and a challenge for people of faith when our society accepts preventable gun violence on a daily basis and adapts to a culture of violence.
Congress needs to hear from you that we will not sit by any longer and let gun violence be a part of everyday America. We will not be cowed into inaction by the naysayers who say that background checks would not make a difference. Our faithful voice cries out, “how long, oh Lord” will these attacks keep happening? In that grief, let our prayers become actions. Lend your voice by asking your member of Congress to support HR 8.