By Rev. Brittany Graves
A year after the world has forever shifted from the COVID-19 pandemic, we have also witnessed pronounced effects of violence in America. The Black Lives Matter movement took center stage after the murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd. STOP AAPI HATE created a reporting database in response to anti-Asian hate crimes and discrimination. Now, after several mass shootings in the past week, gun violence has become a pressing issue to address again.
Each of these movements have become amplified in the past year out of an urgency for justice. However, racism, xenophobia and gun violence are longstanding issues in America.
The fact of the matter is the more guns, the more gun violence will occur. The United States has an alarmingly high rate of gun possession in comparison to other countries. While America makes up 5 percent of the world’s population, American’s own 45 percent of the world’s privately held firearms.
If United States lawmakers took more seriously legislation successfully modeled by other countries to bring gun control, it would save lives from gun death by mass shootings, homicide, domestic violence, suicide, and gun violence against or by police. In the recent shootings where a gunman senselessly took the lives of eight people, six of which were Asian women in the Atlanta spa shootings, and another gunman killed ten people in the Boulder Creek mass shooting, may we respond with action to create a safer and nonviolent world.
Questions to consider:
- How can we bring active change versus a reaction to mass shootings and violence?
- What ways do you create safety and promote nonviolence?
What you can do:
Quote from President Biden:
"These are bills that received votes with both Republicans and Democrats in the House. This is not and should not be a partisan issue. This is an American issue that will save lives, American lives. And we have to act," Biden said.
Creator God, help us to actively bring positive change before gun violence ensues. May our response be less reactionary, always considering the safety and well-being of all Americans. Let us be more prone to nonviolence by modeling it for others. May we turn toward justice and change before the next mass shooting or unjust murder against a person of color. God, bless and support the families and communities affected by gun violence that we might not turn a blind eye to senseless injustice that has taken many American lives.
Rev. Brittany Graves is associate coordinator, Public Witness & Advocacy, American Baptist Home Mission Societies. She welcomes your input at [email protected] and engagement on Instagram @ambitiouslyBrittany.
Photo by Heather Mount on Unsplash