Our faith demands that we love our neighbors and our enemies. If silence is our response to the gun violence that is killing our neighbors and exploiting our children, we have failed our calling and failed our God in the easier of these two commands. The Alliance of Baptists is committed to work for peace. Endorsing the Statement of Principles of the Campaign to Stop Gun Violence is but one part of our work toward a world where peace is the path most taken and love is the language most spoken."
In the wake of the horrific mass shooting in Tucson in January 2011—where a mentally ill young man was able to legally purchase firearms and ammunition—the Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence (EFSGV) began to ask organizations across the country to take a stand against senseless violence by publicly supporting policies that will keep guns out of the hands of violent and severely mentally ill individuals. We have created the Campaign to Stop Gun Violence because we feel it is time to fix the nation’s background check system for gun purchasers and close loopholes in the law that allow criminals, drug abusers, and the severely mentally ill to gain easy access to firearms. The Campaign is a coalition of national organizations that are willing to take a stand to let policy makers know that we can and must stop the flow of illegal guns into our communities.
Campaign members join by signing a general Statement of Principles encompassing a variety of gun policy positions that the majority of Americans embrace. Campaign efforts and programs include: a) Fostering research and education about gun violence; b) Supporting grassroots efforts to prevent gun violence; c) Advocating for common-sense gun policies like universal background checks and enhanced screening and training for individuals who carry guns in public.
Christian Heyne from the EFSGV staff, and Virginia Tech survivor Omar Samaha, are the organizers behind the Campaign to Stop Gun Violence. Omar lost his sister Reema in the mass shooting at VT in 2007. Christian's mother Jan was killed in a senseless act of gun violence on Memorial Day in 2005.
The Campaign to Stop Gun Violence is welcome to all national organizations that want to make a difference in preventing the loss of precious lives to gun violence. Please contact us today to become part of our coalition!