Remembering Parkland, the Council speaks on Gun Violence

Photo credit: Elizabeth Frantz, Concord Monitor.

Today youth across New Hampshire will participate in walkouts at 10am for 17 minutes of silence for the victims of the Douglas High School murders in Parkland, Florida. Ethan Dewitt interviewed Concord High School student Jonathan Weinberg in the March 14 Concord Monitor:

Despite dissenting views from gun owners, Weinberg said he and other students are undeterred. High school students across the state and the country are planning to participate in walkouts Wednesday morning at 10 a.m., featuring 17 minutes of silence for each Parkland victim killed.

“Too many students have become accustomed to lockdowns and active shooter drills,” he said. “Too many teachers have used themselves as human shields to protect the students they love.”

In 2013, the NH Council of Churches unanimously approved a Joint Statement on Gun Violence. The statement recalls the Biblical command to “weep with those who weep” (Romans 12:15) and recalls that every human life is sacred and a gift of God (Genesis 1:26). Further, the statement quotes the prophets through whom God tells us to “beat our swords into plowshares” (Isaiah 2:4, Joel 3:10) and find ultimate safety in God rather than by human means. Specifically, the statement reads:

We urge government leaders:

  • to take reasonable steps to restrict civilian ownership of certain types of weapons;
  • to take steps to keep guns out of the hands of those who are not responsible;
  • to seek ways to identify and provide for greater care of those with mental health issues and their families; and
  • to take other effective measures to reduce the risk of firearm violence

To these ends we call on our communities and governmental leaders to take measures enumerated above that will increase the assurance that human life, especially the lives of our children and youth are protected and free from the threat and reality of gun death.

Read the one-page statement here.