PLEASE DO SOMETHING!
Once more our Nation and the World stands stunned at the tragic and needless loss of life. The latest school killings in Parkland, Florida underscore the lack of political will and the low moral caliber of many charged with political, civic and governmental leadership. It continues to confound reasonable people that a gun lobby dedicated to nurturing a culture of death and profit can cause otherwise reasonable people to continuously turn their backs on the safety, welfare and lives of our children.
Even if the American Constitution guarantees the right of every responsible citizen to bear arms (which we do not believe), reason and moral decency would hold that the right to live trumps the right to bear arms. The issue of gun violence in the United States is not merely a political issue but a moral and ethical issue requiring that faith leaders speak out clearly and decisively.
The Interfaith Peace Project stands with the parents, students and community of Parkland, Florida as they suffer what no child should endure. Our hearts are broken as our grief cries out for justice.
Lori Alhadeff, mother of slain 14 year old Alyssa, cried out, “Please do something!” Her voice must not go unheard. Her grief must not be dismissed. Her child and all the slain children who have died from governmental inaction and the excessive protection of gun rights must not be forgotten. The Interfaith Peace Project hears Lori’s plea and pledges to be a voice for those who have lost their voice.
We demand that politicians, legislatures, civil and governmental leaders take immediate action to restrict military style arms from entering into the general population. There is no reason why teenagers or anyone for that matter needs to obtain or use an assault weapon.
We call for the passage of gun safety laws so that those who do possess arms may do so responsibly. We challenge the idea that guns need to be part of our culture.
We challenge the idea that times of tragedy ought not to be occasions for making public policy. The continued practice of being patient in times of violence is nothing less than the ploy of the irresponsible gun lobby to hope the shock, outrage, and hurt will dissipate.
We affirm that the right of our children and people to live is more important than the privilege to bear arms. The time has come for a responsible and intelligent reconsideration of exactly what the Second Amendment guarantees.
The time has come to hear the cries and wisdom of the children. Consider the bold words of David Hogg, a senior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. As the shootings and killings continued, David interviewed fellow students seeking their reactions to the horrific events unfolding in their school. When he himself was interviewed by several News outlets, David said what we must hear:
We’re children. You guys are the adults. You need to take some action and play a role. Work together. Come over your politics and get something done. … We don’t need ideas, we need action. We need action from our elected officials and we need action from the civic public, because without that, this is going to happen again. … Any action at this point, instead of complete stagnancy and blaming the other side of the political aisle, would be a step in the right direction. And working together to save these children’s lives is what this country needs. … People get used to what’s going on and that’s not OK. We’re habituating to this and what happens when we do that is children are dying and they will continue to die unless we stop it. Stand up and take action.
The Interfaith Peace Project stands with David and looks forward to the leadership he and his generation will bring to the future of the United States and the World.
We only hope that in some way our concern, our brokenness, our hurt, our concern, might bring some consolation to those who lost their children.
Thomas P. Bonacci, C.P.
with the Board of Directors
The Interfaith Peace Project