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Faith Communities and Gun Violence Prevention

from the Binkley Health Ministry Committee

The Binkley Health Ministry Committee is planning a Sunday School class for the fall of 2016 called Faith Communities and Gun Violence Prevention. This class is still being planned, but will include discussions on this public health crisis, readings, video screenings, and opportunities to take action (letter writing, campaigning, community action) and plan additional steps. 

Gun safety is a public health crisis.

  • American children die by guns 11 times as often as children in other wealthy nations
  • The presence of guns in the home increases an individual’s risk of death by homicide by 90%
  • The risk of suicide is up to five times higher in gun-owning households
  • More than half of women killed by their intimate partners in the U.S. are killed with guns
  • Of 355 mass shootings in the US in 2015, 12 were in North Carolina
  • Every year, as many people die from firearms as die from motor vehicle accidents. 

Pediatrician and official spokesperson for the American Academy of Pediatrics Claire McCarthy has stated in a NY Times opinion piece: “To really make children and families safe…we need universal background checks, trigger locks, sensible limits on the kinds of guns that can be bought and sold. We need better educational programs about gun storage. We need more community programs to prevent violence. We need funding for research on gun safety, so that we can find solutions that are based on evidence, not rhetoric. We also need more mental health services, easily accessible, for those who need them. Please, can we stop framing this as an issue of rights — and see it as the public health crisis it is? We’ve organized to prevent deaths from cars and tobacco, we’ve got rules to keep people safe at work, we even have labeling on toys, for heaven’s sake — we have so much in place to keep people safe. It’s time we did this for guns, too. It’s time to stop just fighting for the right to own a gun — and start fighting to save lives instead.” 

In addition to fighting against the public health crisis of gun violence, Binkley Health Ministry Committee also sees the following as important and pressing issues:

  • Focusing on health disparities (in our community and outside in the world)
  • Campaigning for Medicaid expansion in NC
  • Hosting additional hunger awareness projects/food drives at Binkley

How can you work to prevent gun violence in your own congregation or communities?

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