PART 3 of ENGAGE’S MISSION is to “ADVOCATE for gun violence prevention in the nonviolent Spirit of Jesus Christ.” Discipleship means to live-out in action what Jesus frees us and calls us to do. A2A is a guide for action, moving us from Awareness 2 Action.
WHAT CAN WE DO:
PERSONAL: Know that guns are the leading cause of death for children. Know that every year, nearly 700 children die by suicide. Know that 4.6 million children live in homes with guns that are both loaded and unloaded. (Everytown) Know that suicide by gun is the leading cause of gun deaths. What can we do?
- Follow the guidelines within the BeSMART program devised by EVERYTOWN: 1) SECURE all guns in your home and vehicle. Unload and lock-up the weapon in one safe and lock-up the ammunition in another safe; 2) MODEL responsible behavior around guns; 3) ASK about the presence of unsecured guns in other homes; 4) RECOGNIZE the role of guns in suicide; 5) TELL your peers to be smart.
- Consider NOT having guns in your home. Guns in home make us less secure.
POLITICAL: We need to address the legal and systemic cures to promote gun violence prevention.
- Write letters and E-mails, and make phone calls to elected leadership. Here are access guides: MINNESOTA: senate mn, house mn; WASHINGTON, DC: senate.gov, house.gov; PRESIDENT: whitehouse.gov
- Attend gatherings, debates and candidate forums.
- Write Letters to the Editor of your local newspaper.
- Participate and join your congregation’s Church in Society Committee. If your church does not have one, talk with the pastor and church leadership and create one.
- Talk with your pastor, Church in Society Committee and Education Committee about sponsoring conversations on election-social-justice issues on Sunday morning or during the week.
- Become part of the ENGAGE-ACTION-TEAM and receive invitations to conversations and suggestions for action (see the bottom of this page). Send your email to: firstname.lastname@example.org and I will include your name on the team.
- Participate in rallies and demonstrations either locally, at the State Capitol or Washington, DC. Announcements will be sent out and included in this A2A section. You can also check on these sites: momsdemandaction.org, protectmn.org., Giffords.org, Brady.org, everytown.org.
- Feel welcome to write a guest commentary for the ENGAGE website. It will also be circulated on our ENGAGE-ELCA Facebook site, Twin City Clergy and ELCA Clergy sites. Send your commentary to me.
- Host an in-home gathering and invite an ENGAGE leader to lead the conversation.
- Participate in DAY ON THE HILL and visit your representative or senator. Announcemnts will be posted here.
- Keep in touch with the Joint Religious Legislative Council for their action updates: jrlc.org
- Subscribe to emails from ELCA Advocacy: www.elca.org/civicengagement
- Check this A2A regularly for action alerts.
URGENT ACTIONS TO ADDRESS:
- Since Democrats control all the levers of power in Minnesota, urge political leaders to support Universal Background Checks for licensed sellers and ALL private sales of weapons. Presently, Minnesota only requires BGC from licensed sellers. Also, ask them to support RED FLAG LAWS, also called ERPO: Extreme Risk Protection Orders, which authorize the court and local police to temporarily remove a weapon from a person who is in danger of self-harm, or in a mental state that could lead to family violence. Finally, ask them to support an assault weapons ban and small magazine size for weapons. The weapon of choice for mass shooters is an assault weapon like an AR-15 or similar.
- Recognize this time of opportunity. Democratic leadership can call committee meetings to address gun violence prevention. Attend these sessions. Volunteer to speak.