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Gun Sense in America - September Peace Calendar Queries

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contributed by Jana Schroeder

September Peace Calendar Queries on Gun Violence

 As I reflect on the depiction of people rallying in support of stricter gun control on the September page of the Peace Calendar, I am not surprised that a country that spends so much on nuclear bombs and other weapons is plagued by gun violence. Just as fear, anxiety, mistrust and the desire to dominate underlie the vast military build-up, these same emotions seem to be behind the insistence on individuals’ rights to own and carry concealed assault weapons in public places and the belief that guns are necessary to protect homes and families.

I admit to feeling despair that change is possible when tragedy after tragedy occurs and yet the same arguments and obstacles are thrown up to prevent change. As Quakers, though, we know that small groups of people can have influence beyond what their numbers would suggest. At present, a small number of people are holding back change so it stands to reason that another small group of people could send the pendulum swinging in the other direction. These queries and wonderings are designed to help us explore our personal relationship to guns and gun violence, imagine the changes that will be needed to decrease gun violence and reflect on what Quakers in particular might be able to contribute to the movement for gun control.

What experiences have you had with guns? How have the presence of large numbers of guns in our country impacted you?

The country was deeply affected when so many small children were killed by gun violence at Sandy Hook. Given the universally acknowledged tragedy in this and other incidents of gun violence and the statistic cited on the calendar that 90% of people in the U.S. (including 74% of NRA members) favor common-sense gun control, I wonder why it is so difficult to change gun control laws? What else might need to change before we will see a significant decrease in gun violence?

 How might Quaker experience, history and testimonies contribute to efforts to curb gun violence?

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