Take Action to Prevent Gun Violence
By our silence, by our willingness to compromise principle… by our readiness to allow arms to be purchased at will and fired at whim, by allowing our movie and television screens to teach our children that the hero is one who masters the art of shooting and the technique of killing, by allowing all these developments, we have created an atmosphere in which violence and hatred have become popular pastimes.
—Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
In the wake of the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT, that killed 20 children and 8 adults, our hearts are broken. Although we are especially affected by the fact that so many of these victims were young children, we are mindful that this incident was but the latest in a long string of tragic and deadly incidents of gun violence.
The Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) has assembled a page of resources, Newtown Tragedy: Responding to Trauma, to help all of us process the Newtown shooting and its aftermath, emotionally and spiritually.
The purpose of this page is to help all of us understand how we can reduce the likelihood, or at least the frequency, of such tragic events by understanding the factors that lead to gun violence, what changes in public policy might mitigate or reduce gun violence, and how we and other people and communities of faith might advocate for such changes. UUA Witness Ministries will update it as additional resources become available.
Letters, Petitions, and Actions
- Letter to Congress from Faiths United Against Gun Violence (PDF, 8 pages), January 15, 2013
- Hold a Gun Violence Prevention Sabbath
- Demand a Plan—a campaign of Mayors Against Illegal Guns
- Guns, Grief, and Grace in America: Three films to change the way we talk, act, and think about preventing gun violence.
- Host a free screening of the documentary Living for 32, a 40-minute film featuring Colin Goddard, a survivor of the Virginia Tech shooting who is now an advocate with the Brady Center. Contact livingfor32 [at] gmail [dot] com to schedule a screening.
- The Journalism Center on Children and Families Gun Control and School Shootings
- John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Center for Gun Policy and Research
- United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime Percentage of homicides by firearm, number of homicides by firearm and homicide by firearm rate per 100,000 population (Excel), 2011
- PBS Frontline Hot Guns Pro and Con An opportunity to challenge your thinking about guns, gun control, and gun rights
- NPR Fresh Air interview of Tom Diaz, policy analyst with the Violence Policy Center, December 20, 2012
- The Guardian (UK) Gun homicides and Gun Ownership Listed by Country, July 22, 2012
- New York Times Articles about Gun Control, 1983 - November 21, 2012
- New York Times Religious Leaders Push Congregants on Gun Control, Sensing a Watershed Moment, December 20, 2012
- New York Times Review of Living with Guns by Craig R. Whitney, December 25, 2012
- New York Times Lessons in Politics and Fine Print in Assault Weapons Ban of ’90s, December 19, 2012
- Washington Post History of Gun Control Legislation, December 22, 2012
- Washington Post A Breakdown of Gun Violence by State and by Country, December 22, 2012
- Washington Post Israeli Gun laws Are Much Stricter Than Some U.S. Gun Advocates Suggest, December 28, 2012
Mental Health Resources
- Mental Health and People of Faith—Responding in a Time of Crisis—Rev. Barbara F. Meyers, a UU Community Minister with a mental health ministry, January 6, 2013
- How Would Better Mental Health Care Reduce Gun Violence? An NPR interview with Michael Fitzpatrick, Executive Director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, and Dr. Carl Bell, Clinical professor of psychiatry and public health at the University of Illinois, January 23, 2013
- In Gun Debate, a Misguided Focus on Mental Illness, December 17, 2012
National Gun Violence Prevention Coalitions in Which the UUA Participates
Regional and State Gun Violence Prevention Organizations
- Heeding God’s Call—Pennsylvania, Maryland, and greater Washington, DC
- States United to Prevent Gun Violence
- Mayors Against Illegal Guns
What Is the UUA’s Position on Gun Violence Prevention?
- Gun Control: 1972 General Resolution
- Handguns: 1976 General Resolution
- Gun Control: 1991 General Resolution
- Criminal Justice and Prison Reform: 2005 Statement of Conscience