Candlelight Timed for Six Year Mark of the Sandy Hook Tragedy
Aston, PA: In remembrance of the six year mark of the Sandy Hook Elementary school tragedy as well as the 600,000 American victims and survivors of gun violence since December 2012, the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia are joining the Newtown Foundation, Newtown Action Alliance, American Gun Safety Association, Amnesty International, Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, Center for American Progress, the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, Community of Sant’Egidio, Community Justice Reform Coalition, Docs Demand Action, Everytown Survivor Network, Faiths United to Prevent Gun Violence, Giffords: Courage to Fight Gun Violence, Junior Newtown Action Alliance, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, #NoRA, On Earth Peace, Organizing for Action, States United to Prevent Gun Violence, St Mark’s Episcopal Church, Survivors Empowered, Survivors Lead, and Women’s March in a nationwide prayer vigil to #EndGunViolence.
The vigil will take place on Thursday, December 13, 2018, at 3:45 P.M at Our Lady of Angels Convent, 609 S. Convent Rd., Aston, PA 19014. We will begin with a prayer inside and then process out to the road to hold a silent candlelight vigil in honor of all those victims and survivors of gun violence.
“Situations of injustice and violence continue to take on new dimensions and challenges. Gun violence deaths and injuries must not be tolerated,” said Sr. Marie Lucey, OSF. “We must call on our legislators to act.”
Since the tragic Sandy Hook shooting,
- Over 600,000 Americans have been killed or injured by guns.
- The number of gun deaths in America increased for two consecutive years. The CDC published data shows 36,252 gun deaths in 2015 and 38,658 gun deaths in 2016.
- 2,700 children and teens are shot and killed and nearly 14,500 more are shot and injured every year. (https://everytownresearch.org/school-shootings/)
- As of September 17, 2018, there have been over 1800 mass shooting incidents—defined as four or more people shot in an incident. (https://www.gunviolencearchive.org/reports)
- Congress has failed to pass federal bills on universal background checks on all gun sales; red flag laws to keep guns away from people in crisis; raise the minimum age of gun purchases to 21, regulate bump stocks, high capacity magazines, or assault weapons; keep guns away from domestic violence abusers; digitize gun records; repeal PLCAA, the special legal immunity for the gun industry; and many other common sense proposals to #EndGunViolence in America. After the Parkland school shooting tragedy in February of 2018, two modest bills were signed into law via Fiscal Year 2018 Omnibus Appropriations Bill: 1) the Fix NICs Act requiring federal agencies to improve their reporting standards and to encourage states to follow suit. Since Congress cannot force the states to report more records, there is no guarantee that records will be submitted. 2) STOP School Violence Act to reauthorize the Secure Our Schools Act to offer Department of Justice grants to states to help schools implement evidence-based programs to stop violence before it happens.
- On the day the 5th Annual National Vigil for All Victims of Gun Violence was being held last year, the House of Representatives passed the dangerous Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017, the “arm anyone everywhere” bill. This legislation would pre-empt state legislation and would force states with strong permitting laws to accept permits with weak requirements or even no requirements at all. The Senate may consider this bill in the future.
The Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia are a community of approximately 400 Catholic women who commit their lives to God as followers of Saints Francis and Clare. We strive to live in loving relationship and service with all people and creation. We are dedicated to bringing hope and joy to those in need by promoting justice and peace with emphasis on human rights and environmental concerns in our daily encounters. (www.osfphila.org)