ELCA Bishops stand with youth in addressing gun violence and school safety

A lie-in in front of the White House, organized by students in Washington after the school shooting in Florida, calls for more legislation on privately owned firearms. Photo: Lorie Shaull/ Flickr

Solidarity with children and youth who “March for our Lives”

(LWI) - Following a school shooting in Florida, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) Conference of Bishops has issued a statement calling for “a deeper conversation about school safety and second amendment rights and responsibilities.” The statement is issued in solidarity with children and youth and supports the March for our Lives, a gun control rally planned in Washington, D.C, and other cities worldwide on 24 March 2018.

On 14 February 2018, a shooter killed 17 teachers and students in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. The incident caused a heated debate on gun control and the interpretation of the second amendment of the Constitution of the United States, which concerns the right to keep and bear arms.

“We recognize this incident is the latest in a long list of tragic shootings in our country and young people have been calling for protest and change for many years,” the statement signed by 64 ELCA bishops reads. “Some of those young voices have been ignored or silenced because of racial and economic injustice. We cannot let that reality keep us from acting now.”

March for Our Lives is an initiative by surviving students of the Florida school shooting, calling for legislation to effectively address gun violence in the US. The initiative has been taken up in “sibling marches”, with close to 500 events planned in hundreds of cities nationwide, as well as in Canada, Latin America, Europe and Asia.

The ELCA Conference of Bishops “offer our support, partnership and prayers for the March for Our Lives, its satellite city events, and our children and youth who are leading us forward as peacemakers,” the statement concludes.