Dayton’s mass shooting. How do we respond?

The Sisters of the Precious Blood were deeply saddened over the killing of 10 and the injury of 27 of our fellow Daytonians on August 4th as well as the victims of other recent mass shootings. We grieve with our neighbors and with the entire country over the numerous senseless tragedies such as these, which are born out of hatred, fear and despair.

We directed our emotion into action by writing a press release a few days after the shooting. We called for sensible gun legislation that works for the good of all people, not for the powerful few. We also met with our members in Congress to discuss specific legislation and to call for cooperation among legislators.

We expect that our leaders honor our democracy and our nation’s values, and that they be servant leaders — steadfastly facilitating the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for all people of our grand, diverse and multifaceted American family, including those who seek refuge in our country.

The Sisters of the Precious Blood strengthen our resolve to counter and overcome the negative influences in our culture that result in violence. We will not accept mass shootings as the new normal. It is possible to reverse this trend as all Americans demand responsible action from legislators, and denounce hate, bigotry, racism and all forms of intolerance.

We ask people to commit to prayer, accompanied by action, such as contacting legislators and community organizations. Dialogue on social and environmental issues will bring about solutions and compromises — we must only have the courage to engage in this work with others. We can be the light in our often-dark world by uniting our voices firmly as one people.

We believe that each person is precious in God’s eyes, even those who commit acts of violence. As Daytonians, Texans, Californians and so many others have been demonstrating, let’s continue to show our care and concern for our neighbors, especially those who are on the fringes — whether they are in our schools, neighborhoods, workplaces or organizations. In doing this, together we build a more peaceful and loving society where the power of love, not hate, is triumphant.

– Story by Colleen Kammer

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