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Statement Against Gun Violence

Photograph of many students marching outside and holding a blue sign reading "march for our lives"

The letter below was sent by Members of Women-Church Convergence to the Student Leaders of March for Our Lives in Parkland, Florida.

May 4, 2018

Dear Anti-Gun Violence Leaders,

We, religious feminists rooted in the Catholic tradition, greet, applaud, and join you in your efforts to eradicate gun violence. Your courageous and insightful leadership is making a big difference.

We are deeply impressed by you who remind us of our justice-seeking children in your call for non-violence, an end to false notions of masculinity, and the embrace of all diverse and unique members of our communities. We write to convey our gratitude and pledge our support.

Thank you for stepping up and speaking out against the epidemic of gun-related killings that has marked your lives already. Columbine, Pulse Night Club, Parkland, and Sandy Hook are constant and growing reminders that our country, that has almost as many guns as people, is in deep danger.

You are right to protest the fears you feel, the drills you endure, the suspicions you sense as you go to school and out to play. No children should have to experience any of that.

Your leadership is vital. We stand with you because the burden of social justice belongs to all of us. Young people led the civil rights and anti-war movements. Many of us in our youth spearheaded women’s and LGBTIQ efforts. You do the same.

These commitments mature and endure. Still, it takes a whole society, from oldest to youngest, to make change. That is why we link our hearts and voices with yours.

We concur that automatic weapons and bump stocks have no place in a civilized country. We support an end to concealed weapons and a start to stricter licensing procedures.

We are willing to discuss changes to the Second Amendment hoping that a robust conversation might save lives.

We join you in recognizing the particular vulnerability of communities of color to gun violence and in acknowledging and eradicating the underlying racism that causes it.

We are all in for a safer country and willing to participate in the myriad ways necessary to achieve it.

Thank you students and activists, thank you protesters and change agents. When Emma González led us in silence at the March 24, 2018 rally in Washington, DC, she demonstrated the impact of fusing spiritual with political power.

We are religious feminists. We bring our experience and willingness to learn. Women-Church Convergence (W-CC) is a coalition of autonomous Catholic-rooted groups working to build just social and ecclesial structures with shared power for everyone, especially women and those whom church and society marginalize.

Our faith commitment to encourage and enhance vibrant, joyous life for all is the opposite of a culture full of weapons, hatred, and callous disregard for others. We share your vision of a safe, peaceful society and we will collaborate with you to make it so.

With respectful care,

The Members of Women-Church Convergence

Mary’s Pence is a member of Women-Church Convergence, a coalition of autonomous Catholic-rooted organizations working for social justice, especially for women. Read our mission, vision, and values.

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