Principles for Gun Violence Prevention
In light of the recent shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, PA, FCNL reaffirms our commitment to policies that reduce gun violence.
The gun violence epidemic is both a public health crisis and a troubling reflection on our country’s spiritual state.
Gun violence in the U.S. is so common that it rarely makes the news. As a nation, we have seemingly accepted that ordinary activities – going to a house of worship, a nightclub, a school – carry the risk of violent death.
But this level of gun violence is not inevitable. Policymakers' failure to pass common sense, responsible legislation contributes to appalling rates of gun violence in the United States.
Policymakers must take every available step to reduce harm and loss of life. Easy access to guns will continue to make it horrifyingly easy to escalate fear, hatred, and rage into slaughter.
We support efforts to reduce gun violence by limiting gun ownership, possession, and use. In particular, a comprehensive gun violence prevention strategy will:
Address the many forms of gun violence, including mass shootings, accidental shootings, police shootings, domestic and intimate partner violence, and suicide, through context-sensitive approaches
Advance evidence-based gun violence prevention
Preserve civil liberties and anti-discrimination protections
Prioritize systemic changes over individual punishment
Limit access to equipment that makes mass shootings deadlier
Implement safety checks for all gun buyers
Promote and strengthen community engagement by implementing community-based violence intervention and prevention programs
The gun violence epidemic is both a public health crisis and a troubling reflection on our country’s spiritual state. As we seek policy solutions to reduce deaths from guns, we must also look critically at the culture that enables so many people to kill each other with guns. As Quakers, we believe that there is that of God in every person and that all creation has worth and dignity. We call on Congress to act immediately to protect each sacred life.