A long term campaign by the Community of Sant’Egidio, for a violence free America to stop the easy and improper use of guns, started in the year of mercy.
The number of deaths and the spread of violence in our country urges us to act both personally and collectively: one person at a time, one gesture at a time, one friendship at a time. However, we also want to mobilize and to ramp up a national campaign. “Solidarity for Life – No to Violent Deaths – Stop the Easy Access and Improper Use of Guns” is our way of fulfilling the duty to which Pope Francis calls us: to “confront the problem and stop the arms trade.”
Following the words of Pope Francis to Congress, we repeat:
“Why are deadly weapons being sold to those who plan to inflict untold suffering on individuals and society? Sadly, the answer, as we all know, is simply for money: money that is drenched in blood, often innocent blood. In the face of this shameful and culpable silence, it is our duty to confront the problem and to stop the arms trade.”
We, the people of the Community of Sant’Egidio, sisters and brothers, friends, commit to promoting and fostering a culture of dialogue and peace in the United States, a country that has faced too much violence and has seen too many deaths. We join with all people of good will already working and acting for a violence-free America and we invite others to join.
- Nobody should cause violent deaths; either intentionally or unintentionally.
- All persons should do everything that they can to save the lives of others.
- We should not seek, keep, or use weapons improperly.
- We should all think and act for the good of all.
- I recognize that, in the US, too many persons are the victims of violence, guns, and mass shootings.
- I find these deaths both unjust and unacceptable: they are an expression of a societal disorder and not just the occasional choice of an unstable person.
- I join others in calling everyone living in the US to be more aware of the serious risks posed to others by persons using weapons improperly: it is imperative to act to defend all human persons, especially innocent victims.
- In signing this appeal, I pledge to speak with others and to act to move the US toward a more secure, respectful, and liberated future. I am aware that this will take both time and the commitment of many.
To read the full campaign brief, please click here.
Join our campaign by taking action.
At or after the launch of the campaign on February 7, 2016, friends of the campaign will be:
- Committing to solidarity for life and saying no to violent deaths
- Signing your name to the campaign by filling the form above
- Recording a 1 minute video signature with your name, personal statement to commit to solidarity for life and names of those you wish to remember. Share the video on Twitter with the Hashtag #SolidarityForLife
- Prayers for peace where the killings in the US have been remembered
- Reading of names of victims of violent deaths in a city
- Connecting with victims’ families
- Sharing through learning via conversations, media, and other platforms
- Recognition of violence as a contagion and a serious epidemic that needs to be addressed by society in a similar way to how we address HIV or cancer
- People gathering together from different walks of life to interrupt this cycle of violence before it spreads
- Pilgrimages to sites of violence in order to bear witness to this reality in a tangible and visible forum
All of our friends participating in the campaign are invited to organize events and occasions as well as to suggest new initiatives to the National Coordinating Committee:
Solidarity for Life – No to Violent Deaths
National Coordinating Committee c/o Community of Sant’Egidio
1407 21st Street, NW Washington Dc 20037 – 202 223-0816
The story of a friend for life
Olijawon (Owen) Griffin was killed in a Metro station in Washington D.C. Our friend Charlie and others were there with him immediately after the attack happened. They could not save him, but they were there nonetheless. Owen passed away that day, but his story has been given to us as an invitation to act, to respond, and to take responsibility for what is happening all around us.
Owen was killed with a knife. Many more people are killed with guns, pistols, rifles, and automatic weapons. Violent deaths are caused by the reckless use of weapons, which affect too many people. We need better policies and legislation: guns must not be so easily available. Above all, we need to build a society where the use of weapons against other human beings is not a normal or inevitable event. We need to be close to one another in order to stop the violence before the explosion occurs.
Thank you by for your support and signing the appeal letter by the Community of Sant’Egidio USA to put an end to violent deaths.
Please, help us spread the word about this campaign by sharing it: