By Susan Bender
Chair, BWC-UMC Gun Violence Prevention Team
At annual conference in October, members of the Baltimore-Washington Conference passed a resolution declaring gun violence a public health emergency within our conference.
Last week, a mother was killed in D.C. while riding in the backseat of the car her sister was driving. A bullet came through the car window and shot her in the head, she died in the lap of her 8-year-old child sitting beside her. Little children are also dying in the streets of our conference, caught in crossfire of drive-by shootings. A one-year old baby killed in his carseat; a 6-year old girl killed walking with her family in D.C.; an 8-year old boy killed near Landover by a gunshot through his apartment window. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 2,300 children ages 0-17 were killed by guns in 2020, outpacing the number of child deaths due to car crashes and cancer.
Jesus calls us to be peacemakers, so can we look the other way as these innocent children and their parents are killed? We are called to love our neighbor. There’s no one easy answer to gun violence in America, but we know many things that will help.
Please join us Tuesday, Feb. 15, at 6 p.m. for a webinar on How To Stop the Shooting on our Streets and Take Back our Neighborhoods. We’ll discuss violence interruption programs and the proliferation of ghost guns and what action we can take. Register.